The fact that Russia sabotaged the Geneva accord on Ukraine, refusing to condemn the pro-Russian takeovers in eastern Ukrainian cities and making threats to respond militarily if Ukrainian forces crush the rebellion, doesn’t mean that the basic calculus of the Ukraine crisis has changed. Now, as earlier, there is virtually nothing that the United States can do to confront Russia. The sanctions announced today by President Obama and the paltry and symbolic military deployments into Eastern Europe won’t do a thing to stabilize Ukraine. Yes, diplomacy is still the answer, but how will diplomacy work if Russia continues to make it clear that it isn’t interested in diplomatic accords?
In any case, the opposite of diplomacy, namely, the talk of strengthening and expanding NATO in response to Russia’s arrogance in Ukraine, could make things a lot worse. Also making things worse would be US military aid to Ukraine, as Senator Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) is calling for.
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