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The Crimean situation: Emboldening Putin

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Monday, March 17, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Russian forces, in violation of international law, invade Ukraine's sovereign Crimean peninsula. Crimea then schedules, in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution, a secession referendum. Crimean voters overwhelmingly approve re-entry into the Russian federation — under the watchful eyes, of course, of the not-so-clandestine Russian military.

But don't you worry, the world will increase its farcically weak initial sanctions on rogue Russia and hold it “accountable.” The United States is prepared to get tough, says presidential mouthpiece Jay Carney. He warns, again, of “increasing costs for Russia.” But, reports The Washington Free Beacon, that apparently doesn't include turning away Russian arms inspectors headed to the United States this week under terms of New START. Russia routinely and grossly violates the treaty. And Russia is talking about denying entrance to U.S. inspectors.

Neither, it appears, are our French allies about to get really tough. There's a new round of U.S.-mimicking hand-slap sanctions. But as John Fund reveals in National Review Online, our French friends don't appear ready to, say, stop building four Russian helicopter aircraft carriers, the kind of war materiel that only emboldens Crimea-like aggression.

Vladimir Putin's ultimate goals reach far beyond the Crimean peninsula, warns Russian expert Andrey Zubov in The Financial Times. And, we warn, international weak knees and limp wrists are green lights for even more Russian adventurism.

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