On April 17, 2014, Russia's Channel One in Russia hosted a question-and-answer session with Russian President Vladimir Putin, called Direct Line with Vladimir Putin. Russians asked questions primarily about Russia annexing Crimea from Ukraine.
In Project Syndicate, Richard Haass writes: "The strategy needed to resist Putin's efforts to expand Russia's influence beyond its borders – and to induce change within them – resembles nothing so much as the 'containment' doctrine that guided Western policy for the four decades of the Cold War."
Contrary to appearances, the crisis in Ukraine might be on the verge of resolution. The potentially crucial move came today when interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he would be open to changing the country's political system from a republic, with power centered in the capital Kiev, to a federation with considerable autonomy for the regional districts.
Robert Kahn argues that the West should be ready to impose more robust economic sanctions against Russia, in order to deter it from further infiltrating or destabilizing Ukraine. Russia's economic complexity means sanctions would meaningfully reduce Russian wealth and growth, since Russian oligarchs and business leaders have significant financial stakes in the West.
Former U.S. permanent representative to NATO Ivo H. Daalder and former supreme allied commander at NATO James G. Stavridis discuss Ukraine, the Russian presence in Crimea, and the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.
"The troops in Crimea may be the elite of the new Russian military. But the Kremlin's investment, analysts said, has revived the military, which has now shown that it can field a competent and even formidable force, and both guard the nation and project power to neighboring states."
Authors: Selina Williams, Geraldine Amiel, and Justin Scheck
"To replace what they pump, oil companies need to collaborate with state-owned companies that control 90% of the globe's remaining oil reserves, by a World Bank estimate. But governments often give foreign oil companies access only to the hardest-to-develop acreage. Kashagan's large-scale stumble shows how collaborations in these difficult fields can go sour for both sides."
"The US currently has 24 different sanctions programmes covering countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Belarus and Syria, and companies involved in "conflict" diamonds. But as recently as the 1990s, support for them seemed to be waning."
Reversing Russia's annexation of Crimea is not the most urgent goal of the Western nations. The bigger challenge is to deal with the emerging fractious nationalism and prevent further breakup of Ukraine from within, writes Stephen Sestanovich.
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