Friday, March 21, 2014

The Current Shape Of The New Cold War

Russia responded to the events in Kiev by annexing Crimea which had a loose relationship with the government in Kiev.  The US responded to the annexation by announcing sanctions described in this article which are directed at oligarchs and politicians associated with Putin.  Officials in Europe, expressed displeasure with the annexation but they have not announced strong sanctions against Russia.  They have, however, signed an agreement with the Ukraine government that strengthens the bonds between Ukraine and many nations in Western Europe.

The actions taken by Putin have increased his popularity in Russia, and it may have helped him in his efforts to create a more united Russia. He has announced that he has no further interest extending his ventures into Eastern Ukraine.  The European agreement with the new government in Kiev presents a new problem for him.  Can he allow Ukraine to move into the Western European orbit?

The current sanctions announced by the US will create a nuisance for Putin and his major supporters, but they were not enough to stop them from annexing Crimea.  They may have a more effect on politics in the US which require the government to demonstrate a show of force.

It is clear that the economic  integration between Russia and Western Europe has suffered a setback.  What is not clear is how the integration between Europe and the government in Kiev will progress. 

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