When Russian ships attacked and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in November, the incident unleashed a flurry of international condemnation, but spurred little real-world support for the would-be NATO and E.U. member.
More than a month later, 24 Ukrainian sailors are still in Russian custody, and tensions between the neighbors remain high.
Former U.S. diplomats and experts say Washington should be doing more to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also annexed of Crimea in 2014 and is backing rebels in a conflict in eastern Ukraine that’s claimed 10,000 lives.
President Donald Trump canceled a meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Argentina and the State Department announced $10 million in military financing for Ukraine to bolster its navy. An American warship is also being sent to the Black Sea as part of what the Navy described as “routine operations.”
Those measures fell short of what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was hoping for — American and other NATO members’ ships sailing through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov.
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