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(CNN) – Russian forces remain in effective control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, in a tense standoff with Ukrainian forces loyal to the new interim government in Kiev.
But European Union and European commission members are balking at imposing sanction against Russia for its military actions in Ukraine.
Now, experts are asking what the U.S and the European Union were thinking when it backed Ukrainian protesters.
"The United States and also the European Union failed to realize there were significant geopolitical issues involved when we began to, let's say, lean towards those who ousted (Ukrainian President) Viktor Yanukovych," says Harvard international affairs professor Stephen Walt.
Walt is not defending Yanukovych, who he says was "corrupt and incompetent."
"But I think what we failed to realize was that although we were a lot more powerful, and democracy might be the long term wave of the future there, this was an area where Russia had far more significant interests. And we had to anticipate that Russia was likely to react more or less as it did," said Walt.
In other words the U.S. should have seen this coming.
For more of CNN's interview with Professor Steven Walt, check out the video above.
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The Lead with Jake Tapper draws not only on Tapper’s deep knowledge of politics and national issues, but also seeks to examine and advance stories across a wide range of topics that demonstrate his own curiosities and interests. Compelling headlines come from around the country and the globe, from politics to money, sports to popular culture, based on news drivers of the day.
The Lead with Jake Tapper airs weekdays at 4 p.m. ET.
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