US shouldn’t act alone in Crimea

By: Steven Goodman – Columnist, Sophomore

Until a few weeks ago, Crimea was more than likely a place very few people had heard about. Now, it’s holding the entire world’s attention.

All sorts of discussions about ethics and international law have risen now that Russian President Vladimir Putin has swiftly, if not defiantly, signed paperwork to effectively annex Crimea from Ukraine.

There are many countries, including the United States and European Union, who have simply stated that Putin’s actions are illegal under the guide of international law, which I completely agree with.

What I don’t agree with, is the way the U.S. is getting involved with this complex, messy issue.

What started out as the U.S. simply condemning the actions of Russia has snowballed into an avalanche of increasingly tight sanctions on this insolent country spanning from western Europe to the far reaches of East Asia.

Personally, I don’t like the fact that the U.S. is trying to act unilaterally in this situation. Once again, the U.S. is trying to shoulder the burdens of the world and take the problem with Crimea’s annexation into its own hands.

It’s one thing to call out Russia and make weak statements condemning their actions, but since this is not going to have an immediate, direct impact on our country, I say stay out of it, Obama administration.

Fortunately, we’re not alone in this. The European Union has also stepped up to impose sanctions on Russia’s financial district, senior officials and the infamous oligarchs close to Putin’s inner circle.

I can guarantee that absorbing Crimea back into Russia, if Putin’s move withholds the test of time, will have an impact on the whole world. What that is, however, remains to be seen and shouldn’t compel the Obama adminstration to react unilaterally.

At the moment, this annexation by Putin is not directly affecting us as a country, so I would much rather wait and see if this problem will wash up on our shores from Ukraine.

According to the U.S. Department of State, what we import from Ukraine includes iron, steel, oil, agricultural products and inorganic chemicals. These are not goods found only in Ukraine and thus the Crimea issue should not have a major economic effect on the U.S. either.

If the U.S. believes something should be done about this issue, I would much rather go through the United Nations than take matters into our own hands. The United Nations is somewhat known to insure cooler heads prevail.

Since the E.U. is placing sanctions on Russia as well, the U.N. would definitely back reversing Crimea’s annexation.

Plus, since annexing Crimea is breaking international law, wouldn’t it be better to go through the organization that created the very law prohibiting unwarranted seizure of sovereign territory?