Secretary of State John F. Kerry — due to arrive in Kiev today — is headed into the tense standoff with Russia without apparent leverage or practical goals to help Ukraine’s new, struggling government.
“I don’t think he should go over there unless he has a strategic plan in mind. I see no evidence that there’s any strategy on the Ukraine,” said professor Robert Pfaltzgraff of Tufts University’s Fletcher School. “From what I can see the Obama administration is only giving lip service to the Ukraine. Tangible support should come in the form of clear sanctions applied against Russia.”
The Obama administration has been broadly criticized for failing to anticipate Russia’s weekend invasion, and for a flailing response so far. Pfaltzgraff said the United States should not only skip this summer’s upcoming G-8 summit in Sochi, but move to have Russia expelled from the Group of Eight, as well as deploying U.S. Navy ships to the Black Sea, restricting Russian travel abroad, and instituting harsh economic sanctions.
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