Share This Page

The Russian invasion: Sanctions, now

| Monday, March 3, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Russia will pay a steep price for its bloodless (so far) invasion of Ukraine's Crimea region. And we're not talking militarily.

Ever the opportunist, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin marched thousands of troops into the eastern part of Ukraine over the weekend. No shots were fired. He was taking advantage of Ukrainian instability and Crimean sympathies as the former Soviet state attempts to transition into a true democratic republic after routing Putin's puppet president, who fled to Moscow.

Some are of the mind that Putin's invasion places Russia in the driver's seat. To wit, as John Fund notes in National Review Online, controlling Crimea, Putin now can strangle Ukraine by, say, building a new natural gas pipeline to Europe and threatening to shut down the current pipeline.

But it's easy to forget how fragile Russia's economy already is. And the worldwide economic sanctions sure to come could cripple it. While Russia might “succeed' in a narrow sense with its Crimea takeover, from a “strategic perspective,” it will be a disaster, writes Russia economics expert Mark Adomanis at Forbes.com.

“It will seriously weaken an already stuttering economy and will poison relations with a host of countries with which Russia needs to have productive working relationships,” he says, calling the naked act of aggression “a blunder of historical proportions.”

Of course, that blunder can't be fully realized until the world community puts those sanctions in place and Russia is made to own it.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.