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Friday, February 28, 2014

On the Crisis in Crimea


Todd Starnes (Fox News) writes the following about the ongoing situation in Crimea:

Breaking News: Secretary of State Kerry warns Russia of grave consequences if they invade the Ukraine. Russia responds by invading the Ukraine.

This comment betrays ignorance of Russia-Ukraine relations.  Of course, I think that President Obama didn't approach this crisis wisely in today's address. It is possible to look tough and prevent an unnecessary conflict with Russia by (a) noting the agreement with Ukraine permitting Russian military presence in Crimea (which means, in spite of what Starnes and others have argued, that Russia cannot be said to have invaded Ukraine), and (b) promising grave costs if Russia goes beyond what is permitted under this agreement.