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U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has made a calculated call to action for the U.N. Security Council to hold the Kremlin "accountable" for the nerve agent attack in Britain. She also announced that it's the sound belief of the United States that Russia is indeed responsible for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal ( a former Russian double agent) and his daughter Yulia. Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, responded by immediately kicking 23 Russian diplomats out of the country. Russia ignored a deadline to explain Russia's involvement which was set by May, and warned Britain to not threaten a nuclear power.
So now the US is completely backing Britain, and the UN now sits in a position in which they'll have to go on the offensive when it comes to Putin. If there is one concern moving forward, it's the expectation that Russia will not respond kindly to future threats or sanctions. Handling the Putin ego with kid gloves works well until they start releasing military-grade nerve agents on an allied populous. Now you're heading down a road that makes Russia the #1 public enemy of the world, a role sometimes Putin seems to embrace. Although panic is never the answer, the current reality includes the need for Russia to admit to the egregious act and then make it right. That's a response that has never been in gunslinger Putin's repertoire.
WH won’t say if Putin is a friend or foe of the United States. “Russia is going to have to make that determination,” Sanders said— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 15, 2018
Not to be overlooked are the new sanctions announced by the Trump administration, punishing Moscow for its cyber intrusion during the election. Within the announcement were newly disclosed details on a Russian attempt to penetrate the US energy grid. Sanctions are also being applied onto 13 others who were indicted by Robert Mueller for their election meddling.
Now here we sit, a situation that feels more and more like Billy Connolly in a Boondock Saints style standoff. The United States stand alongside Britain (and possibly the rest of the UN) on one side, and the Putin led ruski nation is on the other. It's not clear who, if anyone, will walk away unscathed from this political quick draw standoff. This is also the type of thing that leads to a legitimate military conflict if one side wants it enough. If Las Vegas had odds on this, you'd probably be throwing your money on the probability that Russia calls bluff over and over. Only time will tell whether or not the US, UK, or UN get serious about leveling severe punishment against Russia. If they do, that's when we find out whether Putin is a dormant blowhard or a true active volcano capable of true destruction.