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Russia sowing the "seeds of division and instability in Europe" | UK Parliament - July 2021 |

The Defence Committee report states that Russia's ongoing military aggression and subversive behaviour towards neighbouring countries has led to deep instability in Europe. 

The international community has reacted quickly and united behind a clear message to Russia that the world is watching and there will be consequences for illegal military action. However, the UK and NATO must decide what their red lines are, and the appropriate action which could be taken, if Russia crosses a red line.

The UK, with the US, should insist Russia stands by the international agreements it has signed up to and its commitment to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Russia's motivations

The report finds that Russia is using its military for coercive diplomacy, to pressure the Ukrainian Government to make concessions in the political settlements for the Donbas and to test Western allies' resolve to come to Ukraine's aid.

It is unclear as to what Russia's true motivations are. Similarly ambiguous manoeuvres several years ago preceded the invasion of Ukraine, however, the report finds that a full-scale invasion into Eastern Ukraine is unlikely. The report concludes that there are several probable political motives for escalating tensions, driven by regional insecurities and President Putin's willingness to engage in power politics.

UK and International Response

Lessons have been learnt from the Georgia crisis in 2008 and the Ukraine crisis in 2014, primarily that the international response must be decisive and unanimous in the face of Russian aggression.

The UK should call on Russia to honour its commitments under the Vienna Document and fully co-operate in OSCE meetings to support confidence and security-building measures and de-escalate conflict.

The UK should, with its Allies, use the OSCE mechanisms in the Helsinki Final Act to hold Russia to account, and if necessary, bring the dispute before the OSCE's Court of Conciliation and Arbitration.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 20th, 2022 at 11:12:32 PM EST

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