Today, Russia is making nice to the world community regarding the crash site investigation as European leaders meet in Brussels to discuss faster and deeper sanctions on Russia for their perceived destabilizing role in the Ukrainian conflict. Russian president Putin has been involved in allowing access to the crash site and convincing the rebels in East Ukraine to turn over the black boxes to Malaysian airlines and release the bodies of the dead back to Dutch authorities for identification. The Dutch Prime Minister said publicly that Putin made constructive contributions to efforts to organize a probe.
The United States continues to push the EU for harsher sanctions on the Russian economy. However, the world consensus is that Europe may speed sanctions already discussed but stop short of implementing harsher measures that would seriously damage the Russian economy. The measures to likely be implemented would match the sanctions the United States imposed last week.
Sector-wide economic sanctions on Russia are a possibility if the situation deteriorates further. With the Russian economy likely to fall into a recession this year, the Kremlin is keen to prevent further economic damage. However, the anger being displayed in Europe, especially the Netherlands, is palpable.
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Meanwhile, Germany has indicated it may support a UN presence in Ukraine. Russia, as well as the rebels, continue to deny their forces had anything to do with the disaster.