Further incursions into Ukraine will result in Troops being moved to and closer to the front line countries. Again the trip wire of the Cold War begins again.
Blaming Obama- well BS to that- The US and the EU were not going to War
Did the EU screw the pooch on the Ukraine- Yes- Should have been quick off the mark to bring Ukraine into the EU. They spent well over 320 B Euro on Greece. A basket case
Ukraine would have cost much less.
Impacts on Russia – well they will play out over the long term
Sanctions on their economy will take a toll. As the EU lessens their dependence on Russian Oil. & Gas that impact will only increase. Russia will lose a critical market
The Missile shield will go ahead.
The former Republics all took note when and why Russia invaded the Crimea.
They all have substantial numbers of ethnic Russian in their respective countries.
Worries over the fate of those natural gas supplies are certainly understandable. Russia has shown in the past twenty years how eager it is to use energy exports as a weapon, cutting off gas supplies at one time or another more than 40 times. Russian neighbors such as Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, and Azerbaijan have all faced threats of Russian energy cutoffs as they flirted with pro-European policies in the past few years. Lithuania's prime minister accused Russia of waging "economic war" last September after Moscow threatened gas supplies and interfered with cross-border trade, apparently to punish the Baltic country for seeking closer ties with other EU countries.
Still, Russia would almost certainly lose more in an energy war with Europe than it would gain. Fundamentally, energy trade between Russia and Europe is a two-way street. As much as European policymakers fret about dependence on Russian gas, Gazprom frets about dependence on the European market, which accounts for fully three-quarters of its export sales. More broadly, Moscow relies on oil and gas exports for one half of its federal budget. That makes a prolonged shut off of gas exports to Ukraine and the rest of Europe a dangerous proposition for Russian
The U.S. energy boom, which turned the United States from prospective natural gas importer to hopeful natural gas exporter, has also freed up LNG volumes that have landed in Western Europe. Some lawmakers in the United States want to go even further and are pressing for the Obama administration to use the country's natural gas bounty to bolster allies overseas.
Germany is the key to any sanctions -
U.S. Increasingly Isolated On Russia Sanctions
Henry Kissinger: To settle the Ukraine crisis, start at the end - The Washington Post
1. Ukraine should have the right to choose freely its economic and political associations, including with Europe.
2. Ukraine should not join NATO, a position I took seven years ago, when it last came up.
3. Ukraine should be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people. Wise Ukrainian leaders would then opt for a policy of reconciliation between the various parts of their country. Internationally, they should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia.
4. It is incompatible with the rules of the existing world order for Russia to annex Crimea. But it should be possible to put Crimea’s relationship to Ukraine on a less fraught basis. To that end, Russia would recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea. Ukraine should reinforce Crimea’s autonomy in elections held in the presence of international observers. The process would include removing any ambiguities about the status of the Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol.
These are principles, not prescriptions. People familiar with the region will know that not all of them will be palatable to all parties. The test is not absolute satisfaction but balanced dissatisfaction. If some solution based on these or comparable elements is not achieved, the drift toward confrontation will accelerate. The time for that will come soon enough.
Vladimir Putin ‘Likes to Lie,’ Says Mikheil Saakashvili - TIME
Now the game starts to expand back to Cold War standards.
Despite public assurances by Western officials, concern is growing that the escalating animosity between the United States and Russia over the Ukraine crisis could have a corrosive effect on the nuclear talks with Iran.
Even before the Obama administration expanded the scope of sanctions on Thursday over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, the Russians had sent signals that their retaliatory tools might include an altered position regarding the Iran talks, in which Russia and the United States are colleagues in the six-nation group negotiating with the Iranians.
U.S. warns Russia against threatening Ukraine navy - World - CBC News
America Can’t Fix Europe’s Russian Energy Problem - TIME
e reasons why:
LNG is, and remains, a very localized market. The first LNG export port to clear the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hurdle is Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass port, on the Sabine Pass River on the border between Texas and Louisiana. But it won’t come online until late 2015 at the very earliest—possibly even 2016. The next three ports on the wait list haven’t even been green lighted.
The U.S. isn’t producing a lot of shale oil and gas yet, anyway. While the U.S. energy department is predicting that shale oil production will climb to about 10 million barrels per day by 2017, right now, it’s about 3 million bpd. Given that America itself consumes over 90 million bpd of fossil fuel, it’s not as if we are about to become a major energy exporter, even as our own production rises.
We need cheap energy at home if we are going to fuel the manufacturing renaissance. We’ve heard a lot about the growth of manufacturing in America over the last few years. But a big part of that story is easier access to cheap shale oil and gas here at home. American business wants to build pipelines to take Western shale oil and gas to Rust Belt factories to improve competitiveness. If we start to see much of it going to Europe, we may have a political and/or trade fight on our hands.
The bottom line: American can’t save Europe when it comes to energy. The Continent needs to wean itself off Russian gas, no question.
Obama's Not Carter -- He's Eisenhower
n Nov. 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest after Hungarian authorities announced that they would withdraw from the Warsaw Pact. A last, desperate teletype message from Hungarian insurgents read, "They just brought us a rumor that the American troops will be here within one or two hours.… We are well and fighting." Troops were not on the way. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who had vowed to roll back Soviet control of Eastern Europe, did nothing, and the Hungarian uprising was crushed. Leaders of both U.S. parties accused Eisenhower of kowtowing to the Soviets. Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic candidate for president, alleged that the incumbent had "brought the coalition of the free nations to a point where even its survival has been threatened."
Russia has invaded a border nation once again, and once again the American president stands accused of vacillation. Barack Obama is not the former supreme commander of Allied forces, so the darts fired his way penetrate much deeper than they did into Eisenhower, who coasted to re-election. Obama's cautious response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of the Ukrainian region of Crimea has confirmed his growing reputation as a weak-willed figure whose faltering leadership has sent a message of impunity to the world's bullies. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham recently tweeted that Obama's failure to attack the Libyans who killed U.S. diplomat Chris Stevens in 2012 invited "this type of aggression." Graham has a partisan ax to grind, but much of the commentariat has followed suit. My colleague David Rothkopf, straining for terms of abuse sufficient to the moment, has written that comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter, the gold standard for presidential weakness, may be "unfair to Carter."
There is an implicit analogy here to the world of human relations. Since the only language a bully understands is intimidation, he can be deterred only if he knows in advance that he'll pay an intolerable price for his behavior: beat up my little brother and you'll answer to me. In the realm of foreign relations, this logic dictates Donald Rumsfeld's famous truism, "Weakness is provocative." Rumsfeld believed that the U.S. invasion of Iraq would serve as a demonstration project for bullies all over the Middle East, who would now think twice before testing American resolve. That experience taught many people, though not the former defense secretary, that bellicosity can be even more provocative than weakness.
The impulse to chestiness is hard to resist, whether in life or in foreign affairs. There is something glamorous and enviable about the freedom of action a bully enjoys. He swaggers, while lesser souls cower. We yearn to emulate that freedom without indulging in that cruelty -- thus our Walter Mitty fantasies. Bullying behavior seems even more intolerable when, like the United States, you're the most powerful kid on the playground. We thrill at the big brother who balls up his fist in the name of justice. Ronald Reagan got vastly more credit with the American people for crying, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" than his successor George H.W. Bush did for helping Mikhail Gorbachev end the Soviet empire peacefully. But the world owes Bush a much greater debt of gratitude.
Eisenhower understood that bullies often cannot be deterred without threatening a response that would be catastrophic for one and all. This is especially the case when the aggressor cares much more about the victim than we do. Nikita Khrushchev could not afford to lose Hungary, just as Putin believes that he cannot afford to lose Crimea to a Western-oriented Ukrainian government. That's no secret. Crimea was historically Russian, serves as the home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, and satisfies Moscow's age-old drive for warm-water ports. A thug like Putin responds to a threat of this magnitude the only way he knows how -- with brute force. The idea that a more resolute American president would have made Putin stay his hand seems fanciful, on the order of "Who lost China?" or all the other places weak-willed American leaders are said to have lost to the communists. Today's version is "Who lost Benghazi?" -- or Syria.
Eisenhower felt confident that, in the end, the Soviets would not dance on the grave of the West, but that it would turn out the other way around. I suspect that Obama thinks about Putin in much the same way. Those who sneer at Obama now laud Putin as a strategic mastermind, playing Risk, as FP contributing editor Will Inboden puts it, while Obama plays Candy Land. Yet Putin has turned Russia into Saudi Arabia with nukes, a petrostate incapable of exporting anything that doesn't come out of the ground. He's playing with a switchblade while the rest of the world learns how to operate a laser.
As a foreign-policy president, Obama deserves to be compared to Eisenhower at least as much as he does to Carter. Like Obama, Eisenhower inherited a vast military budget that he viewed as an unsustainable burden on the national economy. He tried, not always successfully, to do more, or as much, with less. (In Maximalist, Stephen Sestanovich describes both as "retrenchment" presidents.) Obama's great goal in foreign policy is to wind down inherited conflicts -- including the war on terror, as I wrote last week -- in order to give his activist domestic agenda a fighting chance.
The besetting flaw of Obama's foreign policy is not that it's irresolute but rather that it has become so single-mindedly, unimaginatively subtractive. Obama entered office with great hopes of reorganizing the world order around global issues like nuclear nonproliferation and climate change. But he learned over time that he could not wish away the intractable conflicts he had inherited and that the American people had little appetite for his transformative vision, and so his enthusiasm sagged and his horizons contracted. He chose instead to make sure that America wasn't singed by the world's conflagrations -- above all in Syria, where he seems quite content to make empathic gestures in the face of the worst atrocities in a generation.
That's bad enough, of course. The distance between the hopes Obama once raised and the comfort zone he has chosen to occupy is far greater than was the gap between Eisenhower's rhetorical anti-communism and his pragmatic accommodations. Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress, which functions as the White House's think tank, recently commented that Obama has stopped telling Americans why the world matters. He may have concluded that he can't win the argument.
My point, then, is not that Obama's detractors don't realize what a fine job he's doing, but that his failures are not failures of nerve. Had he followed a more confrontational policy toward Russia from the outset, as conservative critics wish he had, he might not have gained the cooperation he got on arms control, Afghanistan, and Iran -- and he would have played into Putin's fantasy of a battle of equals between the two countries, which in turn would have helped him gin up even more vociferous Russian nationalism in the face of unacceptable threats like the incorporation of Ukraine into Europe. I dearly wish that Obama had agreed two years ago to train, fund, and equip the Syrian rebels, and I believe his failure to intervene there will be a lasting stain on his presidency. But I wish he had done so to rescue the Syrian people from a monster, not to create a demonstration project for Putin.
Obama will now do what he can to isolate Russia through some combination of sanctions and the cancellation of events like the G-8 meeting scheduled for Sochi in June. None of that will have much of an effect so long as Putin's cult of personality continues to transfix ordinary Russian citizens; isolation will probably only strengthen his standing. A new era of East-West confrontation may loom, though if so it would be a much more lopsided one in which Russia has neither allies nor a legitimating ideology. Even more than the last time around, therefore, the West can afford to be steady and patient, secure in the knowledge that the future lies with the liberal democracies.
Putin Brings Real-World Experience to the Graduate School Seminar Crowd
Perhaps the EU should get less blame for this state of affairs than the United States does because Europe has had to rely on the U.S. to do the leading and the heaviest lifting for a long time now. When the United States doesn't, Europe tends to bow to pressures with France's incursion into Mali being a notable and laudable example.
Ukraine's Implications for Asia
Russia is a declining power with horrific social indicators kept afloat by oil and gas revenue. Its "allies" -- Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia -- do not form the coalition of the future. China has much more going for it. But the hype around its rise has inflated Beijing's sense of itself, while diminishing Western and Japanese confidence. Yet the big democracies have far more internal political resilience than China's regime, whose greatest fear is of its own people.
Third, globalization creates acute economic vulnerabilities for authoritarian states. The Russian central bank itself has suggested that two-thirds of the $56 billion net capital outflow from Russia in 2012 may have derived from illegal activities.
Seventh, there is no substitute for American leadership -- in its absence, competitors will move to fill the vacuum.
Why punishment toward Russia’s ‘Putin Doctrine’ has only just begun | Financial Post
But elsewhere the punishment toward Russia is only beginning. There is a Putin Doctrine that Russia has a right to invade any sovereign nation that threatens its Russian minority’s interests. This upset Europe and Washington and sent chills down the spines of former Soviet republics and satellites because most have large Russian minorities.
Putin’s pronouncements will sabotage his ambitions in the long run. Countries deliberating whether to join NATO or the missile shield will no longer hesitate to join. Others on the fence about getting into the EU will veer to the west.
Putin’s so-called allies are upset, including China, Kazakhstan and Byelorus, Russian oligarchs and even the Russian public.
Harper targets Russian banks in new sanctions over Crimean crisis - The Globe and Mail
U.S. sanctions on Russia begin to bite - Mar. 21, 2014
Moscow's MICEX index fell more than 2% -- taking its losses for the year to 14%. The ruble was steady, after dipping early in the day, but has still lost about 10% since the start of the year.
The U.S. added more senior Russian officials and a bank to its list of targets Thursday, including Yuri Kovalchuk, described by U.S. officials as President Vladimir Putin's personal financier.
And President Obama warned Moscow the U.S. would target key sectors of the economy if Russia escalates the crisis in Ukraine.
Mr. Obama also opened the door to more sweeping measures against core parts of the Russian economy, including the oil and natural gas industries, which account for much of Russia’s exports. He said the actions could disrupt the global economy, but might be necessary because of what he described as menacing movements by the Russian military near eastern and southern Ukraine.