BOISE -- Faculty in the political science department at Boise State University are watching the situation in Ukraine very closely.

Professor Michael Allen says current tension between Russia and Ukraine is helping spark debate in his Intro to International Relations class.

There's quite a bit of concern about the fate of Ukraine as a whole, said Allen.

He told KTVB he requires students to stay up-to-date on current events and that helps them understand theories and topics in the classroom.

For example, the history of power relations between the two countries.

The tension between Ukraine and Russia is very old and historical and especially over the Crimean Peninsula there is a lot of power politics and greater regional and international issues for Russia really at stake, added Allen.

Over the last few weeks, the situation in Ukraine has become a talking point in lectures.

War is a way in which states relate to each other. It's significant, it costs lives, it costs resources and it's potentially very devastating. Why we have war in the first place is a fundamental question of international relations. Can we avoid war is another important question as well, he said.

Allen says democracy is also at the center of the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the United States is invested in the outcome.

Most Ukrainians want democracy within their country, and most Americans want democracy for other countries, and so we tend to want to support people who want democracy, and this is a serious potential threat to it, said Allen.

He added that it's unlikely that the United States military will get involved, but the world is watching.

There's of course economic issues that are going to be a result of what happens in Ukraine as well. There's going to be economic repercussions, said Allen.

As the situation in Ukraine plays out, Allen says it will continue to be a topic of discussion in his classes.