Obama calls meeting of G-7, EU to discuss Ukraine; Update: Ukraine claims soldier killed by Russian forces in Crimea

posted at 12:01 pm on March 18, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Will the West get serious about sanctions on Russia, now that Vladimir Putin has completed his seizure of Crimea? We may soon find out … relatively soon, anyway. The US , Japan, and European nations already had a nuclear summit on the schedule next week, and Barack Obama has now requested a side meeting of the G-7 and EU to discuss the response to the crisis in Ukraine. The call appears to signal that the G-8 may subtract Russia from its membership:

President Barack Obama is gathering allied leaders for a meeting in Europe next week to discuss further action in response to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Obama on Tuesday invited leaders of the G-7 and European Union to meet on the sidelines of a nuclear summit next week in the Netherlands. Hayden said it will focus on what steps the group can take to respond to developments in Ukraine.

The official response of the G-7 nations has only been to cancel some preparatory meetings to the G-8 summit in Sochi, scheduled for June. At least officially, that meeting is still on. That leaves a pretty wide range of responses available for the G-7 nations, from kicking Russia out of the G-8 to … a strongly worded letter or two, with a formal cancellation of Sochi somewhere in between.

To which end of the spectrum will the West lean? Earlier I linked to the French response to the Crimean annexation, which was … less than resolute (via Olivier Knox):

France might cancel a controversial deal to sell two state-of-the-art warships to Russia but only if Britain also acted against Russian oligarchs in London, according to the French foreign minister.

Speaking after Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea before the parliament in Moscow, Laurent Fabius warned he “could envisage” blocking the €1.2bn (£1bn) sale.

France is due to deliver two high-tech Mistral warships to Russia. The first, christened the Vladivostok, has already undergone sea trials from the port of Saint-Nazaire. A second, called the Sevastopol, is due to be completed by the end of next year.

“If Putin continues doing what he is doing we could envisage cancelling the sales,” Fabius told TF1 television on Tuesday. “This would be part of a third level of sanctions. For the moment we are at the second level.

“But we will ask others, and I’m thinking namely the British, to do the same with the assets of the Russian oligarchs in London. Sanctions have to be shouldered by everyone.”

Well, sure, but there is a qualitative difference to leaving personal assets unmolested and arming someone who just seized territory from another state. This will cost the French government (they own most of the company building the two helicopter carriers), but that is in large part their own fault. They contracted for this sale after Putin’s similar seizure of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and invasion of Georgia in 2008, which was supported in large measure by helicopter gunships of the kind this two carriers will support.

Besides, sanctions always damage both sides economically. The point of sanctions is to provide an alternative to military conflict or abject surrender. Ronald Reagan used economics as a key part of his strategy to drive the Soviet Union into collapse, which certainly cost the US plenty in spending but accomplished the goal of freeing eastern Europe from the Soviet grip.

Thus far, the G-8 nations can’t even agree on a suspension for Russia, let alone giving Putin the boot:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday said G-8 leaders have decided to suspend Russia’s participation because of its incursion into Crimea, although other member countries said no decision has been made about Russia’s future in the group.

Britain’s Foreign Office said Tuesday that Russia is still part of the G8 — but did not rule out a suspension.

Obama has a real opportunity to provide some leadership in this crisis, because no one else seems to want to do so. He is marching in the right direction, if belatedly and at a slow speed, but that might be because our allies have little desire to keep up. If the West’s response continues to be this weak, don’t expect Putin to stop at Crimea.

Update: The Washington Post editorial board is not exactly impressed with the sanctions thus far, either:

THE SANCTIONS President Obama announced Monday to punish Russia and its collaborators in Ukraine are intended to inflict economic pain. So a fair measure of their adequacy was the reaction Monday of the Russian stock and currency markets: Both spiked upward in celebration.

While Vladi­mir Putin matches or exceeds the most pessimistic expectations of his belligerence — over the weekend, Russian forces extended their invasion from Crimea to an adjacent area of Ukraine — the United States and its allies so far are delivering less than they threatened, or than markets expected, in retaliation. Unless the West quickly steps up measures against the oligarchs, bag men and banks that prop up the Russian regime, the result will likely be more aggression. …

Mr. Obama has been holding back on tougher measures while offering Mr. Putin face-saving ways to de-escalate. While that is not an unreasonable policy, it can’t succeed if Mr. Putin is determined, as he seems to be, to crush Ukraine while ignoring Western reaction. It’s not too late to force Mr. Putin to reconsider his course, but that will require the West to get ahead of him in adopting measures that inflict real pain, rather than waiting to react to his next act of aggression.

Mr. Obama said Monday he will “calibrate our response based on whether Russia chooses to escalate or de-escalate.” Since a de-escalation looks at this point like wishful thinking, we’ll know that the president’s calibrations are adequate when they cause Russia’s markets to plunge rather than rally.

That’s not the only measure, and some of that exuberance may well be irrational and soon regretted. But clearly it’s not stopping Putin, and the real measure may be Ukraine’s eastern border.

Update: The situation in Crimea is deteriorating into war:

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Tuesday that the conflict in its Crimea peninsula, now under Russian control, had entered a military phase after an Ukrainian officer was killed in an alleged Russian shooting at a Crimea base.

“The conflict is moving from a political one to a military one because of Russian soldiers,” he told a meeting at Ukraine’s defense ministry. “Today, Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen and this is a war crime without any expiry under a statute of limitations.”

Yatseniuk said he had ordered Ukraine’s defense minister to call a meeting with his counterparts from Britain, France, and Russia – signatories to a 1994 treaty guaranteeing Ukraine’s borders to “prevent an escalation of the conflict”.

Earlier, a military spokesman said a Ukrainian officer was killed in a shooting at a military facility on the outskirts of the Crimean capital Simferopol, but it was unclear who was behind the incident.

I don’t think the West has a week to save the rest of Ukraine.


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No one is madder than Obama…but what difference does it make…

And, btw, “We won” doesn’t impress Putin…

right2bright on March 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I feel so much safer knowing Obama is on the case….. The sarc tag isn’t necessary I assume….

sandee on March 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Wouldn’t it be funny if nobody showed up.

crankyoldlady on March 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

time spent notifying people of the meeting: negligible.
cost to fly him overseas: millions
the look on his face when he enters an empty room: PRICELESS!!

dmacleo on March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

The Ego of Obama is breaking. This is not about America for him. It’s about Obama’s ego.

Oil Can on March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

*yawn* – Putin

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I’m ashamed of the USA.

obama destroys her on purpose.

The majority are sheeple, especially the media.

The world cheered for him and now can have him.

Cheer on, fools.

Schadenfreude, pure!

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

What a dope…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Biden to Poland, aka laugh of the day.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

A fool on a fools errand…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Mr. Obama said Monday he will “calibrate our response based on whether Russia chooses to escalate or de-escalate.” Since a de-escalation looks at this point like wishful thinking, we’ll know that the president’s calibrations are adequate when they cause Russia’s markets to plunge rather than rally.

Did Washington Post talk like this when Reagan was president?

Electrongod on March 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

The Ego of Obama is breaking. This is not about America for him. It’s about Obama’s ego.

Oil Can on March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

in a nutshell

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

He’d be better off just playing golf till the end of his miserable last term…

PatriotRider on March 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

The solution is simple. Ask what Putin fears most – missile defense shields in some of the old soviet countries. If that is the answer to the question then just start expanding those installations.

Tater Salad on March 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Somewhere a little boy is shouting “Look, the Emperor has no clothes on!”
It seems the moment has finally arrived where there is no longer any possible way to pretend obozo is anything other than a worthless moron who is hellbent on destroying America. Even his pathetic trolls don’t defend his incompetence anymore.

Flange on March 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

If you like your American Prestige…you can keep your American Prestige….

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

No one is madder than Obama…but what difference does it make…

And, btw, “We won” doesn’t impress Putin…

right2bright on March 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Only strength impresses bad guys. Obama represents nothing but weakness.

And yelling RAAAAACIST! at Putin does no good.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

If you like your American Prestige…you can keep your American Prestige….

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Putin never laughed at and mocked George W. Bush.

He’s pillorying Obama in a way SNL never could.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Ditto!

tomshup on March 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

The Ego of Obama is breaking. This is not about America for him. It’s about Obama’s ego.

Oil Can on March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Narcissists who get laughed at, defied, and openly mocked are DANGEROUS. I am more afraid of nuclear war right now than I was back in the 1980′s, mostly because it’s OUR SIDE that is now clearly irrational!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Is the phrase “strongly worded letter” marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this situation?

CurtZHP on March 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

More red lines..?

d1carter on March 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

If you like your American Prestige…you can keep your American Prestige….

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Putin never laughed at and mocked George W. Bush.

He’s pillorying Obama in a way SNL never could.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Yep.

The Ego of Obama is breaking. This is not about America for him. It’s about Obama’s ego.

Oil Can on March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Narcissists who get laughed at, defied, and openly mocked are DANGEROUS. I am more afraid of nuclear war right now than I was back in the 1980′s, mostly because it’s OUR SIDE that is now clearly irrational!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Try not to go there…it’s counterproductive.

: )

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Is the phrase “strongly worded letter” marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this situation?

CurtZHP on March 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The 36-point Times New Roman font didn’t work. They are going ALL THE WAY to the 96 point this time!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.

–Napoleon

Besides, sanctions always damage both sides economically. The point of sanctions is to provide an alternative to military conflict or abject surrender. Ronald Reagan used economics as a key part of his strategy to drive the Soviet Union into collapse, which certainly cost the US plenty in spending but accomplished the goal of freeing eastern Europe from the Soviet grip.

More in than out.

Axe on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

LilliPutin is the Napoleonic King of the world because obama is a lilliputian.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Will Obama attend?

SMO on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

For entertainment will Obama put on his mom jeans and do a duet with his favorite singer Beyoncé of that Beatles’ hit song, “Back in the USSR”?

albill on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Axe, omg…Napoleon, two comments in a row!

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Obama has a real opportunity to provide some leadership in this crisis, because no one else seems to want to do so.

Obama provide some real leadership? ROTFLMAO that this lazy stupid rat-eared bastard could ever lead! He’s spent the last six years campaigning for his agenda which isn’t the same thing as leading. The world mocks our filthy idiot king and with good reason.

Barak Hussein Obama couldn’t even properly perform the duties of Wal-mart greeter (you have to be nice to people) so if the world awaits his leadership in global affairs they will be disappointed. A waitress at IHOP has more credibility in international relations.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Yo Barry…. Put on your Mom Jeans and show them you mean business.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

See sanctions in Cuba, and laugh.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

LilliPutin is the Napoleonic King of the world because obama is a lilliputian.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Obama is Jimmy Carter crossed with Neville Chamberlain, except 10x worse.

I don’t see any Winston Churchill waiting in the wings to clean up the mess his “Peace In Our Time!” is making.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

“Okay, the first topic on the agenda will be horses in the pasture and the second will be closing barn doors. Anything from the last meeting before we get started?”

“Yes, we still need to address the fact that Mr. obama’s membership fees he paid today were actually due yesterday and he still owes us a buck.”

hawkdriver on March 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

The 36-point Times New Roman font didn’t work. They are going ALL THE WAY to the 96 point this time!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

They’re even upping the DEFCON and breaking out the bold font!

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Narcissists who get laughed at, defied, and openly mocked are DANGEROUS. I am more afraid of nuclear war right now than I was back in the 1980′s, mostly because it’s OUR SIDE that is now clearly irrational!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Agreed.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Barak Hussein Obama couldn’t even properly perform the duties of Wal-mart greeter (you have to be nice to people) so if the world awaits his leadership in global affairs they will be disappointed. A waitress at IHOP has more credibility in international relations.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Obama is a part time Dithering Dilettante. No one except the hardcore Kool-Aid drinkers and blacks take him seriously anymore.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

The 36-point Times New Roman font didn’t work. They are going ALL THE WAY to the 96 point this time!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

No! Not the 96 point font! That will use too much paper! We need to think of the planet!

CurtZHP on March 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Merkel is gonna sit Choomer down and tell him how the cow ate the cabbage….then she’ll throw him a minor PR bone of some sort.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Whatever happened to that perfectly good race card? Slap that thing down on the table!

butch on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Putin is a thug, but he is a very smart one.

He studied obama, but he studied the Americans who brung/kept obama, and he saw his clear path/paths.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

No! Not the 96 point font! That will use too much paper! We need to think of the planet!

CurtZHP on March 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

They will save paper by printing it double sided with .25″ margins.

Besides it won’t take more than one page anyway, Obama is in a hurry to get his brackets done for ESPN.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Obama is Jimmy Carter crossed with Neville Chamberlain, except 10x worse.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Leave Carter out of this. No matter how much he was misguided by idiots like Mika’s dad and his own naivity, he generally had the best interests of the nation at the heart of his stupidity.

Obama is somewhere between Neville Chamberlain and Vidkun Quisling.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

“France might cancel a controversial deal to sell two state-of-the-art warships to Russia …..”

Wait. What?

Our “ally” is selling warships to Pootie? Little wonder why France is always the first country invaded and occupied when a world war breaks out.

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

They will save paper by printing it double sided with .25″ margins.

Besides it won’t take more than one page anyway, Obama is in a hurry to get his brackets done for ESPN.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Couldn’t we just send a text?

CurtZHP on March 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Mr. Obama said Monday he will “calibrate our response based on whether Russia chooses to escalate or de-escalate.”

Translation: Type strongly worded letter in ALL-CAPS with lots of !!! at the end of each sentence or not.

albill on March 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Obama is Jimmy Carter crossed with Neville Chamberlain, except 10x worse.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I think he’s more like a cross between Milli Vanilli and the Sham Wow! guy.

Flange on March 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Well, we know the content of this meeting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YawagQ6lLrA

Nomennovum on March 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Putin is a thug, but he is a very smart one.

He studied obama, but he studied the Americans who brung/kept obama, and he saw his clear path/paths.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Putin is a clever bastard…and he plays long game.

Obama plays reality Teevee in his head.

This deal is really between Merkel and Putin…and it will likely end in partition.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Axe, omg…Napoleon, two comments in a row!

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

“Great minds . . . ” :)

The 36-point Times New Roman font didn’t work. They are going ALL THE WAY to the 96 point this time!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

No! Not the 96 point font! That will use too much paper! We need to think of the planet!

CurtZHP on March 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Well, don’t go crazy. Not the 96 pt. :) Let’s try to keep some perspective here. Let’s just tell him we’re super cereal, and save the 96 pt. for an asteroid or something.

Sheesh. Overreactors.

Axe on March 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Putin is a thug, but he is a very smart one.

He studied obama, but he studied the Americans who brung/kept obama, and he saw his clear path/paths.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Putin knows that Obama is an opportunity. He has 3 years of impunity to re-assemble the Soviet Union/Russian Empire. And he’s going to use it. He got away with Crimea, which means the rest of Ukraine is gone. After that, Belarus and the other Baltic states. After that? Berlin?

Who’s going to stop him? We are dismantling our military and purging it of those not “personally” loyal to Obama. Which means replacing competent men with queers and lesbians.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Our “ally” is selling warships to Pootie? Little wonder why France is always the first country invaded and occupied when a world war breaks out.

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

This time Americans should burn their draft cards rather than spill the blood of our own to put that pathetic has-been country back on the map.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

I think he’s more like a cross between Milli Vanilli and the Sham Wow! guy.

Flange on March 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Nailed it. LOL

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

“France might cancel a controversial deal to sell two state-of-the-art warships to Russia …..”

Wait. What?

Our “ally” is selling warships to Pootie? Little wonder why France is always the first country invaded and occupied when a world war breaks out.

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

no see…they was all happy friends…21st century and whatnot…

I’ll bet France goes ahead with the deal though…they just might delay it…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Biden to Poland, aka laugh of the day.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Why do you say that? Just because they tell Biden Jokes in Poland doesn’t mean he actually said anything about screendoors on submarines.

I’m just not sure what kind of assurances he can provide. Assurances that are meaningful anyway.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I think he’s more like a cross between Milli Vanilli and the Sham Wow! guy.

Flange on March 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Nailed it. LOL

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Milli Vanilli could at least LOOK convincing pretending to be pop artists.

Obama can’t convince anyone he’s actually a President.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Putin knows that Obama is an opportunity. He has 3 years of impunity to re-assemble the Soviet Union/Russian Empire. And he’s going to use it. He got away with Crimea, which means the rest of Ukraine is gone. After that, Belarus and the other Baltic states. After that? Berlin?

Who’s going to stop him? We are dismantling our military and purging it of those not “personally” loyal to Obama. Which means replacing competent men with queers and lesbians.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Well Putin isn’t quite prepared militarily for that…he needs more time…but he’s working on it and so is China.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

crankyoldlady on March 18, 2014 at 12;04 PM

Show up,don’t show up…..same difference

SweetSensationalist on March 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

No rush – a meeting next week should be fine. And Air Squatch One can revise the flight plan to avoid flying over Europe en route to the big China vacation.

SickofLibs on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

What do we do when we’re already 3 steps behind a tyrant and are playing catch-up?

We call a big meeting full of international experts and politicians. Yeah! That’ll give us the edge we need!

This is Obama’s idea of “leadership”.

Socratease on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Well Putin isn’t quite prepared militarily for that…he needs more time…but he’s working on it and so is China.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

He just took Ukraine without firing a shot.

BTW, just heard a news update saying that Russia has said they aren’t going to annex any more Ukranian territory. Which is what they said after they occupied Crimea last week. Translation: The Eastern Ukraine “Sudetenland” will have an “election” next.

If Putin has even one capable brigade he has more military in Europe than everyone else anyway.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Putin knows that Obama is an opportunity. He has 3 years of impunity to re-assemble the Soviet Union/Russian Empire. And he’s going to use it.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Obama isn’t the only one with a “year of action” agenda. But where Obama has a phone and a pen, Putin has an army and nothing to stop him.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Mr. Obama has been holding back on tougher measures while offering Mr. Putin face-saving ways to de-escalate.

I don’t think that means what Mr. Obama thinks it means.

He already views Putin’s “commitment” not to seize any more of the Ukraine as some kind of face-saving de-escalation.

This administration and Hillary Clinton are an absolute weak and ineffectual, unmitigated embarrassment.

Marcus Traianus on March 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Would the current sitting G8 President (Putin) – just shut off the Gazprom lines to Germany, Italy, France and other EU nations during the meeting???

Odie1941 on March 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I’ll bet France goes ahead with the deal though…they just might delay it…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The deal will only go through after Putin promises, with extra sugar on it, and swears on his mother’s grave that Russia will never, ever use the warship against France or it’s smelly cheese warehouses.

You know, the standard iron-clad deal.

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I’m anticipating a very strongly worded letter of protest, signed by a number of preimminent world leaders.

That ought to do it.

Hucklebuck on March 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

The deal will only go through after Putin promises, with extra sugar on it, and swears on his mother’s grave that Russia will never, ever use the warship against France or it’s smelly cheese warehouses.

That won’t be necessary. Deal sails through. Nothing is more important to a bankrupt nation than income.

Hucklebuck on March 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

No rush – a meeting next week should be fine…

SickofLibs on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Some emergency. Next week is fine. Gives Putin time to consolidate his gains and move on Kiev he wants to.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

In Poland they tell Biden jokes.— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) March 18, 2014

SteveInRTP on March 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

If the goal is to incapacitate Russian leaders with uncontrollable laughter,our Fearless Leader may be onto something.

SweetSensationalist on March 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

The deal will only go through after Putin promises, with extra sugar on it, and swears on his mother’s grave that Russia will never, ever use the warship against France or it’s smelly cheese warehouses.

That won’t be necessary. Deal sails through. Nothing is more important to a bankrupt nation than income.

Hucklebuck on March 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

France’s best defense at this point is the last thing Russia wants is more territory infested by muslims.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Will Obama attend?

Depends.

Any good courses in the area?

Hucklebuck on March 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

What do we do when we’re already 3 steps behind a tyrant and are playing catch-up?

We call a big meeting full of international experts and politicians. Yeah! That’ll give us the edge we need!

This is Obama’s idea of “leadership”.

Socratease on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Hey! Do you realize how hard it is to organize these things in just a week? France insists on bringing spinach dip that nobody likes, Germany wants to provide the paper plates and napkins, and Nobody wants to sign up for bringing a casserole or salad.

Seriously, we are far more than 3 steps behind it has just taken this long for the rat-eared wonder and Killary/Kerry to figure out just how far behind they are.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

France’s best defense at this point is the last thing Russia wants is more territory infested by muslims.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Lol. I guess Turkey is safe for the time being. Unless they try to close the Bosphrous, of course.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Time for Dear Leader to take a quick vacation…

d1carter on March 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Lol. I guess Turkey is safe for the time being. Unless they try to close the Bosphrous, of course.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

If Turkey closes the Bosporous Putin will “pivot” towards the Russian dream of taking Constantinople, which was their ultimate goal in the 18th and 19th Centuries as they took territory from the dying Ottoman Empire…

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

If the goal is to incapacitate Russian leaders with uncontrollable laughter,our Fearless Leader may be onto something.

SweetSensationalist on March 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Yeah, I’m coming to the conclusion that Obama learned everything he knows about Russia from watching Get Smart episodes

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Biden To Polish President: “You Have An Ally Whose Defense Budget Is Larger Than The Next 10 Nations Combined, So Don’t Worry”…

http://weaselzippers.us/179816-biden-to-polish-president-you-have-an-ally-whose-defense-budget-is-larger-than-the-next-10-nations-combined-so-dont-worry/

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:47 PM

He should put on his bicycle helmet to show everyone at the meeting how tough he is.

BobMbx on March 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM

The 36-point Times New Roman font didn’t work. They are going ALL THE WAY to the 96 point this time!

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

They’re even upping the DEFCON and breaking out the bold font!

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

We’ll know they’re serious when they underline words.

Trafalgar on March 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

France’s best defense at this point is the last thing Russia wants is more territory infested by muslims.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

France’s best defense is, and always will be; weapons down, arms up.

fogw on March 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM

We’ll know they’re serious when they underline words.

Trafalgar on March 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

When they break out the italics, it’ll be time to take shelter.

BobMbx on March 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

If Turkey closes the Bosporous Putin will “pivot” towards the Russian dream of taking Constantinople, which was their ultimate goal in the 18th and 19th Centuries as they took territory from the dying Ottoman Empire…

I think an alliance between Turkey and Russia is more likely. And Moscow will still get to dictate who passes through to the Black Sea.

Si vis pacem para bellum.

Nomennovum on March 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

He just took Ukraine without firing a shot.

BTW, just heard a news update saying that Russia has said they aren’t going to annex any more Ukranian territory. Which is what they said after they occupied Crimea last week. Translation: The Eastern Ukraine “Sudetenland” will have an “election” next.

If Putin has even one capable brigade he has more military in Europe than everyone else anyway.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

I don’t see Putin reconstituting the old soviet…at least not that soon anyway…

The Ukraine is it’s own different case geopolitically and historically in relation to Russia.

I think Putin sees the EU unraveling…and he’s preparing for that.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I think an alliance between Turkey and Russia is more likely. And Moscow will still get to dictate who passes through to the Black Sea.

Si vis pacem para bellum.

Nomennovum on March 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Hmmmm….

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:53 PM

If Turkey closes the Bosporous Putin will “pivot” towards the Russian dream of taking Constantinople, which was their ultimate goal in the 18th and 19th Centuries as they took territory from the dying Ottoman Empire…

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

From the Guardian (scroll down):

Turkey has reportedly threatened to close the Bosphorus to Russian ships, if there is violence against the Crimean Tatars.

As you say, NATO member or not, Russia will react to any attempt to close the Bosphorus.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Yeah, I’m coming to the conclusion that Obama learned everything he knows about Russia from watching Get Smart episodes

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Or Bullwinkle cartoons…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

If Turkey closes the Bosporous Putin will “pivot” towards the Russian dream of taking Constantinople, which was their ultimate goal in the 18th and 19th Centuries as they took territory from the dying Ottoman Empire…

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

From the Guardian (scroll down):

Turkey has reportedly threatened to close the Bosphorus to Russian ships, if there is violence against the Crimean Tatars.

As you say, NATO member or not, Russia will react to any attempt to close the Bosphorus.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Who’s up for a Crimean War Do-over?

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Obama has a real opportunity to provide some leadership in this crisis, because no one else seems to want to do so.

People who are still hoping/expecting Obama to show some leadership obviously have not been paying attention for the past six years.

Ukiah on March 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I don’t see Putin reconstituting the old soviet…at least not that soon anyway…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

If think with most dictators he is going to push it to the limit to see what he can get. There is no limits on his desires for power.

It worked in Georgia
It’s working in Georgia.
It will work in Poland (Or back a candidate that acts like a satellite).

Oil Can on March 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Biden:

Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine had left it “alone” and “naked” in front of the rest of the world.

… and they’re damned proud of it, you idiot.

SteveInRTP on March 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

What do we do when we’re already 3 steps behind a tyrant and are playing catch-up?

We call a big meeting full of international experts and politicians. Yeah! That’ll give us the edge we need!

This is Obama’s idea of “leadership”.

Socratease on March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Leadership, Noun, Leadership is influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.

Obama processes none of these qualities!

He looks for others to lead. Leading from the back as it where.

D-fusit on March 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Turkey has reportedly threatened to close the Bosphorus to Russian ships, if there is violence against the Crimean Tatars.
As you say, NATO member or not, Russia will react to any attempt to close the Bosphorus.

Kaffa on March 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

It will never happen. NATO won’t allow it because it will lead quite quickly to war.

Nomennovum on March 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Update: The situation in Crimea is deteriorating into war:

I don’t think the West has a week to save the rest of Ukraine.

Merkel might settle for a partition?

The Ukrainians don’t have much choice maybe…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

I don’t see Putin reconstituting the old soviet…at least not that soon anyway…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

If think with most dictators he is going to push it to the limit to see what he can get. There is no limits on his desires for power.

It worked in Georgia
It’s working in Georgia.
It will work in Poland (Or back a candidate that acts like a satellite).

Oil Can on March 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Maybe…But he’s still re-building the navy so it’s a bit earlier than planned.

I guess we’ll see.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Time for Dear Leader to take a quick vacation…

d1carter on March 18, 2014 at 12:45 PM

maybe on that canadian bus…

prezidentin’ is hard…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM

I don’t think the West has a week to save the rest of Ukraine.

So should we look forward to another Friday afternoon new dump . invasion unopposed arrival?

agmartin on March 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Biden arrived in Poland.

Let the laughing begin.

Schadenfreude on March 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

It will never happen. NATO won’t allow it because it will lead quite quickly to war.

Nomennovum on March 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

How will he be stopped? Sternly worded letter?

BobMbx on March 18, 2014 at 1:09 PM

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