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The New Cold War

President Barack Obama, right, and Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, left, shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Obama welcomed Ukraine’s new prime minister as the U.S. seeks to highlight ties with the former Soviet republic now caught in a diplomatic battle between East and West.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

It’s beginning to look like the Cold War, is back.

“Mr. Putin, tear down this wall!” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Yatsenyuk sat down with President Obama vowing that Ukraine would never surrender its independence, even if Crimea secedes and joins Russia.

“We fight for our freedom. We fight for our independence. And we will never surrender,” said Yatsenyuk.

He said Sunday’s referendum in Crimea is a sham, because everybody knows what the result will be and President Obama made it clear what our response would be.

“We completely reject a referendum actually patched together with Russian military personal basically taking over Crimea,” said Yatsenyuk.

So what next? Well, recruit allies for the coming fight. First step for the prime minister of Ukraine? Make it crystal clear which world he wants to join.

“Ukraine is and will be a part of the Western World.”

And to make it clear that Ukraine wants peace.

“But it’s difficult to have any kind of talk having the barrel knocked at your head. And, appeal to a nation who knows how difficult it can be to break away from an ambitious empire,” Yatsenyuk said. “My country feels that the United States stands by the Ukrainian people.”

But Ukraine carries a lot of baggage. A bankrupt economy for one thing, and a government that by all accounts, is about as corrupt as it gets. That’s part of the reason Ukraine has been unable to move closer to joining the European Union.

Now thanks to Vladimir Putin, the west now seems able to look past the country’s finances.

Something about the ghost of the U.S.S.R. rising from the grave makes a balance sheet look not quite so important anymore.

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