Update: Ukraine, Russia – Tension in the region. US concerned

Image:Major Russian gas pipelines to europe Samuel Bailey,
CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

We covered the increasingly highly charged relationship between Ukraine and Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Kremlin last week. Ukraine has damned a viral water source and the region is suffering from lack of irrigation and fresh water.

Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky (the former comedian elected president of Ukraine) spoke on the phone last Friday as US and Nato officials warned of a Russian military build-up near eastern Ukraine. The White House said Biden: “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression”.

Russia is setting the scene by alleging Ukraine is gearing for war.

How can we prevent it?

Here is a suggestion. Work with the nations it passes through – and with its eventual customers to block the development of Nord Stream 2, the Russian-owned gas pipeline so important to the wealth of Russia and its dominance in this region. It’s a tough call.

The gas will supply Europe and there is deep concern that this will put the EU at risk of blackmail by Russia once it becomes over-dependent on this supply. Russia has been known to turn off the tap in political retaliation before. The US worries that this pipeline will undermine Europe’s overall energy policy.

In addition complaints on environmental grounds have been made by the World Wildlife Fund from Animals and members of NATO who see it as a threat to their sovereignty.