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Russian war games amid tense times over Ukraine

  • February 27th, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

UkraineDifferent sort of games have followed in Russia, after the end of the Winter Olympics, with the announcement of military combat-readiness trials in the Western parts of the country – adjacent to Ukraine.

It comes hard upon the removal of the Russian government’s preferred man as the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukuvych, now being searched-after by the new parties in power, to send him to the International Criminal Court, over the recent violence and loss of life.


The bad blood has extended to renewed confrontations, in parts of the country where the ethnic Russian sector of the population is strongly concentrated.

See EUAustralia Online, Fracture, danger after Ukraine “coup”, 23.2.14.

The stirring up of old enmities has affected the flow of rhetoric from the parliament in Moscow; talk of protection for “endangered” brothers and sisters across the border.


Ukraine EU mapDefence Ministers of the NATO alliance, at Brussels, took note, drawing attention to the linkage between Ukraine and themselves, under a security association similar to one that they also have with Russia. It’s seen detachments of Ukrainian troops take part in joint operations with Western forces, notably in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

That other Western associate of Ukraine, the European Union, has this week moved to provide financial aid, to stave off a mounting economic crisis.

The following is the statement by NATO Ministers:

We continue to follow developments in Ukraine very closely. We deplore the tragic loss of life. We welcome the fact that violence has been stopped through negotiations that paved the way for a peaceful outcome. We emphasise the importance of an inclusive political process  based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which fulfils the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people.

NATO and Ukraine have a distinctive partnership, embodied in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. Through that partnership framework, NATO stands ready to continue to engage with Ukraine and assist with the implementation of reforms. Defence reform and military cooperation remain key priorities. We commend the Ukrainian armed forces for not intervening in the political crisis. In a democracy, it is imperative that the armed forces do not intervene in the political process. We underscore the need to strengthen democratic control over the defence and security sector, with effective parliamentary oversight and the robust involvement of civil society. In the context of recent tragic events, transparent democratic and accountable institutions are essential to the future of Ukraine.

A sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security. Consistent with the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership  between  NATO  and  Ukraine,  NATO  Allies  will  continue  to  support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and on the continent as a whole.


North Atlantic Treaty organisation (NATO), Brussels, Statement by NATO Defence Ministers on Ukraine, Press Release (2014) 031, 26.2.14.