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What Would Reagan Do About Russia’s Seizure of Crimea? by Owen Smith

The following article which appears in Forbes was written by IWP Chairman Owen Smith.

As the chattering classes wrangle over what the appropriate U.S. response should be to Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea, the Obama administration would do well to look to the geopolitical playbook Ronald Reagan used when Russia attempted to exert leverage using energy policy under far tenser circumstances.

Consider the current crisis. Russia has annexed Crimea, Ukraine’s warm water port and a vital key to Russia’s ability to export oil and gas to Europe and the rest of the world. Energy exports remain the backbone of the Russian economy and its source of world currencies. So far, the West has done little to stop Putin’s illegal storming of Ukrainian bases and hostage-taking of troops. The U.S. has gone to the U.N. Security Council to condemn Russia’s violation of international law, but the Russians cast a negative vote, thereby vetoing Security Council action. With so much of Europe beholden to Russia for energy resources, the U.S. has found few partners, despite some verbal support from allies.

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