Of course, a division among the Western alliance is a goal of President Putin, but the likely outcome may be less to his liking. More severe banking and finance sanctions, some aimed at additional members of his wealthy inner circle, are in the offering. More important, a serious examination has begun of a military defense strategy for Kiev and the western parts of Ukraine that’s not under separatists and Russian control.
Evidence of the policy shift is overwhelming, and even the President, who is still resisting the change in Ukraine, has stepped up with a consideration of a military equipment option if this latest cease fire agreement collapses.
Evidence of the shift in policy includes:
- Russia’s Lavrov met with hoots, indignation at testy Munich talk (RFE/RL, 2-10-15)
- In Ukraine, it’s Putin’s game (NYT, Andrew Higgins, 2-11-15)
- The United States should think – and act – like a superpower (WashPost, David Ignatius, 2-5-15)
- Ukraine needs strong Western support to fend off Russia’s aggression (WashPost, editorial board, 2-6-15)
- Defense nominee Carter casts himself as independent voice (WashPost, Craig Whitlock and Missy Ryan, 2-4-15)
- NATO meets to approve strengthening forces in Eastern Europe (Reuters, Adrian Croft and David Alexander, 2-5-15)
- Obama, Merkel hint at disagreements on Ukraine (USA Today, Gregory Korte, 2-9-15)
- Preserving Ukraine’s independence, resisting Russian aggression: What the United States and NATO must do (Brookings, Steven Pifer, Strobe Talbott, Ambassador Ivo Daalder, Michele Flournoy, Ambassador John Herbst, Jan Lodal, Admiral James Stavridis and General Charles Wald, 2-15)