The World Must Respond to Putin's Adventurism, Says PN Member Charles Tannock

Charles Tannock
February 03, 2014

Writing for Project Syndicate, PN Member Charles Tannock MEP calls for sanctions against Russia after the recent events in Ukraine and Crimea:

[...] Given the scale of Putin’s adventurism, the world’s response must be commensurate. Canceled summits, trade deals, or membership in diplomatic talking shops like the G-8 are not enough. Only actions that impose tangible economic sanctions that affect Russian citizens – who, after all, have voted Putin into power time and again – offer any hope of steering the Kremlin away from its expansionist course.

Which sanctions might work? First, Turkey should close the Dardanelles to Russian shipping, as it did after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Back then, Turkey closed access to the Black Sea to prevent the US from intervening, though the US, it is now clear, had no intention of doing so. Today, it should close the Turkish straits not only to Russian warships, but to all commercial vessels bound for Russia’s Black Sea ports. The impact on Russia’s economy – and on Putin’s military pretensions – would be considerable.

Turkey is permitted to close the Dardanelles under a 1982 amendment to the 1936 Montreux Convention. Indeed, Turkey could turn Putin’s justification for seizing Crimea – that he is protecting ethnic Russians there – against him, by arguing that it is protecting its Turkic Tatar kin, who, given Russia’s ill treatment of them in the past, are anxious to remain under Ukrainian rule. [...]


Extracts from OpEd by Charles Tannoock MEP, published by the Project Syndicate.

Photo by Mitya Aleshkovsky.


PN Member Charles Tannock MEP is Foreign Affairs Coordinator for the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament.

Read stories from: