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Sanctions, Yes Please

16 October 2018

One of the best things to have happened, for Ukraine, since Donald Trump became President of the United States was the appointment of Ambassador Kurt Volker as special envoy to this region with the specific task of trying to bring peace to the Donbas.

Volker has been very active and taken a principled approach to his job and…he knows his stuff. In a recent interview with Germany’s DW channel, he said of developments on his watch, “we’ve been much more clear in assigning Russia’s responsibility for this conflict, the way it actually is”, leaving the door open for more sanctions to be imposed against Russia for their actions in and against Ukraine.

The fact is however that, so far, sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and the EU have not forced Vladimir Putin to change his calculation on the cost/benefit of this war. We can hope that more sanctions would make Russia see their hold on the east just isn’t worth it. The reality is that this is unlikely, as the thousands of Russian casualties from this war haven’t been enough to get him to change tact so far. Regardless, yes, more sanctions would be very welcome. And appropriate.

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