RIO DE JANEIRO – Russia’s annexation of Crimea is a fait accompli, a done deal. The ensuing diplomatic ballet indicates that the West understands that it can do little to reverse the outcome. Western sanctions so far have not affected Russia’s real interests, and Russian President Vladimir Putin does not appear to be intimidated.
So the real issue now is whether Russia will push further and claim territory in eastern Ukraine, where a sizable number of Russian-speaking citizens, evidently spurred on by Kremlin operatives, wants to cut ties with the government in Kyiv. Can the West or the United Nations Security Council do anything if push comes to shove?