Isolated Russia has little left to lose
"And while the impact and legacy of the sanctions themselves are mixed, there can be no doubt that the era of partnership in Russia's relations with Europe and the West is now fully over, and that a new period characterized by mutual isolation and deterrence has begun," write Matthew Rojansky and Michael Kofman.
The one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting down of Flight MH17 over Ukraine is an opportunity to take stock of the costs of Europe's latest, biggest, and apparently most intractable security crisis.
Twelve months after Russia-backed separatists were first accused of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet, Europe's relations with Russia -- having advanced by leaps and bounds over nearly three decades since the fall of the Iron Curtain -- have again descended into deep distrust and hostility.
European leaders, initially knocked off balance by Russia's annexation of Crimea and cascading outbreaks of violence in eastern Ukraine, found new resolve when nearly 300 passengers, many of them EU citizens, became victims of the conflict. This tragedy, for which Europeans held Russia morally and politically responsible, became the rallying cry and the trigger for imposition of tough, coordinated sanctions by the U.S. and the EU.
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About the Authors
The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, and the region through research and exchange. Read more