Valdimir Putin gjorde den russiske nasjonalforsamlingen oppmerksom på at at han vil fremme forslag om å innlemme Krim i Russland.
Så mye for sanksjoner.
The Kremlin announced Mr. Putin’s decision only hours after he formally recognized Crimea as a “sovereign and independent state” late Monday night, after a vote to secede from Ukraine that was hastily organized and conducted under the watch of thousands of Russian special operations troops. Mr. Putin is scheduled to address both houses of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon and, according to reports, could outline his vision for annexing a region that has been under the authority of Kiev since 1954 and part of an independent Ukraine since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Barack Obama sa USA foreløpig iverksatte sanksjoner mot 11 personer, fordi man ville la det være rom for Putin til å innlede forhandlinger om en diplomatisk løsning. Putin har ikke benyttet sjansen.
Every time the United States and Europe have tried to draw a line in recent weeks, Mr. Putin has vaulted past it. The White House indicated that it had not gone after some members of Mr. Putin’s inner circle to leave room for its next move, which the Americans and Europeans might now have to consider making sooner than they expected.
Men valget av sanksjoner mot personer som står Putin nær, som Vladislav Surkov (bildet), har nok provoserte presidenten.
President Obama’s initial sanctions froze assets and banned travel for 11 Russian and Ukrainian figures, including Vladislav Y. Surkov, a longtime adviser to Mr. Putin; Dmitri O. Rogozin, a deputy prime minister of Russia; and Valentina I. Matviyenko, a Putin ally and the chairwoman of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s Parliament. The European Union followed with sanctions against 21 Russian and Ukrainian figures.
Obama undertegnet en såkalt executive order som gir rom for å sette flere på sanksjonslisten, dvs. de får ikke innreise til USA og deres verdier i USA fryses.
EU unngikk å svarteliste prominente navn som Surkov og Rogozin, av frykt for å provosere Putin. Spørsmålet er om hensynet gjengjeldes.
Den nasjonalistiske bølgen er så sterk, i det minste offisielt, at selv Mikhail Gorbatsjov hilser innlemmelsen av Krim velkommen.
The consensus in Moscow was so strong that even the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, whose role in the dissolution of the Soviet Union is deeply reviled in Russia, endorsed Crimea’s move, telling the Interfax news agency that its independence “should be welcomed and not met with the announcement of sanctions.”
He added, “If until now Crimea had been joined to Ukraine because of Soviet laws that were taken without asking the people, then now the people have decided to rectify this error.”
Den polske utenriksminister Radoslaw Sikorski ble spurt hvorfor EU var mer forsiktig enn USA. (Han er gift med Washington Posts Anne Applebaum).
Asked whether the European Union had failed to match tough words with strong actions, Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, told journalists: “The U.S. is from Mars and Europe is from Venus. Get used to it.” He noted that “Europe is closer and will therefore pay a bigger cost for sanctions against Russia.” He also pointed to Europe’s collective decision-making process. “In the United States, one man takes a decision on the basis of an executive order,” Mr. Sikorski said, “whereas in Europe, for these measures to be legal, we need a consensus of 28 member states.”
Hvem trekker i trådene?
Salg av amerikanske statsobligasjoner tyder på at det er større bekymring i Moskva over hva som forestår, enn den kjekke tonen utad. Men det er ikke sikkert at Putin bryr seg om rike russeres bekymring for egen formue. Viktigere ting står på spill.
The bravado in Moscow struck some American officials as bluster masking real concern about the potential financial bite of future sanctions, and there is some evidence that Russians are anxiously pulling tens of billions of dollars out of American accounts. Nearly $105 billion was shifted out of Treasury custodial accounts by foreign central banks or other institutions in the week that ended last Wednesday, more than three times that of any other recent week.