Europe threatens action against Russia over Ukraine crisis

By Jeffrey Rindskopf,

As Russia tightens its grip on the Crimea, a strategic portion of the embattled Ukraine, the European Union threatened to punish Russia with economic sanctions against them while bolstering the new Ukrainian government with incentives.

The Washington Post reports that European officials met in London to discuss penalties to be imposed against Russia unless the nation accepts a US proposal and begins diplomatic relations with the new Ukrainian government.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, if the measures discussed, including asset freezes and travel bans, are instituted, it would mark one of the first significant actions taken against Russia through this crisis, which so far has mostly been based in rhetoric, condemning Russia's actions.

President Obama has yet to set a date or offer any actions to be taken by the US in response to Russia's military presence in the Ukraine. Analysts say that such economic actions likely wouldn't deter Russia's continuation of its policies in the strategically significant Ukraine.

Although most Western nations are in agreement on the issue of taking some sort of action, there is still disagreement among nations, such as Germany, as to how severe such action should be. The conflict has proven one of the biggest escalations of tension in relations between Russia and western nations since the Cold War.

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