Ukraine, Russia and the EU

When at Yalta in February 1945, Stalin insisted on the “Curzon line” being the eastern boundary of Poland, with Poland’s western boundary with Germany being shifted west by 150 miles to the Oder-Neisse line, his objective was to keep European powers, particularly Germany, as far away from Moscow as possible.  The subsequent establishment of communist governments in Eastern Europe were seen by the Russians as an enormous safety band of countries protecting the Soviet Union from western invasions, the distance from the eastern edge of newly formed NATO (in 1949) to Moscow being about 1,100 miles.

Now, owing to NATO’s and the EU’s expansion to include those countries in their organisations, the Soviet Union’s heir, Putin’s Russia, sees a complete reversal of Stalin’s strategy.  The “West” has advanced its eastern border to within 400 miles of Moscow.  The EU’s obvious policy of trying to add the Ukraine to its empire would, if successful, bring its eastern border to within 270 miles of Moscow, about the distance from London to Newcastle.

Is it not obvious that Vladimir Putin is bound to resist this development by supporting groups within the Ukraine who are determined to avoid this fate?

The only sure way of putting an end to the incipient civil war in the Ukraine is for the EU and NATO to proclaim that their eastern border will stay where it is now – a line running along the Eastern boundaries of Norway to Bulgaria via Finland, the Baltic states, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania[1].  If necessary the EU and NATO should amend their articles of association to reflect this.  As sovereign states, the Ukraine and Belarus would then be free to make their own arrangements with Russia, without EU meddling.

It’s 70 years since Yalta, so an international conference of the main parties would be an appropriate forum for a new settlement between Russia and the West, guaranteeing existing borders and the neutrality of Ukraine and Belarus, rather akin to the neutrality agreement which led in 1955 to the withdrawal of both Western and Soviet troops from Austria.

End note

[1]  Finland is a member of the EU, but not NATO, Norway is a member of NATO, but not the EU.

Top| Home

Leave a Reply

Top| Home