The West’s outrage at Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea found full expression at Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
It was announced that 21 Russian and Crimean politicians and officials face a travel ban and asset freeze, a sanction matched by America. Thus, a tiny number of Moscow’s elite and their puppets find their Harrods cards suspended.
And in case you are wondering, it is as likely that President Vladimir Putin’s £25billion personal fortune will be discovered sitting in a current account at the Kensington branch of NatWest as that Sevastapol will win the 2014 Holiday Destination of the Year prize.
Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind yesterday dismissed this pea-shoot gesture as ‘pathetic’, and he is right.
Whatever the historic arguments for Crimean secession from Ukraine – and some exist – Putin’s act of armed aggression, with threats of more to come, relies on exactly the same arguments that Hitler deployed to justify his 1938-39 lunges into Czechoslovakia and Poland.
The United States yesterday warned of further sanctions against Russia, including expulsion from the G8.
But it remains unlikely that the leading Continental nations will support convincing economic action.
Half of Europe cooks on Russian gas, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes a display of real defiance against Putin, or indeed any foreign enemy.
Thus the master of the Kremlin has concluded that the West is weak, jelly weak. The evidence of almost three decades since the Cold War’s ending suggests he is right.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk