For Europe these spring days may prove to be a defining moment. Its protests over Russian action in Ukraine have gone unheeded. Its pleas have been disregarded. In recent weeks its hand in the crisis has only weakened.
Europe’s foreign ministers meet on Monday in Luxembourg. They are in danger of losing the ability to influence events.
At stake is not just the risk of a descent into civil war in Ukraine, but whether the European Union can demonstrate unity, determination and resolve.
Over recent days a scenario has unfolded in Eastern Ukraine. It is familiar in its design and execution.
Police stations and buildings in several Ukrainian cities have been occupied by pro-Russian protesters, many of them armed.
According to reports, some of the men carry specialised Russian weapons and, as in Crimea, some wore identical uniforms without insignia.
There is no evidence that Russian forces in a conventional sense have crossed the border, but Nato believes that “Russian forces have been involved in seizure of some of the buildings”.
US officials in Washington believe it is an operation straight out of the Kremlin playbook, describing “a concerted campaign by forces with Russian support to undermine the authorities in Kiev”.
The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, has said the events “bear the tell-tale signs of Moscow’s involvement”.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.