Analyst Greg Valliere on Where the Ukraine Crisis May go from here

MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE SANCTIONS are likely; the initial reaction from the White House — that this may not be a full-fledged “invasion” — will encounter withering criticism from anti-Russia hawks in Congress. Biden has to announce fresh sanctions, probably today. (The Nord Stream pipeline will stall.)

TWO WAYS TO READ THIS WEEKEND’S DEVELOPMENTS: The really negative theme is that Putin, increasingly unstable and isolated, is determined to reverse NATO’s move eastward. He wants to restore, at least partly, the old Soviet Union map and he wants a Russia-China alliance to check the West. From the Baltics to Taiwan, this is ominous.

SECOND, THERE’S A LESS NEGATIVE SPIN that Putin may stop at the two breakaway regions, just as he stopped at Crimea nearly a decade ago. If Putin can convince the West that he simply wants to protect Russians in eastern Ukraine, that could avoid massive sanctions and a bloody war — both of which would damage Putin’s political support within Russia.

PUTIN’S OFF-RAMP would be to claim victory in the east, while agreeing to a deal brokered by Emmanuel Macron that would lessen the NATO presence in countries near Ukraine.

Read it all.


Posted in America/U.S.A., England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine