Saturday, June 22, 2024 | 06:12 WIB

The beauty of a wary foreign policy

Jakarta, IO – The pursuit of its vital interests has led the Republic of Indonesia down curious trails, as a new nation, and one surrounded by aggressive, powerful neighbors. 

The hot issue of what has become known as “The Narrative” today is the Russian reprisal attack on Ukraine, following the refusal of the government of that country to abide by the terms of the Maidan Agreement of 2014, and its subsequent support for an ongoing civil war in the regions bordering the Russian Federation. 

It is a complex matter. 

The fundamental question is whether Ukraine, one of the largest countries in Eurasia and a major exporter of grain to the world, should ally itself more closely with the European Union, and, by extension, NATO, remain a neutral “buffer zone” between Europe and Russia, or accept closer economic, social and eventually military links with its large neighbor to the East – bearing in mind that Ukraine was an integral part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) for nearly a hundred years. 

In the years following the Maidan protests, and the installation of a cross-dressing stand-up comedian as “President” of Ukraine, some 14,000 residents of Donbas, the region bordering Russia, lost their lives in an ongoing civil war. This was ignored by the West but not by Russia. 

Read: The effect of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis on the Korean Peninsula situation

The Guardian, writing before the current onslaught of anti-Russian hysteria, examined the “connections” of the noble President Zelensky, now compared to Winston Churchill by the CIA-backed western media: ‘The Maltex revelation is embarrassing for Zelensky given his pledge to crack down on those sending wealth overseas. Last month, Ukraine’s parliament passed an anti-oligarch bill. The vote took place a day after unknown assassins tried to kill Sheffir. A gunman had opened fire on his car outside Kyiv. He was unharmed, but his driver was wounded. The attempt may have been motivated by opposition to the bill. 

‘In a recent opinion piece for the Atlantic Council, Zelensky said his ultimate goal as president was to destroy “the traditional oligarchic order” and to replace it with a “fairer system”. Critics, however, say Zelensky has failed to reform the state and embraced the same shadowy ways as his predecessors. EU auditors warned last month that “grand corruption and state capture” remained widespread in Ukraine.