Russia is already suffering consequences as a result of its seizing of the Crimean Peninsula:
It hasn’t taken long for Russian financial markets to react to developments at the weekend, when Putin won parliamentary approval for military action in Ukraine as Russian forces consolidated control over Crimea, raising the prospect of a real war with Ukraine and a new Cold War with the West.
Moscow share price indexes plunged on Monday by over 10 percent, while the central bank has dramatically raised interest rates and spent an estimated $10 billion in reserves to defend the rouble after it hit a record low.
Analysts warn that steps already taken to defend the rouble threaten to push the economy into recession. If East-West tensions persist, they could further deter foreign investment, perpetuate economic stagnation and perhaps ultimately undermine Russia’s own political stability.
I’m not sure there’s anything we could do that’s worse than what Russia is doing to itself. The Europeans are too dependent on Russia’s gas and oil to apply too much pressure to them.
I’m hearing a lot about tossing Russia out of the G8. Why is Russia a member, anyway? I seem to recall that it was intended by President Clinton as an encouragement for future good behavior on Russia’s part. Like a lot of Clinton foreign policy that hasn’t worked out particularly well.