Former U.S. Ambassador Speaks at MC on Ukraine Conflict

ukraine-russia-conflict-awareness-mc

(Photo: ModernUkraine.eu)

ukraine-russia-conflict-awareness-mc
(Photo: ModernUkraine.eu)

Former United States Ambassador to the Ukraine, William Taylor, held a conference with Montgomery College students on Monday April 7 in order to raise awareness about the political unrest in Eastern Europe. His lecture addressed the history leading up to the current political strain on the country and its neighbors and how the conflict, if left unchecked will involve the U.S.

The Russian Federation recently invaded Crimea, a strategically significant and oil rich province of the Ukraine. “The international community has united to say that this was an illegal invasion, that the Russians broke all treaties, all understandings, broke all the norms of civilized behavior among nations,” said Taylor.

The United States, along with European nations, have reacted to the invasion by agreeing to place economic sanctions on Russia.

“Some people say that those sanctions are not enough. Some people say that to get the Russians out of Crimea it’s going to take more than just economic sanctions,” said Taylor.

Although the crisis is overseas, Taylor emphasized that Russia’s annexation of the Ukraine poses a significant threat to world peace. He said a possible war would shake the U.S. due to its economic ties to Europe. “If Europe has a civil war in the middle of it, that will affect all of Europe and will affect us.”

International Relations Professor William Primosch agrees that this lecture is important for recognition of the crisis in the Ukraine among students. “These kinds of lectures are a part of what is important for students of [this] generation to become more globally aware,” said Primosch.

Primosch explains that students’ futures will be impacted by what happens overseas. Despite the possible grave implications of this conflict, Primosch said most students aren’t as aware as they should be.

Primosch emphasized the importance of courses MC offers which revolve around international issues and help students see how global developments can impact their lives. “[Students] need to understand more about what are the kind of forces that are shaping the world, that’s really important for Montgomery College students.”