Russia-Ukraine crisis Explained: Ceasefire reached, what’s more on the cards?

Russia-Ukraine crisis Explained: Ceasefire reached, what's more on the cards?
President of Russia/Twitter

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Moscow and the neighbouring Kyiv finally agreed to observe a ceasefire in the east of Ukraine.

The talks in Paris proved fruitful after more than eight hours of negotiations on the hot seat.

Earlier, uncertainty loomed over the conflict-ridden country’s future after Russia began troop build-up close to the border with east of Ukraine.

Reportedly, the Paris talks saw discussions about resolving the separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014.

But the bigger question remains ‘whether Russia wants to signal a thaw.’ So far, this ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine can be seen as a positive step.

Since 2019 this is for the first time that Ukraine and Russia agreed to sign a joint statement along with France and Germany about the ongoing conflict.

The four nations are collectively known as ‘the Normandy Group.’ Moreover, the joint statement commits both sides to ‘an unconditional respect for the ceasefire’; it also mentions of a meeting in two weeks’ time in Berlin.

Western countries have been raising their concerns over the latest flare-up in the situation.

Fearing a potential ground invasion by Russia, NATO allies sent additional troops and military equipment to Ukraine.

On the other hand, Moscow claims its actions are necessary to secure vital security interests. It rather blames NATO for undermining the region’s security.

Russia-Ukraine Conflict explained

Ukraine had been a part of the Russian empire for centuries. Later it became a Soviet Republic dropping its Russian imperial legacy. That’s how tensions grew further between the two neighbours as it (Ukraine) began forging close ties with the West.

Then came a big decision that changed world history forever. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia that eventually led to mass protests and his removal as leader in 2014.

Russia, in turn, responded by annexing ‘Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula’. Pushing the boundaries further, Russia supported a separatist rebellion that broke out in Ukraine’s east.

This is when it became a diplomatic challenge as Ukraine and the West accused Russia of sending its troops and weapons to back these rebels.

However, Moscow denies these allegations saying that the Russians who joined the separatists were volunteers only.

Putin’s government has been quite critical of the US and NATO allies providing Ukraine with weapons and holding joint drills.

One of Russia’s latest demands do not want to see Ukraine in NATO. Other demands include a halt to any NATO drills near Russia’s border.

Moscow also wants NATO to withdraw from Eastern Europe. It is to be noted that Ukraine is not a NATO member, but it wants to join in.

In case, Russia invades Ukraine, the US may block Russia from access to the US dollar.

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