US political scientist blames West for Ukraine crisis

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In late 2021, the West ignored Russia’s security concerns, with intentions of including Ukraine into NATO, which led directly to the current war, Mearsheimer wrote…reports Asian Lite News

“The West and especially America, is principally responsible” for the Ukraine crisis, John J. Mearsheimer, a US political scientist, wrote in a recent opinion piece published in The Economist.

American and European policymakers provoked the Ukraine crisis by trying to integrate Ukraine into the West and asserting that Russian President Vladimir Putin bears full responsibility for the crisis, Xinhua news agency reported citing Mearsheimer, a political science professor at the University of Chicago.   “But that story is wrong,” he added.

  In his view, the Ukraine crisis “is the most dangerous international conflict since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.” The West is now increasing aid to Ukraine while imposing economic sanctions on Russia, a step that Putin sees as “akin to a declaration of war.”

Understanding the root causes is essential to finding a way to bring the crisis to an end. The trouble over Ukraine started at NATO’s Bucharest summit in 2008 when George W. Bush’s administration pushed the alliance to announce that Ukraine and Georgia “will become members,” said the article.

In late 2021, the West ignored Russia’s security concerns, with intentions of including Ukraine into NATO, which led directly to the current war, Mearsheimer wrote.

Furthermore, Russian policymakers have said “hardly anything about conquering new territory to recreate the Soviet Union or build a greater Russia,” said the expert, adding that Russian leaders have repeatedly said that they view Ukraine joining NATO as “an existential threat that must be prevented.”

  “As Mr Lavrov noted in January, ‘the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward,'” Mearsheimer said.

UK sanctions Wagner Group

The UK has announced it will be sanctioning the Wagner Group, BBC reported.

The organisation is a group of mercenaries that was first identified in 2014 when it was backing pro-Russian separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Since then, it has been involved in other regions too, including Syria, Mozambique, Sudan, and the Central Asian Republic. The paramilitary group has been described as Vladimir Putin’s private army.

It’s been warned that the group has been tasked with assassinating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, BBC reported.

 UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss described the group as “hired thugs” in her statement on the new sanctions – saying they, alongside oligarchs and businesses, are “complicit in the murder of innocent civilians and it is right they pay the price”.

Officially there are no ties between the Wagner Group and the Russian government – it denies any state involvement with the group, while also maintaining it does not legally exist because private military contractors are illegal in Russia, BBC reported.

 It is believed to be funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a rich businessman with links to Putin. But Prigozhin has always denied any connection with Wagner.

 Announcing the new sanctions UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Putin should be under no illusions – we are united with our allies and will keep tightening the screw on the Russian economy to help ensure he fails in Ukraine. There will be no let-up.”

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