In the wake of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's open letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko and Medvedev's draft law submitted to the Russian State Duma on the use of the Russian Armed Forces abroad, experts have analyzed the situation and arrived at an opinion that the Russian military aggression against Ukraine is highly unlikely so far.

"All of these measures can be regarded as the diplomatic and physiological pressure. I mean this is not any preparations for the aggression. Rather, this is political pressure ahead of the presidential elections on the incumbent Ukrainian president, first and foremost," said Mykhailo Samus, the deputy director of the Center for Studies of Army, Conversion and Disarmament.

He said the behavior of Russia concerning Ukraine will become more aggressive closer to 2017, the year when the Russian Black Sea Fleet will have to withdraw from its bases in Crimea.

In the opinion of the expert, a military conflict between Ukraine and Russia is possible if the governments of the two countries fail to achieve stabilization of the relations.

In the opinion of Mykola Sinhurovskyi, the director of military programs of the Alexander Razumkov center for economic and political studies, the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia is possible theoretically. However, the Russian Armed Forces are technically unprepared for this development of the situation.

"In the event of a military conflict in Ukraine, Russia will need much more resources (than in Georgia) and it does not have such resources today," he said.

He expects Russia to continue fomenting tension with the current Ukrainian government.

Yevhen Shelest, the head of the Center for military policy and security, said in his turn that the threat of the military conflict between the two states is growing.

He believes Ukraine should use not only political methods to prevent the conflict with Russia and to stabilize the bilateral relations, but also to enhance its defensive capacities.

Modernization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces could prevent from Russia's radical steps, he said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on August 11 registered at the Russian State Duma [the lower chamber of the Russian parliament] a draft law on the order of use of the Russian Armed Forces abroad.

According to the draft law, grounds for the use of the Russian Armed Forces abroad can be attacks on Russian troops deployed abroad and protection of Russian citizens abroad.

Prior to this, President Dmitry Medvedev in his letter to President Viktor Yuschenko said he has suspended the sending of Russian ambassador to Ukraine.

He also accused Yuschenko of worsening the Ukrainian-Russian relations during the presidency of Viktor Yuschenko.
Source: Kyiv Post

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