A Russian soldier in the Crimea.
© Picture: REUTERS / Vasily Fedosenko
Russian expert warns of the worst Mangott relations for 30 years Since the military intervention of Russia in the Crimea always appear more memories of the dark age of the Cold War. Whether the consequences will really be so severe, can not yet be assessed. But the intervention in each case was a political mistake of Vladimir Putin, which contradicts his otherwise rational foreign policy. This opinion Russia expert Gerhard Mangott of the University of Innsbruck. What Russia's rulers aim with this radical step is for him however, clear: Putin is trying to prevent the Ukraine finally drifting westwards.
THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE
The change of government in Kiev attended in Moscow for great concern that Ukraine might abandon the status of non-alignment and subsequently approach the EU and NATO, Mangott explained in NEWS.AT conversation. In addition, it was feared that Ukraine could be the agreement on the Russian naval base in Sevastopol - for the Russian Navy, the gateway to the Mediterranean - terminate and the Association Agreement with the EU to conclude, that has the violent change of power in Kiev in the first initiated.
"Throws us back 30 years"
But why then the use in the Crimea? "About this military intervention Moscow attempts to politically back into the game," said Mangott. "However, I believe that the price is very high." At present, "supercooled relations threaten, as we have not had since the Cold War" between Russia and the EU would or the US, fears of political scientists. "This certainly throws us back thirty years."
Brakes Berlin and Paris
Which Germany and France would ensure that the EU - still - restrained occurs than do about the United States. In Berlin and Paris one continues to rely on a dialogue with Moscow and calls for the use of a contact group to resolve the conflict. Other EU member states such as Poland and the Baltic States, however, already represented a much harder line and are in favor of tough sanctions.
Sanctions and counter-sanctions
On the part of the USA it must be concluded subsequently by the imposition of economic sanctions against Russia tangible. However, so Mangott: "be more sharply turn out the reactions and sanctions of the United States, the more the Russian position will harden." Sanctions would Putin not leave his position to rethink, rather have the consequence that the recovery of the Crimea to Ukraine for the foreseeable future "is simply impossible." After all, a military engagement in the Black Sea peninsula close from all NATO countries alone, the Ukrainian army to stand against the Russian forces in any way.
Also Mangott currently sees no signs of an imminent military conflict. Thus Putin said only on Tuesday, there was no reason to get involved militarily in the south and east of Ukraine. And he also ended the Great exercise again, which had been arranged a few days ago on the border with Ukraine.
Retreat would face loss
The Russian troops issue back from the Crimea is for Putin, of course not possible, because "so that he would pick up a clearly visible defeat." The withdrawal would be interpreted to mean that Putin has bowed Western pressure - a loss of face, which in the rulers Kremlin does not come into question.
But what does all this mean for the future of the Crimea? Most likely is for Mangott that the peninsula in the future either with significantly enhanced autonomy rights remains as part of the Ukraine, or - following the example of Abkhazia - a State-like entity with political, economic and military patronage of Moscow created. A connection of Crimea to the Russian Federation has in any case ruled out on Tuesday Putin.
No other source of conflict
Also another source of conflict as the Ukraine or Georgia in 2008 looks Mangott not threaten in the near future, because Russia would have "to gnaw very" to the sanctions and countermeasures of the West. In addition, Moldova and the Moldovan Government of the would losgesagte, Russia-friendly part of Transnistria the only remaining region in which such a danger would threaten. There, however, there is anyway already own government, thus it is unlikely "that Russia will escalate here."