Obama’s Sanctions on Russia are the ‘Only Real Sanctions’ (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)
If President Obama is ‘weak,’ than everyone else is weaker. For Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza, Mariusz Zawadzki reminds Obama’s ever-expanding number of critics that the president has not only been the most consistent leader since the Ukraine crisis began, but that the sanctions he has imposed on Russia have been the toughest in the world, and what’s more, they work.
For the Gazeta Wyborcza, Mariusz Zawadzki begins by immediately going after Obama’s critics:
How numerous were the complaints when Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and Barack Obama announced the first raft of sanctions against Russia! It was said that the U.S. president was again proving to be a wimp, since he decided merely to sanction several people from Putin’s inner circle.
Obama explained then: “Russian leaders must see that their actions in Ukraine have consequences, including a weakening of the Russian economy and increasing diplomatic isolation. If they don’t change their behavior, we will move forward with additional, more severe sanctions.”
People said these were empty threats, about which Putin simply laughed.
Yet it turned out that Obama was the only Western leader to apply any meaningful sanctions at all. The countries of Western Europe, Germany and France in particular, are more concerned about shielding their business interests in Russia from harm.
On Wednesday evening, as Obama was announcing a new set of sanctions, this time against Russian state companies Rosneft and Gazprom, he repeated exactly the same words.
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