March 20, 2014
President Obama or any nation within the European Union can impose all the sanctions they want. The question is what will Vladimir Putin bear and what will he do in the form of actions in reaction following his swift response of sanctions on American officials.
What we can’t ascertain is how much Russia under Putin cares about its diminished place in the world as President Obama puts it. One major thing that Obama can do with his pen he has not done is unleash American energy and begin shipments to Europe. This is an effective economic tool against Russia and its use of energy as a weapon.
As we approach the warmer weather in Europe energy use shifts use and therefore reduces Putin’s ability to claim he’ll turn off the spigot while people are freezing in their homes. The window to do this is closing.
Obama keeps talking and issuing statements (below) and I wonder what Putin is doing while the line is open. Maybe Putin is playing chess.