Secretary of State
Some of those concerns are legitimate. Ukraine's elected, pro-Russian president,
But neither its desire to protect Russian-speakers nor the existence of a Russian naval base in Crimea justifies the invasion. Speaking to U.N. Secretary General
Only a few months ago, in an op-ed article in the
So what should the rest of the world do? No one is suggesting that the U.S. or its allies intervene militarily in Ukraine. But President
On Sunday, Kerry detailed a list of significant economic penalties: "visa bans, asset freezes, isolation with respect to trade, investment." Kerry added that the U.S. is "absolutely" prepared to boycott a meeting of industrialized nations scheduled to take place in June in Sochi, the site of the recent Winter Olympics that Putin hoped would be a showcase for Russian accomplishment.
If Russia doesn't withdraw — or if it moves into other parts of Ukraine — the United States and other nations must be resolute in imposing and maintaining those sanctions.
That doesn't rule out continued diplomatic efforts to induce the government of Ukraine to take the concerns of its Russian-speaking citizens seriously. But Ukraine shouldn't be forced to do so under occupation by foreign forces. Ukraine is an independent nation whose territorial integrity Russia has solemnly promised to respect.
Predictably, events in Ukraine have inspired partisan attacks on Obama for his supposed pusillanimity in the face of Russian aggression. On Sunday, Sen.
This sort of sniping is unfair. Obama has been right to place the emphasis not on a contest between Russia and the West but to focus on the right of the Ukrainian people to choose their own political and economic course. Other nations can offer advice and assistance to Ukraine, and Russia can be part of that process. But military occupation is not advice.