There must be an extremely high risk that the Kremlin will defy Western sanctions and launch “asymmetric retaliation” on the ground, overthrowing the post-Cold War settlement altogether.
Markets seem strangely insouciant as the geopolitical order of Europe unravels before their eyes. The US launched economic warfare against Russia a week ago. Europe is just days away from following suit.
You can applaud the actions of the West, or condemn them, but you can hardly ignore them. In the 30 years or so that I have been writing about world affairs and the international economy, I have never seen a more dangerous confluence of circumstances, or more remarkable complacency.
No choice, obviously.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Europe’s largest economy which also has strong trade ties with Russia, spoke out strongly in favor of the new EU sanctions against Moscow in an interview published on Saturday.
“After the death of 300 innocent people in the MH17 crash and the disrespectful roaming around the crash site of marauding soldiers, the behavior of Russia leaves us no other choice.” he told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.