Nuclear Weapons

Resolving the Crisis in Ukraine: International Crisis Group’s Recommendations

05.15.14 | 3 min read | Text by Charles Ferguson

As readers of the FAS Strategic Security Blog know, we have been concerned about the potential of the crisis in Ukraine to escalate, further worsening U.S.-Russian relations and possibly resulting in armed conflict involving NATO and Russia. As the May 25th presidential election in Ukraine is fast approaching, this post draws attention to advice and recommendations from the International Crisis Group, a highly respected non-governmental organization. Here’s the announcement of the major findings from the group’s newest report Ukraine: Running out of Time.

[As an organization comprising thousands of members with differing views, FAS headquarters reminds readers that this and other posts do not represent the position of FAS as an organization. Instead, these posts provide a platform for reasoned discourse and exchange of ideas. Constructive comments are welcomed.]

“Ukraine needs a government of national unity that reaches out to its own people and tackles the country’s long overdue reforms; both Russia and Western powers should back a vision for the country as a bridge between East and West, not a geopolitical battleground.”

The report “offers recommendations to rebuild and reform the country and reverse the geopolitical standoff it has provoked. The Kyiv government has been unable to assert itself or communicate coherently and appears to have lost control of parts of the country to separatists, emboldened if not backed by Russia. To prevent further escalation, Ukraine needs strong international assistance and the commitment of all sides to a solution through dialogue, not force.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:

‘On the ground in Ukraine today, Russia has immediate advantages of escalation,’ says Paul Quinn-Judge, Europe and Central Asia Program Director. ‘Over time, the West likely has the economic and soft-power edge. A successful, democratic Ukraine – integrated economically in the West but outside military alliances, and remaining a close cultural, linguistic and trading partner of Russia – would benefit all.’”