Brent Scowcroft Center Distinguished Fellow Franklin D. Kramer writes in U.S. News and World Report on how to check Russia’s ambitions in Europe’s East:
The longstanding goal of the United States and its European allies has been to create a Europe whole and free, yet Russia’s actions in Crimea are a direct threat to that objective. There is little reason to believe Putin’s statement about having no desire to further divide Ukraine. Not only is Ukraine at risk, but potentially so are Georgia and Moldova, and, possibly, though less likely, the Baltics. Comprehensive, quick and coordinated action by the United States and its allies is needed.
In light of the Russian action, the objective should be the maintenance of a free Europe in as integrated a whole as can be accomplished. The focus should not be on Crimea. Rather, Russia’s actions in Crimea should provide a strong incentive to assure full freedom to the rest of Europe, a result that would redound to the benefit of the countries at issue as well as to the United States and its transatlantic allies and partners.