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(Tommy Andersson/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Oil price key to curbing Putin’s ambitions

If the West is serious about curbing Vladimir Putin’s plans to turn Crimea into a permanent Russian theme park, the answer lies not in dubious sanctions or asset freezes but in the global price of Russia’s crucial major export – oil.

Mr. Putin has always been a lousy economic steward, more focused on advancing his goals of restoring Russia’s superpower status, consolidating control over key sectors of the economy and rewarding friendly oligarchs, than actually broadening growth and incomes.