Sanctions, Round Two
Still not deterring Putin.
Perhaps realizing that his first round of sanctions against Russia resulted only in laughter and mockery, Barack Obama issued another round on Thursday. The U.S. added 20 more prominent Russians to its list, and Reuters reports that it hurt a little: “Russian shares fell sharply on Friday as investors took fright at tougher than expected U.S. sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle over Moscow’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.” Meanwhile, Ukraine signed a political association agreement on Friday, finalizing the same deal that Viktor Yanukovych rejected in November, leading to his ouster last month. So far, however, nothing has been serious enough to truly deter Putin, who sees Obama’s and the West’s approach for what it is – weak. Recall if you will, Barack Obama’s assertion on the emerging Cold War chess competition with Russia four weeks ago: “I don’t think this is a competition between the United States and Russia … some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia.” Clearly, Putin has Obama in check.
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