Crimean crisis: Russia's muscle-flexing isn't without a cause

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The Crimean crisis is complicated for it just doesn't decide a winner and loser. It will be a oversimplified conclusion to say that with Russia's aggressive posturing on Crimea, the Cold War will be back between Moscow and Washington. The implications of the Crimean crisis are more than that. It is also set to impact the European Union, the NATO and the energy politics of the world.

Russia's assertion is not without a reason

The Crimean crisis is bound to increase Washington's headache in the Eurasian region. With China asserting itself in East Asia and the South China Sea region and Russia inching towards Ukraine and Crimea, Washington will certainly have sleepless nights. However, having said that, the USA have also played its part in fuelling suspicion in Moscow's minds by taking unilateral action in various countries of Asia and Africa in the last one decade.

The West's unilateral actions over the decade has made Russia apprehensive

If Russian President Vladimir Putin is raising a voice of aggressive nationalism, the West can not really ignore that it has contributed to this posturing in some way. Russia certainly is not the former Soviet Union and has its challenges, economic and demographic, but even then Moscow's nationalistic assertion was key to ensure that its neighbourhood remains isolated from the West's influnce.

The EU's position

The EU is not in a good position at this hour. Differences among its members and lack of a clear foreign policy priority have been an obstacle which the EU is struggling to deal with at the time of the Crimean crisis.

The USA's problem

The past examples of Kosovo breaking out from Serbia with the West's help and the West's failure to respond strongly to the Georgian crisis of 2008 will make the US a bit underconfident this time. At the same time, the Crimean crisis will also underscore its role in European security. Washington will know that a confrontation with Moscow could see consequences in Iran, Syria and United Nations.

The Obama Adminstration, as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has advised, should back Ukraine in financial and technical terms and try to reduce Europe's dependence on Russia for oil and gas. It is indeed ironical that a country, which has historically depended on power politics, has been advised to work on softer power to corner its enemy.

Crimean crisis isn't just a regional problem. Its ramifications could be big provided the big powers fail to find a solution. Can Barrack Obama meet the expectations this time?

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