FGCU professor explains repercussions of US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Russian President Vladimir Putin reacts during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron after their talks in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, Pool, File)

The crisis in eastern Europe is escalating. On Tuesday, President Biden announced new sanctions against Russia and warned their invasion into Ukraine has begun.

Russian forces continue their push into Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of separatists in two eastern provinces in Ukraine.

Russia’s actions prompted a response from the United States on Tuesday. “He’s setting up a rationale to take more territory by force,” said President Biden in an address from the White House.

That response included economic sanctions against Russia targeting banks, sovereign debt, and the country’s elite.

FGCU Political Science Professor Peter Bergerson says these sanctions aim to limit Russian advancement. “Russia is a very poor country and devoting this much of their economic resources to the military really becomes an internal debate and question. Can they continue doing this?” Bergerson said.

Biden said this is the beginning of the Russian invasion. Bergerson said this is a major test of the president’s diplomatic skills. “He’s going to be constrained by our own domestic political environment. Ukraine wouldn’t be a high priority to send Americans into battle,” said Bergerson.

Bergerson believes Americans are not interested in going to war in the region and a decision to do so would be monumental. “It would be I think equal to President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb with Japan. In other words, to have an all-out war with the Russians would be catastrophic.”

The only way Bergerson sees the United States considering military involvement is if Russia invades a NATO-allied country. He believes Putin’s goal is to restore the Soviet Union and make Russia one of the major world powers.

Senator Marco Rubio warned Americans on Tuesday about the effects he believes we could soon feel at home. “Russia and this disruption it’s going to create is going to increase oil prices and we’re going to feel it at the pump here in America, and that, by the way, will increase the prices on everything because everything we buy and sell is transported by something that’s burning gas an diesel,” said Rubio.

Rubio suggested the U.S. return to our own domestic energy production as a matter of national security.

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