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March 20, 2014

Russia Ukraine and U.S. Corruption

Obama deserves credit for holding off the gun slingers who wanted to take military action. The problem is we should not let one corrupt economy cuddle up with a second, much larger, economy.

The west made two big mistakes with how the Ukraine fiasco was handled. First we did nothing about Ukrainian corruption. We did not condemn it and then when the revolt against the pro Russian leader broke out we fueled it throwing out the possibility of Ukraine joining the Eurozone.

Putin was sitting at the Olympics and secretly fuming at the west. The west leaped to the conclusion that he was helpless and would do nothing. Did we ever miscalculate. The west's error actually fueled the flames.

Secondly, while Obama was speaking of sanctions Putin was taking action. Soon after Russia crossed the border with troops we should have stopped our threats and took economic action by suspending Russia's membership in the G-8, imposing economic sanctions on the country and on its Oligarchs and start supplying natural gas to Europe.

Let's hope we don't repeat our lack of action with what remains of the Ukraine. We need to lay out what we expect Ukraine's government must do to be considered for membership in the Eurozone. Before granting them membership require that they begin developing and implementing a plan for joining. Provide some economic support now but hold off their membership until real positive action occurs.

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