On January 26, 2022, Memorial University Professor and International Relations expert Lucian Ashworth shared his thoughts on the Russia-Ukraine conflict on NTV Evening News. Below is the transcript:
Toni-Marie Wiseman: Even though it’s on the other side of the world, there is a lot of attention being paid here to what’s happening in Ukraine. Tensions there are high; weapons and soldiers are marshalling at the border in the face of a possible invasion by Russia. NTV’s David Salter spoke with a local expert who’s watching the tensions rise.
David Salter: The Russian troops are training for conflict too close for comfort at the Ukrainian border, waiting for Vladimir Putin to order an invasion.
Lucian Ashworth: There’s a lot of things being threatened here on the ground but whether they will actually end up in an actual full-scale invasion is really a whole different question.
Salter: Russia calls the troop build-up a defensive measure against NATA. Putin wants Western powers to back off or else. The U.S. President is facing pressure to deal with the threat. Joe Biden says an invasion by Russia would change the world, but Lucian Ashworth, a Political Scientist at MUN, doesn’t think a full scale invasion will happen.
Ashworth: A lot of military experts are saying that they don’t actually think Russia is at the moment capable of launching an invasion into Ukraine and that the most likely would be kind of pinprick attacks and things like this. The other thing is that there’s a question about whether there is a grand plan with the Russian government or whether think is kind of ad hoc opportunism.
Salter: The political and military chess game is playing out on the other side of the world, but Ashworth says the ripple effect of political instability in the region will reach our shores.
Ashworth: We’re in a deeply globalized world; what happens in Ukraine is going to affect gas and oil supplies, it’s going to affect the economy of Europe and the European Union, which directly affects the Canadian economy. It’s also going to directly affect the people who have friends and family in the region as well.
Salter: Ashworth is counting on cooler heads prevailing, but he admits it’s a potential powder keg waiting to explode.
Ashworth: There’s always the possibility for an accident, there’s always a possibility for things to go in directions that we don’t want them to go, and I think that’s what we have to be worried about.
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.