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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Joseph Biden to visit Ukraine

US vice president scheduled to visit Ukraine, April 22, and meet with government officials and public figures. Big question: why?
15 April, 2014 - 11:28
REUTERS photo

“IT IS TIME FOR THE U.S. AND EU TO APPLY ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA”

Steven PIFER, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe:

“Vice President Biden’s trip to Ukraine is intended to signal political support for the acting government in Kyiv, while the deployment of US naval ships to the Black Sea has been intended to reassure NATO allies, who are concerned by recent Russian actions.

“It is not clear how much impact these steps will have on Mr. Putin. Given that Russia has not defused the crisis but instead has acted to escalate it – piling on economic pressure, keeping Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border, and by all appearances instigating the recent armed takeovers in eastern Ukraine – it is time for the United States and European Union to apply additional sanctions on Russia.”

“U.S. SHORT-TERM STRATEGY IS NEEDED”

Dr. Matthew ROJANSKY, Director, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars:

“The ships and all other additional hardware being sent to region and to NATO allies are intended more to reassure those allies than to defend Ukraine. Biden visit is good as it shows attention and high level commitment but still there is no US strategy. What is needed is a short-term strategy to make absolutely clear that Russian invasion into eastern Ukraine would trigger devastating economic punishment from the west, plus a long-term strategy to help Ukraine succeed in path of reform and European integration.

“For example, the US could threaten specific sanctions, even against Russian energy sector, in case of a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. So far threats have been vague and only actual sanctions are very limited. Long-term strategy should involve provision of significant aid to Ukraine but with explicit conditions for performance of reforms specified in EU Association Agreement. EU must coordinate their approach as well.”

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