Russia is ratcheting up the stakes in its conflict with Georgia. AP:
President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Russian government to introduce economic sanctions against countries supplying weapons to Georgia.
Medvedev’s decree says the Cabinet must work out “special economic measures” against foreign countries, organizations and individuals that sell weapons to Georgia, a former Soviet republic. The text of Medvedev’s decree was released Monday by the Kremlin. It didn’t elaborate on the specific sanctions Russia might declare.
Given that even Russia does not dispute that Georgia is a sovereign state, this decree is mindboggling. I’m reminded of Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller’s letter to other NBA executives earlier in the month threatening to sue them if they signed Darius Miles. The very next day, the Memphis Grizzlies did just that.
By virtue of its size, history, and military and economic power, Russia is a regional power. Unfortunately, its leaders continue to act like they’re running a banana republic.
James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.