The Silent Treatment

I’m not sure Fred Kaplan’s characterization of what “Cold Warriors” think about Putin is accurate, but otherwise his analysis seems pretty sensible. 

So, given that Russia isn’t helping out much in the world anyway, the best way to impose “costs” and “consequences” on Putin’s behavior is to ignore him.

Already, plans for a G-8 conference in Sochi are on hold. Scrap the session altogether. Maybe even hold a G-7 conference (perhaps under a different name) someplace else. (The G-7 nations have already issued a condemnation of Russia’s aggression.) Other possibilities: keep Russia out of the OECD; pull out all economic and technical advisers from Russia; encourage private investors to do the same (the uncertainty of Russia’s market, as a result of the aggression, is already having this effect to some extent); suspend all bilateral talks about … well, everything; suspend travel visas to the West for select Russian officials (this is a more delicate matter, but American and EU officials are drawing up lists).

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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