Transatlantic Relations Program Senior Fellow Adrian Karatnycky is quoted by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin on how to pressure Moscow into working toward a peaceful resolution of hostilities in Ukraine:
Indeed, says Adrian Karatnycky, a Ukraine expert and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, there are still ways to pressure Putin into recognizing the risks of backing Yanukovych. Prime among them: If the EU (with strong U.S. support) finally approves targeted sanctions against Ukrainian officials and its so-called oligarchs, super-rich businessmen who still support the regime. Deprived of assets abroad, and visas to Europe and America, these key players might turn against their president.
Fear of offending Putin has previously inhibited EU officials from imposing such sanctions, which might have prevented the current tragedy in Kiev. But the Russian leader’s open disdain for Europe may finally have goaded them to act.
Meantime, says Karatnycky, harsher crackdowns will only accelerate protests around the country; the safety of pipelines carrying Russian gas to Europe could be at risk. Ukraine could soon become a drain on Russian resources. Putin’s dream of economic integration with Ukraine could “go by the boards, if Kiev becomes a quasi-Beirut.” As the costs of his neo-imperialism rise, Putin might consider an alternative candidate to lead Ukraine.