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You're reading: Leni Friedman Valenta and Jiri Valenta: Arm Ukraine and impose energy sanctions

While almost no one anticipated a Crimean invasion, almost
everyone predicted a coming Russian invasion of the Eastern Ukraine. All the
signs were there, including Putin´s own comments about “New Russia.”  Non-nationalist websites have been blocked in
Russia, and after the annexation of the Crimea, we witnessed the same
orgies of nationalism in Red Square, Moscow, that we saw when Hitler´s car
appeared at the Brandenburg Gate after the full occupation of Czechoslovakia.  

 But all of a sudden
things came to a pause!  Unexpectedly, the
Kremlin called U.S. President Barack Obama and at his request, another Geneva conference
was set up on April 17 to address de-escalation of the crisis. Four actors;
Russia, Ukraine, E U and U.S.  What
happened?   

Putin´s FSB (KGB successor) got wind of three new
developments.  1.  The European Parliament´s consideration of
energy sanctions that will hurt the Southstream pipeline.  2.  In
the U.S. Congress, the Republicans, led by Senator John McCain, are pushing for
lethal arms to Ukraine.  3.  Most importantly, the Ukrainian military
demonstrated it can fight.  All of these reasons relate
to the Kremlin´s perception of a much-increased cost of a further intervention.

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