Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Carnegie’s Eugene Rumer said that the Ukraine crisis has entered a new phase that could potentially lead to outright military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. However, he added, it is unclear what Russia’s political strategy is and what it hopes to achieve by destabilizing the new government in Kiev. Rumer stated that, regardless of Vladimir Putin’s goal, its actions against Ukraine will be detrimental to Russia in the longer term, as Moscow will eventually have to deal with Kiev in some form or another. In the near future, the United States will probably impose more economic sanctions on Russia, and this could do significant damage to the Russian economy. But sanctions are unlikely to dractically alter Russia’s actions, as the Russian leadership now sees the Ukraine crisis as an existential issue, Rumer concluded.

This interview was originally aired on Bloomberg TV.