Tensions remain high in eastern Ukraine, where an unstable cease-fire was interrupted on Saturday by a rebel attack on a Donetsk airport under government control. On the same day, Russia sent an unauthorized convoy into Ukraine with humanitarian aid, prompting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to declare that Ukraine is in “in a stage of war” with Russia, adding that “[Putin’s] aim is not just to take Donetsk and Lugansk. His goal is to take the entire Ukraine … Russia is a threat to the global order and to the security of Europe.”
As the Ukrainian economy continues to struggle, Yatsenyuk called for NATO intervention, claiming it’s the only way to avoid a full Russian invasion of his nation as part of an attempt “to re-form the Soviet Union.” This follows Kiev’s effort to pass a bill that would “scrap the non-aligned status of the Ukrainian state and establish a course towards membership of NATO.”
Meanwhile, the United States and EU have intensified their policy of economic pressure on the Kremlin with a new round of sanctions that have targeted key sectors of the Russian economy. The latest sanctions curtail the capability of Russian oil companies to drill in the Arctic and increase the limits on Russian banks’ ability to to obtain any foreign credit beyond short-term loans.