EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As tensions grow in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Eyewitness News wants to break down what you need to know about the situation in eastern Europe.

Eyewitness News spoke with Dr. Andreea Maierean from Wilkes University about the crisis and these economic sanctions, which she says might not be the answer.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia goes back decades. Present-day Russia sits on Ukraine’s border just moments away from a possible invasion as president Joe Biden announces new sanctions against Russia.

“Sadly these sanctions will impact Russian people who are already poor and struggling,” said Dr. Andreea Maierean, Wilkes University,

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wilkes University, Dr. Andreea Maierean is from Romania. She says its possible sanctions will make Russians more motivated to fight in a war.

“The more they feel attacked the more they feel legitimized to fight back,” explained Dr. Maierean.

Dr. Maierean has been teaching at Wilkes University since 2014. She sat down with Eyewitness News Tuesday and is worried about her family in eastern Europe.

“People are however very worried because of the geographical proximity because Russia is right there and as my grandmother always used to say they will never move; they will always be there this big neighbor that might always cause trouble,” Dr. Maierean said.

The big question for Russia is why now? Dr. Maierean says an energy war is one reason.

“With Putin’s obsession that Russia should dominate and should control Europe through the pipelines through natural gas and oil,” said Dr. Maierean.

Another to stay relevant.

“The Cold War ended in 1989. The Soviet Union was defeated and then the Soviet Union disappeared from the political map in 1991, and Putin never made peace with that,” Dr. Maierean explained.

As diplomatic efforts continue this week in Paris there are many scenarios of how this could play out. From renegotiating a 2014 peace treaty to war.

“If that happens then the U.S. is involved, western Europe and things will end up bad for everyone,” said Dr. Maierean.

With such an intense history between Russia and Ukraine, Dr. Maierean says it’s ultimately up to Ukrainians to decide their future.