NATO Meets Over Ukraine

Sep 1, 2014 By Deepa Gopal
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The situation in Ukraine is escalating. We had written earlier about the civil war in Ukraine, and how Russia annexed Crimea, a territory in Ukraine.

Then on July 17, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 disappeared from the skies over eastern Ukraine, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It had been shot down by rebels, using a surface-to-air missile. Click here for an article this summer by one of our Young Editors. 

Now, it appears that Russia is setting its sights on eastern Ukraine. 

Trouble In Eastern Ukraine

The rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine favor being part of Russia and have launched attacks in two regions - Donetsk and Luhansk. Armed with Russian-made tanks and weapons, they have captured the airport and are claiming independence from Ukraine.

Talks between the Ukrainian Government, the rebels and Russian officials have broken down. Meanwhile, leaders of the two countries have been trading words. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is blaming Russia for directly arming the rebels. Satellite images show hundreds of Russian soldiers crossing into eastern Ukraine.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin's recent remark that he can take over Ukraine's capital Kiev in two weeks has angered both Ukraine and world leaders. Putin is warning the world to not come after Russia which is armed with nuclear weapons.

Sanctions On Russia

Russia is already under sanctions from the West. 

Sanctions are actions taken by countries against other nations to stop them from violating international rules. These actions could be diplomatic - that could involve reduction of diplomatic ties such as embassies; economic - such as ban on trade, sale of arms etc; military - that could involve military intervention; or sport sanctions which would prevent one country's people or teams from competing in international events.

So far, restrictions have been imposed on Russian banks and businesses, and several Russian bankers and top officials are banned from traveling to EU (European Union) countries and the U.S. Russia has, in turn, refused to import European and American agricultural and meat products. 

Members of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) are meeting in Wales, England this week to discuss how to deal with this latest act of aggression. NATO was established in 1949 to provide military support around the world, and consists of European nations, Canada and the United States.

The meeting of NATO leaders in Wales may result in further sanctions on Russia. NATO leaders are also planning to create a 'high readiness force' that can send troops by land, sea or air at short notice. Will Russia heed the world's warnings? It remains to be seen.