Russia laughs off the West’s sanctions

“The big question for investors” after the Crimean referendum, says Economist.com’s Buttonwood blog, is the extent of Western sanctions against Russia, and Russia’s response.

Early this week, as Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, annexed Crimea, the EU’s measures looked “as frightening as a few plastic crocodiles in a children’s paddling pool”, says Christian Ultsch in Austria’s Die Presse.

A travel ban and bank-account freeze for eight pro-Russian Crimean leaders and 13 minor Russian politicians will hardly have the Kremlin shaking in its boots. America at least targeted a few members of Putin’s entourage, while Russia’s G8 membership has been suspended [...]

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