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Markets the last six or eight weeks are trading, in part, on a fear of more sanctions coming for Russia. The idea the U.S. and E.U. governments have is that only a bigger stick of sanctions will prevent an invasion by Russia of Ukraine. 

I turn to Jeff Sachs when it comes to Russia.  He is the Director of the Earth Instutute at Columbia these days.  In the 1990s, though, he worked directly on ending Communism and worked with Yegor Gaidar in Russia itself.  He is also one of the most provocative and insightful guys I know on foreign affairs.

The following is a March 4, 2014 excerpt from a Foreign Affairs article he published.  

It was entitled, "Why the West Should Tread Carefully in Ukraine."

"In my view, Russia is not looking to provoke a fight with the West; still less is it out to recreate the Russian empire as some bombastic Western commentators have put it. Russia is acting out of genuine concerns rooted in its history and its perceived national interests, including basic national security. It worries about an antagonistic Ukraine in the grips of anti-Russian sentiments in Kiev, and about the possibility that the West will try to exploit those sentiments."

"The fact is that Ukrainian stability can be attained only with Russian cooperation. That cooperation can be attained only with conciliatory, rather than antagonistic, crisis management on the part of the Western powers. Rather than resorting to aggressive economic and political interventions in Ukraine, the West should be encouraging Russia and Ukraine to pursue long-term and mutually beneficial relations. The European Union and the United States can encourage that win-win perspective not through sanctions but through quiet diplomacy in both Kiev and Moscow. Part of the deal, of course, would be the preservation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."


My RTI question:  Are More Tough Sanctions on Russia the Right Answer?



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