'Russia learned from the armed conflict in Georgia in 2008 that use of military force against neighbours can swiftly achieve foreign policy objectives at little long-term strategic cost,' said Keir Giles.
A full transition to elected government based on a popularly approved constitution was meant to be completed in June 2013. Fingers point in all directions but no one takes the blame, writes Amanda Kadlec.
'I would look very hard at the Russian economy and the impact of a strong Western response to what Russia is doing. This could be anything from targeted asset freezes, making it difficult for Russian companies, Russian state companies, to invest abroad, targeting specific individuals, these visa bans. There is a menu there,' says John Lough.
Chatham House’s Keir Giles warned immediately after the Georgian invasion that Russia doesn’t play by the same rules as the West; it would happen again and again, he predicted, and he’s been proved right.
'If you’re a major Western company looking at the Russian market for investment, you might not want to put your eggs in that basket right now,' said John Lough
'The situation is spiralling to a level of conflict and misunderstanding that’s unprecedented since the Cuban Missile Crisis, said Richard Sakwa. 'With talks of boycotts and other sanctions, we can only hope that companies like BP will act as a stabilizing force.'
'Sabah is seen as a traditional, respectable broadsheet and the prime minister seems to want to keep it in friendly hands. Since 80 per cent of his voters get their news from the print media, rather than the internet, controlling the newspaper’s message is critical,' said Fadi Hakura.