Putin Signs Annexation as EU Announces Sanctions

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Ukraine's new government is moving closer to the European Union. The prime minister signed a political agreement with the EU earlier Friday.

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin signed bills annexing Crimea into Russia Friday after the upper house of parliament gave its approval.

With more sanctions announced Friday by the European Union, Russia may take a big economic hit over its invasion of eastern Ukraine.

But are sanctions alone enough, and are other nations bordering Russia now at risk because of the European Union's and America's weak response?

"America's support for our NATO allies is unwavering," President Barack Obama vowed.

"We are bound together by our profound Article 5 commitment to defend one another and by a set of shared values that so many generations sacrificed for," he said.

But those are only words, and so far, Putin has not seen any sign the West has the stomach for a confrontation with Russia on the battlefield.

New York Times best-selling author and Middle East expert Joel Rosenberg said Western leaders have misread Putin.

"Putin sees himself, not as the president of Russia, but as a tsar. A tsar is an imperialist," Rosenberg told CBN News.

"Putin wants to rebuild the glory of mother Russia, in part by reclaiming territory and Russian nationals who fall outside current Russian borders because of the implosion of the Soviet Union," he explained.

Rosenberg warned that the weak Western response to the Russian invasion will only encourage the Russian leader.

"Nobody is stopping him," Rosenberg said. "And I think when a dictator is moving this way and doesn't see anyone with the strength of resolve to stop him, he may take more."

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.