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One of the most important weeks in Europe in more than 30 years, says national security researcher
Reporters looking for insight into the military threat of Russia and the possible invasion of Ukraine, please see comments from Syracuse University associate professor Michael John Williams. Williams teaches courses at Syracuse University on great power conflict, transatlantic relations, and international security. His research focuses on Europe and Russia and has published extensively about NATO, war, and technology.
- “As the Ukraine saga continues to unfold, in what may well be one of the most consequential weeks for Europe in three decades, many questions remain unanswered,” said Williams “It is unclear whether Putin intends to invade, or if he is leveraging military forces to press for diplomatic talks to lead to the changes in the European order he desires.”
- “His initial proposals to NATO were non-starters for the Alliance. There is no way that the US or NATO will officially back down on NATO’s open-door policy and the possibility of Ukraine one day becoming a member,” said Williams. “But the allies also know that there is no chance of Ukraine joining NATO whilst conflict in the Donbass festers, not to mention that Ukraine needs to make a lot of domestic progress before membership is possible.”
- ‘Regardless, Putin wants something in writing which he cannot have. This leaves Europe, the US, and Russia searching for a compromise position on issues related to missile placement, military exercises, and perhaps nonproliferation treaties – but whether this is enough to satisfy the Kremlin is unknown. The extent of troop redeployments in Russia, including from the eastern-most parts of the country to Ukraine’s border, indicates serious preparation for military advances,” said Williams. “Putin could probably have pressured NATO without such a drastic build-up, which is why military analysts are increasingly worried that these moves portend a full-on invasion. But, to invade Ukraine in such a manner would result in Russian ostracization, steep economic sanctions, and perhaps serious military escalation. The more likely outcome is Russian meddling via hybrid war, but the only man who knows how this will play out is Russian President Putin.”
Williams is currently completing a textbook on international security for Cambridge University Press and preparing for another project examining the concept of the citizen soldier. He is also the co-editor of International Politics. His full bio is here: http://www.mjwilliams.com/
To schedule an interview, please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of media relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-496-0551.