Atlantic Council Program Assistant Ian Hansen writes for US News and World Report on why the EU action against Russia must go beyond sanctions:
The Malaysia Airlines flight 17 tragedy and greater unrest in Ukraine has finally provoked a commendable response from European leaders via stiff new sanctions. Unfortunately, narrow national interests will prevent a lasting satisfactory response so long as Russia offers a Faustian bargain that weakens Europe’s resolve. That makes all the outraged words hypocritical; highlights Moscow’s collaborators who undercut Europe’s future; and exemplifies Europe’s future choice as to whether it wants to be relevant or not.
To appreciate all of this, first examine the continuing conflicted interests of requisite European actors Britain, France and Germany, even following Tuesday’s sanctions.
On July 23, even while his rhetoric against Russia was sharpening, Prime Minister David Cameron had to rebut claims the UK broke its March promise to cease exporting arms to Russia. Cameron then rejected calls to return more than $270,000 in donations from the wife of a former Putin minister. That donation only added to the image of London happily serving as a hub of sordid Russian money. The amount spent by oligarchs on real estate, soccer clubs, and padding politicians’ pockets has been well-documented.