The European leaders really lack of unity regarding the format of sanctions against Russia, but the Kremlin's aggressive policy leaves them no choice. It is stated in an article released by the publication of The New York Times.
The authors of the article state that, although the Russian leader Vladimir Putin says that Western sanctions can not affect the economy of the Russian Federation, their extension that was discussed in Luxembourg by the foreign ministers in the Normandy format, will become a "real blow" to the head of the Kremlin.
"In addition to extending existing sanctions, the allies have prepared a new round of sanctions that could be imposed if Russian-backed separatists seized more territory in Ukraine," The New York Times writes.
The publication notes that Putin's position is currently uncertain, so he resorted to nuclear blackmail. However, his announcement on Tuesday that about 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles would be added to the Russian arsenal was not a surprise.
"The United States and Europe have largely been measured in their response to the crisis. They need to stay measured and focused on diplomacy, always making it clear that the confrontation could end if Mr. Putin withdrew his troops and weapons from Ukraine and instructed Russian-backed separatists to observe the Minsk cease-fire agreement that both sides have routinely violated," the article reads.
The New York Times notes that Putin was wary of the increase in capacity of NATO in Eastern Europe, but Russian aggression leaves no other choice for the allies.
"If he is not careful, Mr. Putin may end up facing exactly what he has railed against — a NATO more firmly parked on Russia's borders — not because the alliance wanted to go in that direction, but because Russian behavior left it little choice," the publication says.