¿Guerra fría o cálculo frío?

NUEVA YORK – Con la escalada de violencia en el sur y el este de Ucrania y ninguna solución a la vista, la crisis ucraniana se ha convertido en el conflicto geopolítico más turbulento del mundo desde el que desataron los atentados terroristas contra Estados Unidos en 2001. La estrategia de sanciones liderada por Estados Unidos no hará que mermen las tensiones entre Occidente y Rusia ni apuntalará al tambaleante gobierno ucraniano pro-occidental. Sin embargo, aún con un endurecimiento de las sanciones contra Rusia y una creciente violencia en Ucrania, existen pocas posibilidades de que esté por desatarse la segunda Guerra Fría.

La estrategia estadounidense ha consistido en aumentar las sanciones en respuesta a la agresión rusa, asegurando a la vez que los aliados de Estados Unidos se mantuvieran unidos. En una reciente conferencia de prensa conjunta, el presidente Barack Obama y la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, anunciaron un nuevo umbral, más bajo, a partir del cual aplicar sanciones adicionales. Anteriormente, ese umbral era una invasión militar directa por parte de Rusia; ahora, como explicó Merkel, si Rusia perturba las elecciones del 25 de mayo en Ucrania, "resultará inevitable aplicar más sanciones".

Sin embargo, Merkel y Obama también bajaron la vara para lo que serían esas "sanciones adicionales". En lugar de lanzar medidas sectoriales de gran envergadura que apunten a vastos sectores de la economía rusa -un gran paso hacia sanciones "al estilo de Irán" contra Rusia-, ahora parece que la próxima ronda sólo será incremental. El umbral de las elecciones hace que otra ronda de sanciones sea prácticamente un hecho, pero permite que el ajuste sea más modesto y gradual.

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