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West-Russia tensions grow over Ukraine: Analysis Updated: 2022-01-21 17:08:07 KST

Tensions are growing between the West and Russia over Ukraine as Washington insists Moscow is making preparations to invade Ukraine whereas Russia denies such claims.
It has been reported that Russia has deployed some 100-thousand troops near the border with Ukraine.
For a deeper analysis, we have Mason Richey, Associate Professor of International Relations at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
Professor Richey, welcome.

How important is Ukraine to Russia in terms of strategic importance?

The U.S. is warning that it will impose heavier economic sanctions on Russia while the UK, Canada and other Western countries are sending weapons and training personnel to Ukraine.
Should the world be concerned of a potential armed conflict between the West and Russia?

Russia rather blames the West and is worried over Ukraine possibly joining NATO.
It says it has no military plans to attack anyone calling the U.S.' claim "hysteria."
What do you say on this?

They are seeking diplomatic solutions over the issue.
Chief diplomats of the U.S. and Russia, Antony Blinken and Sergey Lavrov, are going to meet on Friday in Geneva.
Do you think it will help ease tensions?

There has been conflict between the West and Russia back in 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
It seems like tensions between the West and Russia will not end anytime soon?

Professor Mason Richey from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Many thanks for your insights.
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