The White House followed through on a promise to impose sanctions on Russians today, though officials found themselves spending much of the day defending the relatively “toothless” nature of the sanctions, and the puzzling choices of some of the targets.
In the long run though, today’s sanctions are just the start of what could be a protracted war of tit-for-tat sanctions. Russia is already set for its first round of retaliation, with members of the US Senate in the crosshairs.
While the US usually imposes sanctions on nations with little recourse, the shots at Russia are unique, since the oil-rich nation has plenty of Western interests to retaliate against, and its parliament has promised they will do so.
Either way, the sanctions won’t have any impact on the Crimea, where officials say that the process of accession into the Russian Federation is going to go as quickly as possible, irrespective of sanctions and other US threats.