What should be done about an increasingly aggressive Russia?

The past few weeks have brought more evidence of Moscow’s moves away from international norms and law. From continued denials of complicity in the MH17 tragedy and the bombing of a humanitarian convoy in Syria to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent exit from the Nuclear Security Pact with the United States, Russia’s behavior is diverging further from the rules-based consensus of the post–Cold War world. This is in spite of Western sanctions that were introduced against Moscow in 2014.

Indeed, these moderate limitations on selling certain goods and services to Russia as well as on the freedom of movement of some Russians seem to have emboldened Putin.

With a new debate underway in the EU and United States on the future of the sanctions regime, there may now be a window of opportunity for significantly expanding economic measures, including financial or personal sanctions, in order to bring Russia back from the brink of military escalation.