Determined to get the last word, President Obama announced a fresh round of sanctions designed to deter further Russian encroachment into Eastern Ukraine. President Putin targeting a few US Congressional hacks, responded with like sanctions lite.
Although Obama admits future stiffer measures will negatively impact the world's economy, the astute observer knows those sanctions will never rise to the level of damaging Russia, beyond Russia's level of tolerance. We've now entered the subtle stages of a backdoor drawdown.
Since Russia is already on the record for Crimea being the end of the line, everybody can walk away looking strong. Putin gets Crimea, while denying he was ever really there, the West can maintain a united Western front contained Russia's naked aggression and what's left of Ukraine can cozy up to Europe.
If President Obama is smart enough to know when to pull the plug on an operation that's gone badly, Western powers should be in the process of executing their own face-saving exit strategy. In short, Crimea is history, long live Ukraine.
A flurry of security activity, symbolic shows of solidarity and a few more threats of sanctions if the Russians continue behaving badly should just about do it. BTW, sending Vice President Joe Biden on that Baltic handholding tour was a nice touch.
Bottom line: Enough of the games, the business of global governance and economic development needs serious attention. Anything further media generated on this crisis, is not news, its just noise.
Its been fun, but its time to prepare for the collapse of John Kerry's Israeli Palestinian peace talk efforts. Until then, enjoy your spring.