Putin builds war chest as Kremlin digs in for the next crisis


In the latest display of deepening cracks in the West's formerly unified economic campaign against Russia, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters Monday that "the time is right" for reconciliation in EU-Moscow relations.

The latest French overture comes as US lawmakers returned to work this week and at least two sanctions bills against Russia are making their way through Congress.
But policymakers and pundits question whether further unilateral sanctions are an effective response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's adventurism, amid concerns that they could also damage relationships with American trading partners and allies.
The US and its allies first issued a package of economic sanctions in 2014, intended to punish Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting separatist militias in eastern Ukraine.