Don't allow interests of U.S. to cause division, Don urges Russia, Ukraine

Supreme Desk
1 March 2022 2:11 PM GMT
Dont allow interests of  U.S. to cause division, Don urges Russia, Ukraine
The Russian government feared that Ukraine’s membership of the EU and NATO would complete a western wall of allied countries by restricting Russia’s access to the Black Sea.

Dr Christian Opata, a university teacher on Tuesday, advised Russia and Ukraine not to allow the interests of the U.S. and its allies to cause disunity between them.

The don gave the advice in an interview against the background of the raging Russo-Ukrainian war which began in 2014 following the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Opata, a senior lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) urged the two eastern European countries not to forget that they are neighbours.

"Russia should remember that Ukraine is a neighbouring country and should not because of actions or inactions of western countries towards Ukraine decide to destroy its brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

"Ukraine on its part should not allow the western countries to dictate or mar its age-long relationship with Russia, a neighbouring country that is the proverbial big brother.

"Russia should consider the sanctity of life and stop the further bombardment of Ukraine,'' he said.

The university teacher also urged the two countries to embrace negotiations and make deliberate concessions aimed at resolving the issues at stake in the conflict.

"Through negotiations, all issues will be resolved at a roundtable," Opata said.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been hostile since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, which toppled Ukraine's elected President Viktor Yanukovych and his supporters.

Yanukovych and his supporters were toppled because the president refused to sign a political association and free trade agreement with the EU that enjoyed majority support in Ukraine's parliament.

Ukraine's post-revolutionary government wished to commit the country to a future within the EU and NATO, rather than continue to play the delicate diplomatic game of balancing its own economic and security interests with those of Russia, the EU, and NATO members.

In 2004 the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia had joined the EU, followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007.

The Russian government feared that Ukraine's membership of the EU and NATO would complete a western wall of allied countries by restricting Russia's access to the Black Sea.

With South Korea and Japan being allied to the U.S., the Russian government was concerned that Russia was being ring-fenced by potentially hostile powers.

In the wake of the Revolutionary of Dignity, Russia backed separatist militias in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic in a war in Ukraine's economically important Donbas region, on its eastern border with Russia.

In 2019, amendments were made to the Constitution of Ukraine, which enshrined the irreversibility of the country's strategic course towards EU and NATO membership.

This region has a Russian ethnic majority and by early 2022 the Russo-Ukrainian War had killed more than 13,000 people and brought some Western sanctions on Russia.

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