The People’s Daily’s subsidiary Huanqiu published an editorial regarding the “battle” between the West and Russia in the Crimean crisis. Below is an excerpt from the article:
Although on March 11, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution condemning Russia and called on the White House to expel Russia from the Group of Eight (G8) and implement visa and economic sanctions, the overall attitude of the U.S. and its European allies on the Crimean crisis is widely considered to be "weak."
This time, in front of Russia and Putin, the West really is a bit like a "paper tiger."
First, the West is afraid of Russia’s military forces. Western countries must exclude the option of war due to how super powerful Russia’s military force is while in conflict. As for other cards to play, the West also has to calculate carefully the possibility of whether it can overpower Moscow.
Economic sanctions are not easy either. Russia’s has everything; its export goods are energy and raw materials that are in short supply.
If the West could disrupt Russia politically, making Moscow start a "revolution," then that would be the most effective way, but Moscow’s "nationalism" (Russia believes that is patriotism) is very active. At the moment, "Democracy" is not going to win the battle.
Finally, Moscow has accumulated more odds to win in the Crimean showdown. Whether by military or with "Democratic rule," the West will be worried about losing the tug of war in Crimea.
Ukraine has become the frontline of conflict between the West and Russia, but it is too far away from the heart of the West and is too close to Russia’s core interests. Although Russia is much weaker than the West, when Russia really is prepared to "fight" at any price, the West exhibits fear. The West’s retreat this time is worth a global strategist’s serious study.
In the promotion of Western political values, the U.S. and European powers are willing to pick apart their weak opponents. Once they hit a hard one, the West is not going to sacrifice itself to help non-Western countries’ "democrats." The West is selfish and constantly calculating its own interests.
Source: Huanqiu, March 13, 2014