As the West has turned its attention to the Islamic State and the Ukraine crisis, the government of President Ilham Aliyev has expanded its crackdown on dissenting voices in Azerbaijan with harassment, threats, beatings, and arrests. Even American citizens and international NGOs have bet caught up in the widening net of repression. These actions demand a response.
Vladimir Putin made a small conciliatory gesture earlier this week on Ukraine, primarily aimed at stalling further EU sanctions against Russia. It appears to have worked: further European sanctions appear unlikely. President Obama, however, must not be fooled.
The West needs to expand the scope of its sanctions against Russia, not just to respond to what the Kremlin has already done in Ukraine but also to make it think twice about what it might do elsewhere.