Russia and Ukraine: Peace and Conflict

Josephine Bush

Former European Union Member of Parliament Marek Siwiec spoke about the crisis in Ukraine at Colorado State on Friday afternoon.

Siwiec is a citizen and parliament member of Poland, a country formerly part of the Soviet Union that has since become a free nation state. He has served on the Global Leadership Council of CSU since 2001.

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“History is really moving, what is happening in Ukraine we can compare to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the UK empire … we are eyewitness to a certain fight and we all have one question; why do these people fight?” Siweic said.

The real issues, according to Siweic, are that up to a third of Ukraine’s energy comes from Russia and Ukraine is largely dependent on their neighbors to the east.

Siweic answered questions about Ukraine and Russia Friday.

What was it like being part of the EU? 

European Union is not a state. Everything we decide must be negotiated and decided by the major state. The weak partners can be easily dominated. It is about the political impulse. In case of EU it takes time, but you have people behind you. It is democracy. Sometimes it isn’t efficient but it works.

As the audience knows, Ukraine explored nuclear power, why is not happening?

Russia does not follow any international commitment. Ukraine would never be super power without innovation. You cannot make a business with someone you don’t trust. This is the basic case of how Russia doesn’t respect their commitments.

The good thing about the EU is the backing of the people, how can we make Russia pay for the airline incident, most citizens were from the Netherlands?

Decisions take time. It takes a long time to find all the details concerning technology … we can’t prove exactly who it was and how it happened.

We have to empower Ukraine, but where does the power come from? 

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We have a lot of international units. It is quite efficient. The military commanders speak English … Nato can provide the level of security that is required. This is a big challenge, this crisis, but people have to understand if you want to be safe you have to pay for it, sorry, that’s how it works.

Would a neutral Ukraine do better, and is there a case where Russia would allow the Ukraine to be part of the West? 

Russia needs Ukraine for their Empire. They would not respect neutrality. Russia tried to invade and they were stopped. It will be a fight and like I said this is an issue to stay tuned on.

What does the crisis mean for the United States? 

I don’t know. Americans have been decisive in a difficult moment. But the problem is there is no way for USA to make a step back … but America always has a new problem somewhere, the thing is the political action they take. I see a lot of problems, a lack of consistency, President Obama is not the best President, in my point of the view.