San José State University
& Tornado Alley
An Update of the|
Most Reasonable Resolution
of the Ukraine Crisis
The U.S. and EU bungled the special situation of the Crimea, but now there are enclaves of
ethnic Russians in Ukraine trying to escape from Ukrainian government control and perhaps
become part of the Russian Federation. These are quite different cases from the Crimea. Crimea was never
an intrinsic part of the Ukraine the way the Donetsk region has been.
what are the alternatives? If the crisis continues on its present trajectory here is what will happen
providing that war does not break out, which would be immeasurably costly:
- The enclaves have carried out plebicites which indicate overwhelming preference for
- The ethic Russians will take over the government buildings again and again in their enclaves.
They can be removed only at significant loss of lives.
- Russia will probably accept the enclaves appeal to join the Federation.
- Ukraine will cancel its purchase of energy from Russia and prohibit the transport of Russian energy
through the Ukraine to EU countries.
- The U.S. and the EU will have to provide energy supplies from sources other
than the Russian Federation. This will involve higher costs and Ukraine will have to be subsidized.
- Russia will suffer a loss of export earnings from lower volumes and lower prices for its energy.
- The West will suffer financially from higher energy prices and Russia from its loss of export earnings.
- The administration in the U.S. will deliver rhetoric, but not much else and the United States will
to be ineffective in international politics.
- There will be a return to the Cold War mentality in international politics. Although no one intends
for the situation to
develop into a confrontation betweein U.S. and Russia there is a clear risk that this could happen. The
Cuban Missle crisis showed that such a confrontation almost immediately escalates to the nuclear level.
In the Cuban missile crisis the American bombers were in the air with their nuclear weapons loaded with their
tritium triggers and the alert level was just one level below the level in which the bombers could not be
The alternative to the above is for the Ukraine to sell
the territories of the enclaves of ethnic Russians to the
- The rebellious enclaves probably are of very little value to the Ukraine in terms of such things
as tax collections.
- The Ukrainian government will get financial funds it desperately needs.
out the transfer of the ethnic Russian enclaves on the border of the Ukraine peacefully would save
the Ukraine and its Western supporters the cost of higher priced energy.
payment could be in terms of future deliveries of energy to the Ukraine from the Russian Federation.
- The cost of these deliveries to the Russian
Federation might well be negligible compared to the loss of revenue it would experience under a
militant transfer of the
- The EU and the U.S. might well pay the Ukraine to sell the enclaves to the Russian Federation given
the cost to them of the alternative.
- The peaceful transfer of the enclaves would avoid the return to the cold-war mentality.
The settling of the enclaves with a population of Russian speakers occurred because of the policies of Joseph Stalin. However those unfair
policies cannot now be reversed. During the days when the Ukraine and Russia were tied together politically the
enclaves were not much of a problem. With the Ukraine divorcing itself from Russia they are a problem and one that will not
go away. One way or the other the enclaves of Russian speakers in the Ukraine will be transfered to Russia. That is
inevitable. The only question is whether it can be done peacefully or with Russia utilizing its overwheming
power in terms
of the military and energy.
The big question is the price at which the territories should be transferred. One feasible
solution tg that question is to create some international mediation committee that includes repesentatives
Russian Federation and the Ukraine as well as representatives from outside the dispute. The problem is
not the historical legal rights of the Ukraine to the territories of the enclaves but what would it take for
Ukraine to be satisfied with the transfer. Ukraine should be able to pursue its own destiny with closer
ties to the West, but Russians and Ukrainians, close culturally Slavic siblings, should remain on friendly