Monday, March 24, 2014

CANADA AND RUSSIAN ROULETTE

While the West struggles to predict what Russia will do next, one thing is for certain - the G-8 will not be meeting in Sochi this year.

The G-7 leaders are showing solidarity in condemning  the annexation of Crimea and the mobilization of 20,000 Russian troops on Ukraine's eastern border.

Undeterred by economic and diplomatic sanctions, Russia's game play may be to keep pushing and annexing regions along it's border that are pro-Russian. This might be the right time for Russia to bring Trans-Dniester in Moldovia back into the Russian fold. 

Ukraine has learned that it's allies in the West will only go so far to assist them. What is to stop President Vladimir Putin  from further basking in glow of expanding his countries borders after decades of being relegated to former superpower status?

Will the expansionist Russians turn a cold discussion over borders in the arctic into a territory grab. They have the largest population in the arctic. They hold very significant social, economic and military interests. Oil, gas and minerals feed the Russian economy and it's military. Over 30% of undiscovered global hydrocarbon reserves are located in the Arctic, most of them in the Russian Arctic. The world's largest oil producer, Russia’s hydrocarbon sources in Western Siberia are slowly drying up.

Russia also has strategic military forces in the Arctic, most notably the Northern Fleet and its ballistic missile submarines. Recent events show that the post Soviet Union era of international cooperation has given way to re-militarization. They have chosen to ignore international treaties and international law.  The road to modernization has hurt Russian pride.

Nationalism is a very dangerous emotion. It is never pragmatic. 

Underestimating Russia's expansionism and desire to acquire the Arctic region that it lays claim to would be a mistake.

War over the Ukraine might be the only way to put Russian expansionism to rest. 





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