US and EU sanctions against a short list of Russian leaders have not soothed jitters in Eastern Europe over the Russian-backed effort in Crimea to break away from Ukraine. 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.
“I was out with a buddy on Friday and he said, ‘I bet people partied like this in August 1939 as well,’” says our correspondent in Warsaw, who has also lived and reported in Ukraine. “Looking at commentary in the Polish media, looking at what friends of mine are writing on Facebook, it’s kind of a depressing feel over here. People over here are concerned; they are worried.”
The sanctions apply to 28 different Russian and Ukrainian individuals; for now, the United States and European Union appear to have held back on broader sanctions against the Russian arms industry.
“Look, Putin can write a check to each of those people to cover the losses of their assets overseas,” says our correspondent. “I think the time for ramping things up slowly has [come] and gone, if there ever was one. The idea is maybe they [the US and EU] will do a little bit now and see how Russia reacts, and do a little bit more, but I don’t see that working.”
Poland is speeding up plans to modernize its military to NATO standards. Polish officials are talking of forming a joint Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian brigade. And the Polish prime minister is warning ... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.