from @afp: US President Barack Obama’s threats of “costs” did not sway Vladimir Putin’s calculations on Crimea. Now he must see if the pain he plans to escalate on Russia will be sufficiently acute to do any better. The White House’s initial strategy of seeking to defuse the crisis, offering Russia an “off-ramp” and warning of consequences has run its unsuccessful course. Putin’s swift absorbtion of Crimea and his fiery speech Tuesday, which seemed to put a full stop on the post-Cold War era, forced the Obama administration into a new phase. The plan now is to hike up the economic cost to Moscow and punish its move into the Ukrainian region by deepening its isolation.
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