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An invasion in all but name

Published Friday, August 29th, 2014

There are at least 1000 Russian troops on Ukrainian soil according to both Kiev and Nato. President Obama said last week that there has been a “dangerous escalation of tension”. Yesterday he showed photo evidence of Russian tanks in Ukraine and described the separatists as “trained by Russia, armed by Russia and funded by Russia”.

However neither he, Prime Minster Cameron, Chancellor Merkel or President Hollande dared yesterday to call Russia’s actions an invasion. They preferred weasel words such as intolerable and unacceptable. To call it an invasion would imply much more than the crossing of a blurry red line and how do you respond to that if a military response is firmly off the table?

The only answer is more sanctions which will damage both the Russian and European economies. More sanctions are a brake on economic growth. Everyone is a loser, particularly Germany the only country still firing economically in the Eurozone. No doubt the arrival of autumn, soon to be followed by winter, has emboldened President Putin with energy as well as military weapons in his armoury.

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Posted by David Hufton