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Right Hooks

Weak Sanctions Against Russia

Putin & Co. laugh it off.

Mar. 18, 2014

Barack Obama ordered the first round of sanctions Monday against Vladimir Putin’s inner circle in response to the weekend’s referendum in Crimea – just as Putin recognized Crimea’s independence and began steps to annex it. “We are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine,” Obama said in a statement. “We’re making it clear that there are consequences for their actions.” More will come, too, he said, if Russia doesn’t back down. “Further provocations will achieve nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world.” Unfortunately, the pitifully weak sanctions had the opposite of the desired effect: Moscow’s stock exchange rose 3.7% as Putin’s men laughed at Obama. As Mitt Romney writes, “that’s the price of failed leadership.”

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