"The attempt by the EU and America to co-ordinate their announcement on March 17th of sanctions against Russian officials served mostly to highlight their differences. America's list of seven Russian and four Ukrainian officials subject to visa bans and seizure of assets overlapped with the EU's 21 names. But the American list included, crucially, three figures from President Vladimir Putin's inner circle—among them Dimitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy prime minister, as well as two presidential advisers, Vladislav Surkov and Sergey Glazyev—which the EU omitted," writes the Economist.
"The United States and Russia have both crossed a Rubicon in the Ukraine crisis, and Washington must now confront the likelihood that if the standoff continues, it will dramatically alter relations on a much larger map than Eastern Europe, inviting Russian recalcitrance in crisis zones as far afield as East Asia, Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan," writes Michael Hirsh in The National Journal.
"Beyond depriving Putin of recognition of his spoils, the West needs to send a powerful message about the wages of 'sin'–in this case, unilaterally challenging the sanctity of borders. Targeting a few senior Russian officials for sanction should be only the beginning. And the Obama administration and international allies should stop citing international law and instead adopt more aggressive rhetoric noting that Russian expansionist aspirations are illegitimate and threaten peace on the continent," writes CFR's Stewart Patrick.
Thailand to Lift Bangkok State of Emergency
The Thai cabinet voted to temporarily lift a state of emergency that had been imposed amid mounting protests prior to last month's elections, in which twenty-three people were killed. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces legal challenges and leads a caretaker government (Guardian).
New U.S. Representative to the Syrian Opposition Named
U.S. secretary of state John Kerry named senior foreign service officer Daniel Rubinstein to succeed Robert Ford as special envoy to Syria. "The demands of the Syrian people who marched en masse in 2011 were simple: freedom and dignity," Rubinstein said in a video message in Arabic (NYT).
IRAN: Talks between Iran and six world powers resumed in Vienna on Tuesday amid questions of whether the crisis in Ukraine would test the unity of the P5+1 at the negotiating table. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif canceled a pre-talks dinner with the lead Western negotiator, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (Reuters).