The Ukrainian revolution has redrawn the geopolitical map of Eurasia. In the process it has set back two key objectives of the "Putin doctrine" that shapes Russia’s foreign policy: Russia as a great power defined in opposition to the West and Russia as an unchallengeable hegemon in the post-Soviet space. Putin will do whatever it takes to prevent the spread of the "Ukrainian contagion" inside Russia. This is the imperative that will dominate the Kremlin’s foreign and domestic policy for weeks, perhaps months to come. Will Vladimir Putin escalate his aggressive stance toward Ukraine beyond the point where violence and even armed confrontation between Ukraine and Russia become inevitable? What will the US and Europe do to deter the bear as Ukraine seeks to move to the West?
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's state visit to Washington today was undoubtedly planned as a celebration of his young democracy. It now looks more like a show of U.S. solidarity with a badly wounded and bleeding country whose pleas for help have been ignored by the West.
Russia and the West have fundamentally different views on Russia's legimitate interest in Ukraine. The resulting escalating sanctions are now threatening economic growth for all of Europe.
From the outset, the West and its nominal leader, Barack Obama, have failed to prevent Kiev from being re-subordinated to Moscow. Ukraine is in jeopardy, as is the very viability of NATO, an outcome even Putin most likely did not initially foresee.
Resident Scholar Michael Rubin discusses Putin's peace plan for Ukraine on Bloomberg TV's 'Street Smart.'
Unable either to win the war in Ukraine by proxy or to retreat from the conflict because of the enormous blow defeat would deliver to his regime's legitimacy, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be sending in regular troops to attack Ukraine. In response, it's likely the US and EU will contemplate more sanctions.
Although supporting the Ukrainian economy may be a worthwhile geopolitical goal, relying on the IMF to provide funding for Ukraine risks undermining the IMF's credibility as a conditions-based lender and exacerbating the moral hazard problem for private creditors.
Russia’s mystery “humanitarian aid” convoy is apparently back in Russia after an incursion into the rebel-held region of Ukraine and the prospect of a wider war is on hold - for now. So what are we to expect of the meeting between Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin at a regional summit in Minsk on Tuesday?
Ironically, while Western capital markets remain attentive to Ukraine's future, President Obama seems detached and uninterested. Indeed, the president appears removed not only from Ukraine, but from the chaos across the Middle East.