Responding to Russia

The Obama administration has orchestrated sanctions against Russia for taking over the Crimea from Ukraine.  What we’ll do is target 11 individuals, freezing their assets and not letting them travel in the West.  That’ll  show ’em!  These Russian officials won’t be able to come to Disneyland, and we know how much that means to them!

The Russian government finds that hilarious.  Vladimir Putin has responded by imposing a similar ban on a list of American officials and lawmakers.

Meanwhile, former House member Ron Paul has written an op-ed piece for USA Today asking what difference does it make to U.S. interests if Russia takes Crimea?  Doesn’t that region also have the right to self-determination?  It will be interesting to see if his son, Rand Paul, who polls show is the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, shares that Libertarian approach to foreign policy.  It may have much to recommend it.  And yet how will Libertarian isolationism come across in light of President Obama’s foreign policy weakness?

From US and EU sanctions: the Russian and Ukrainian targets | World news |

The US and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian officials in response to Russian actions in Ukraine, which culminated on Sunday in Crimea’s vote to join Russia. But Washington also appeared to be settling old scores, as several officials slapped with sanctions have had little to do with Russia’s Ukraine policy, while some of the country’s main Ukraine hawks were not on the list.

The executive order by President Barack Obama to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on 11 officials was meant to rebuke Russia for “actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation”, the White House said in a statement.

The Russian reaction to the list was derisive. Influential blogger Rustem Adagamov called the sanctions “a joke” in a tweet, and deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is on the list, tweeted that “some sort of prankster wrote the US president’s decree.”


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