Local Experts Advise No Further Action From US In Ukraine - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Local Experts Advise No Further Action From US In Ukraine

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WMDT 47 NEWS – Unrest in Ukraine has been the center of attention for many word leaders over the past few weeks. With Russia's military in control of Crimea, the question of what further action Western powers should take, if any, is on the minds of many.

WMDT attended a roundtable discussion at Salisbury University on Tuesday to talk with local political science experts on the issue.

"Yes it is far away, but it is of importance to us," says Todd Becker, a former U.S. State Department diplomat.

Experts say the United States' relationship with Russia has been an on-going project for decades, and how the United States handles the unrest in the Ukraine could put it at jeopardy.

"It's so important for the United States to have cooperative relations with Russia," says Len Robinson, chair of the Department of Political Science at Salisbury University. "How the United States responds to the crisis has major implications and potentially really complicates that relationship."

One major risk at stake is the progress the two countries have made limiting chemical weapons in Syria.

"It's important that we show unity in that regard," says Eric Rittinger, an assistant professor of political science at Salisbury University. "Persuading the Iranians that they should give up their nuclear weapons would make the world probably a safer place."

Professor Rittinger believes that right now the sanctions will not amount to much, and the United States is in a good place. Other than just threatening more sanctions, he does not feel the United States should move any further.

"We need to recognize there's very little we can do, it's something that it's happened and it's something that we need to deal with," says Professor Rittinger. "It's a distraction from issues that are more key interests to the United States now."

Experts also mentioned concern over Vladimir Putin's takeover of Crimea. While takeover is reportedly in line with part of Russia's Constitution, which says Russia can intervene in places where Russians are having difficulty, some experts worry he will apply the same constitutional reasoning to other parts of Europe.

"By destabilizing those areas they would in turn destabilize Europe, and that is very much something that we need to be concerned about," says Becker. "Europe is our closest ally militarily and biggest trading partner in the world."

While Becker says this is only a possibility, he does say it is a fact that Russia has violated at least three international agreements.

"If that were allowed to continue that could destabilize the international order that we have," says Becker. "The only way we can work together is if we can agree to live by the rules."

While some critics of the Obama administration are calling the United States response to Putin's aggression "weak" and "feckless," Professor Rittinger believes that military options are completely off the table for the United States. He feels that if they were able to take military action, it would be hypocritical.

"This isn't a return to the cold war this is not the Soviet Union," says Professor Rittinger. "Russia is doing this more out of a position of weakness than strength."

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