William Taylor, former United States ambassador to Ukraine, visited Montgomery College on Thursday, April 3, to share insight into the current crisis in Ukraine.
Taylor began with a brief history of Ukraine, starting at the Orange Revolution and providing context for the current unrest in the nation.
Taylor offered his thoughts on the United State’s role we needed to play in this conflict. He was a proponent for ongoing and deeper sanctions against Russian until Putin moves out of Crimea.
He admitted, “Some people say that those sanctions are not enough.” However, “we have to try [deeper sanctions first],” Taylor said.
According to Taylor, the Western world needs to “continue to reject Russiaʼs control of Crimea” if it wants Ukraine to get Crimea back. At the time of the lecture, Taylor said such an event is unlikely to occur.
He was quick to point out that with Putinʼs disregard for the rules and regulations of the international arena, there is a real danger to countries like Finland and Estonia which border Russia.
However he assured students should Russia invade a NATO member state such as Estonia, Putin would not be able to sustain a war with NATOʼs military forces, he said.
The best course of action for Ukraine would be to do nothing, Taylor said. In order to avoid becoming a “frozen conflict” like Georgia, it is imperative Ukraine doesn’t make the first move, he said.
“Ukraine has shown commendable restraint,” he said. Ukraine needs to keep it up in the coming days as the situation intensifies, he said. It would be suicide if Ukrainians attempt to fight for their land, he said.