Ukraine Tensions Escalate

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April 14 (Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer examines the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia. He speaks with Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Government taking over eastern ukraine buildings in that eastern province.

My guest is a former ambassador to ukraine.

What is the endgame for putin here because this is getting scarier?

This is getting increasingly worrisome.

What mr.

Putin wants is he wants to slow, hinder, prevent ukraine from drawing closer to the european union and the acting government says it wants to go forward with the association agreement with the european union.

So you have seen russia even after the annexation of crimea ratchet up pressure, raising gas prices 10 days ago, and now you see these takeover of buildings in eastern ukraine which have all the hallmarks of a russian special services operation.

What can russian authorities do to put pressure on putin?

It seems to me the west is taken some financial steps in the european union has applied visa and financial sanctions on individual russians.

At has had some impact.

The russian central bank over the last four or six weeks has had to spend $25 billion to support the ruble will stop -- support the ruble.

You see large amount of capital flight coming out of russia.

A given the fact they have not moved to defuse the crisis but has piled on more pressure and is doing these provocations in eastern ukraine, it is probably time for the united states and european union to ply additional sanctions.

How close are we to an actual war here not only between ukraine and russia but a larger conflict?

I think there are a couple of points here.

My guess is the russian military does not want to go into eastern ukraine.

In part because they understand ukrainian army, in contrast to crimea, the ukrainian army would fight and there would be partisan action.

I spoke to someone from a city 25 miles from the russian border and she had a conversation with her family and said people were stockpiling guns in anticipation that the russian army might come.

I don't think the russian army wants to do this, but you cannot exclude it.

What has happened over the last 10 days are these armed seizures are putting the government -- it faces a dilemma.

Doesn't act and try to take back these buildings and run the risk of bloodshed and perhaps provoke a russian military response or does it sit back and do nothing and watch these sorts of takeovers continue and perhaps expand.

Are there penalties the u.s. and eu could be considering that you think they should not adopt?

I think it is time to look at additional financial and economic sanctions.

Three weeks ago, president obama talk about an executive order that would allow the u.s. government to move not just against individuals but certain sectors like the financial sector of the russian economy.

I think it is important in the west began to signal to mr.

Putin that there will be additional consequences.

It is pretty clear that nato is not going to go to war with russia over ukraine, but there are things the united states and europe can do that can cause a lot of discomfort and russia.

In your heart of hearts, do you actually think vladimir putin cares?

Does he feel threatened in any way?

He is a different kind of guy, but this is some of you pays very close attention to his approval ratings.

For years, we've talked about this implicit deal putin has with the russian people where he asks them to accept the fact that they have very little political voice, but in return for which he will give them economic stability and growing living standards.

He delivered on that from 2003 2008. there were signs the russians were nervous last year at the projected economy was going to be way below the standards of eight or nine years ago.

Right now, you have everybody downgrading russia growth to 1%. i think that bothers mr.

Putin and to the extent we can push that along, we may be able to urge him toward a different course.

Tank you for giving us the

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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