The downing of flight MH 17, with the loss of all 298 people on board brought the events in Ukraine into shocking focus for us all. The manner in which the crash site was dealt with let us see how little humanity exists in these war zones. This crisis in Ukraine seems set to continue for some time.
The EU response is to consider sanctions against Russia. They are considering moving to Stage 3 sanctions, which provides four main options. These are restrictions on access to EU capital markets for Russian state-owned financial institutions, embargo on trade in arms, restrictions on exports of dual use goods, restrictions on exports of sensitive technologies including in the field of energy. None of which, it seems will, if applied, have any immediate effect. Currently the EU member states are concerned to ensure that their country does not carry an unequal burden if any, should Stage 3 be embarked upon. The EU was fundamentally involved in the creation of this crisis. If the EU wants to play world politics, then they need to get their act together. The Foreign Ministers must decide on a real implementable strategy to end what is a totally unacceptable lawlessness, which if left unchecked, will only grow and spread to other regions. A hundred years ago this month, what on the day seemed to be a very small event, lead to a tragic World War. Let us not sleep walk back into history.