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By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
Topic - European Union
Spooked by Russia's actions against Ukraine and what the Kremlin may attempt in the future, European Union defense ministers agreed Tuesday to step up cooperation with the U.S.-led NATO defense alliance.
The events leading up to the Ukraine crisis and the questionable annexation of the Crimean Peninsula are muddled in half-truths on both sides.
Pro-Moscow activists barricaded inside government buildings in eastern Ukraine proclaimed their regions independent Monday and called for a referendum on seceding from Ukraine - an ominous echo of the events that led to Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Britain's foreign secretary on Friday urged European Union partners to develop possible further sanctions against Russia "if they become necessary," while the top Russian diplomat ridiculed Ukraine's interim government as a Western puppet.
Congress was near passage Tuesday of a bill to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to cash-poor Ukraine and take punitive measures against Russia for its brazen annexation of part of the former Soviet satellite nation. Once passed by the House, it would be sent to President Barack Obama.
After losing Crimea, the Obama administration is now risking much more.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are advancing far different proposals on how to calm tensions and de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine as Russia continues to mass troops along its border with the former Soviet republic.
The United States and Russia agreed Sunday that the crisis in Ukraine requires a diplomatic resolution, but four hours of talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov failed to break a tense East-West deadlock over how to proceed.
Legislators and journalists have finally seized on the importance of energy policy to the crisis in Ukraine, but much of the discussion has been limited to U.S. policy proposals. We should also bear in mind that international — not just domestic — energy policy won the Cold War.
Syria, North Korea and Cuba stand out as stark examples of countries where years — even decades — of Western sanctions have failed to moderate the targeted regime's behavior.
In a joint statement, the Group of Seven nations say they will meet without Russia. The move is aimed at isolating Moscow as punishment for its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
Russia is paying a heavy price for its annexation of Crimea, with its financial markets crashing, economic growth falling, and foreign investors and citizens pulling money out of the country at a frenetic pace.
If Diane Francis had her way, the U.S. would share a lot more with its northern neighbor than the Great Lakes, maple syrup and Justin Bieber.
President Barack Obama's complex relationship with Europe faces new challenges during a weeklong trip as he tries to persuade allied leaders to hold firm in efforts to punish Russia for its incursion into Ukraine.