When Russia began to interfere militarily in Ukraine earlier this year, President Obama said he didn't view that country as a part of a Cold War chess game. Unfortunately,
As a result, Russia's claim of a new Cold War is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. European nations — including Germany, a key Russian trading partner — are reluctantly following the lead of the United States and threatening harsher sanctions. German Chancellor
Ukraine isn't a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is one reason the U.S. hasn't intervened militarily there and has even declined to provide the Ukrainians with weapons. For now at least, the better way to change Russian behavior is with economic sanctions that bite.
On Tuesday, in the latest display of diplomatic chutzpah, Russia's foreign minister called on the U.S. to press the government of Ukraine to abandon its attempt to defeat the rebels militarily and to "transition to the political process." In fact, the Ukrainian government long has been willing to negotiate new political arrangements that would offer considerable autonomy to pro-Russia regions. But such talks shouldn't take place under siege by the forces of a foreign power.