Russia Claims Victory With Ukraine Vote And Leaves World Wondering What Is Next

Two recent reports – one from the Obama administration and the other from the United Nations – sounded the warning bells about the impacts of climate change. Regardless of the merits of either report, Robert Samuelson contends that the developing world still does not have an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem.

“From 2010 to 2040, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects global emissions will increase almost 50 percent. About 80 percent of global energy comes from fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), which are also the major sources of carbon dioxide emissions. At present, we have no practical replacement for this energy. No sane government will sacrifice its economy today — by dramatically curtailing fossil-fuel use — for the uncertain benefits of less global warming sometime in the foggy future,” he writes.

The recent emergence of Russia as a global actor highlights the decline of the US, says Rob Garver in The Fiscal Times. The crises in Ukraine and Crimea make “it increasingly clear that U.S. influence alone is not enough to assure either stability in general or specific outcomes favored by the Obama administration,” asserts Garver, who note the defensive posture taken by foreign policy analysts and officials in recent days.

As analysts and politicians in Washington debate the decline – or non-decline – of the US, Putin continues to wield his authority in his neighborhood, notably with the victory by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine on Sunday.

Few observers would contend the vote was representative of free and fair elections. But, as Jamie Dettmer notes, that may not matter.

“Putin also made an ominous prediction: ‘2014 will go into the annals of our whole country as the year when the nations living here firmly decided to be together with Russia, affirming fidelity to the historical truth and the memory of our ancestors.’ The reference to ‘nations’ suggests Crimea isn’t the end of the matter,” the Daily Beast reporter writes from the region.

In reaction to Sunday’s vote, there were signs that more sanctions are likely from the West. For now, questions swirl around Putin and what his next moves might be. Financial Times writers assess what the votes could mean and how the rest of the world is likely to react.




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