Talk of sanctions against Russia ramped up Monday following events in Ukraine over the weekend, with the EU scheduling an emergency meeting and the US State Dept. calling trade sanctions “highly likely.”
John Kerry has warned President Putin that he might face “asset freezes on Russian business,” and European officials in Brussels are also considering economic sanctions, including a possible boycott of the G8 summit set for Sochi, Russia. John Kerry and others have also threatened Russia with expulsion from the G8 altogether. Speaking on the Sunday talk shows this weekend, Sec. Kerry has said trade sanctions would “severely damage Russia’s fragile economy” and should serve as a strong deterrent.
However, this afternoon, former Ambassador John Bolton appeared on Fox News to discuss the effect that the economic stick may have on Russia and Putin in particular. Citing historic context, Bolton literally chuckles at the idea that economic sanctions will in any way deter Putin.
“It’ll get his attention but it won’t stop him from what he’s doing,” says Bolton. He adds “a couple of trade sanctions aren’t going to slow Putin down in the slightest.”
Bolton has said that Putin is determined to reestablish Russian hegemony in the region, and that while he may negotiate with the west, he will do so with his boot on the neck of Ukraine. With regard to what actions we should take, Bolton tells Fox “there’s very little we can do.”