For now, Russia does not hint to its intentions for the immediate future. Since Friday, talks were held between the leaders of the USA and Russia, also of Russia and Germany, in which sympathy was expressed for the release of Yulia Timoshenko from prison – the candidate defeated in the 2010 elections by Yanukovich, who represents a symbol of state unity and also of the legitimacy of the new authorities in Kiev – but there was also concern over a possible military intervention from abroad (mainly, if not exclusively, Russian). It has been considered that the existence of a united and independent Ukrainian state is vital for the security and stability of the continent and that this crisis must be managed with priority to the will and major interests of the Ukrainian nation.
The Foreign Affairs ministers of EU states, gathered for an emergency meeting last Thursday in Brussels, sent a message for finding a peaceful solution to the crisis and respecting the will of the Ukrainian nation, expressed through a ballot prepared by the new government, whose structure is still unknown. The sanctions announced against authorities and the opposition are already obsolete. The USA affirmed that the peaceful solution and the preservation of Ukraine’s integrity are undisputable matters and that it will militate in this direction, alongside its allies, Russia and the Ukrainian authorities. The EU and international institutions feverishly make calculations referring to an economic support for a Ukraine that is on the verge of a dangerous financial and economic collapse. What will be the result of this new dynamic that appeared in the relations between the major actors interested in the future of Ukraine? Will Russia avoid a military intervention, at the demand of Crimea, for instance, or under the pretext of protecting the Russian minority? Is Russia truly interested to maintain the unity of Ukraine and its ‘game’ of fragmentation/federalisation is only a pressure skilfully put so that to obtain more from Kiev? Are we witnessing a technology much more sophisticated than the previous procedures of dividing the spheres of influence between the big powers?
A particular mention is worth being made about the positions of the direct neighbours of Ukraine. Poland was extremely active during this hectic week, with its Foreign Affairs minister Radek Sikorski having a significant role in reaching a solution Friday-Saturday and stopping the violence in Kiev. The prominent role of Poland at regional scale cannot be denied, while the gain of image at EU scale is significant. Romania, the second large neighbour of Ukraine in the west, made appeals from the highest level to the ending of violence by both sides, and PM V. Ponta paid a visit to Chisinau that constituted a clear sign of support granted to this Romanian state in these troubled times, when the states of the Eastern Partnership undergo a major crisis. During a meeting of the main decision makers in Bucharest, the participants announced the preparations made also for receiving the possible refugees from Ukraine in case of unwanted evolutions. Hungary and Slovakia joined the position of the European Union.
It is hard to foresee the future, even on a very short term, especially in case of a very fluid political dynamic, with so many actors involved. There is a multitude of questions in all the comments made about the present situation in Ukraine and the evolutions are monitored with great concern. It is evident that solving this serious crisis in Europe, which makes possible even a war that would involve great powers, requires all sides to manifest calm and prudence in their actions. The biggest danger is that a wrong decision or an insufficiently considered action made by one of the political actors of the drama unfolding in Ukraine determines a foreign intervention and the start of a domino process with tragic consequences at continental and even global scale. It is – this possibility too – a resultant of history’s acceleration in our times.