WASHINGTON – In their response to Russia’s seizure of
This approach has become apparent this week, say Western officials and analysts, as Western governments have huddled to figure out how to deter Russian President
The Obama administration this week announced two rounds of sanctions on Russia that have blacklisted some members of Putin's inner circle and sent Russian stocks tumbling. The Europeans, divided and unwilling to risk the fallout to economies that are much more intertwined with Russia's, have imposed milder sanctions.
Cliff Kupchan, with the Eurasia Group risk consulting firm, describes the approach as a "two-track, tag team arrangement."
While the Europeans have lagged Washington on the penalty side, “they can start to pull Ukraine politically, economically and militarily toward them,” said Kupchan, a former
It remains to be seen, of course, how far Europe will draw Ukraine's new government. Ukraine is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and corrupt past governments have caused deep frustration in Europe.
But a senior European official insisted that Europe, which has pledged about $15 billion to a Ukraine bailout package, is committed to the task. While European governments are leery of quickly adding more Eastern nations to the European Union, they are agreed on the importance of helping Ukraine develop along the Western pattern.
"There is a not a 'Ukraine fatigue,'" the official said.