Europe has sanctioned Russian individuals in response to the Crimea crisis, but it confronts an inescapable fact when it comes to targeting Russia's natural gas and oil exports.
Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine in a controversial referendum Sunday, but the peninsula is largely dependent on Ukraine for its power and natural gas. Moscow might be willing to change that, if it means access to the Black Sea's significant oil and gas resources.
While Washington is talking about diplomacy, Poles in cafés and on social media are talking about the land-grabbing of the late 1930s that led to World War II.
Putin uses force for the Crimea secession and the West retaliates with sanctions. As power plays escalate over Ukraine's future, everyone should remember that power and influence are not really at stake.
Reactions in the region have ranged from name calling to accusations of Russian meddling to observations of declining world powers.