Carlos Pascual, former ambassador to Ukraine and Mexico and former State Department special energy envoy, believes there is now an opportunity to find a way out of this crisis.
With the ruble in a "free fall" and Russia unable to refinance debt, the only way out of the crisis is for Russia to get access to international capital markets, he said in an interview with "Street Signs."
"So the challenge today is for both Russia and the west, and in particular Germany, to create a framework that can also bring in Ukraine … to begin to find ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis and bring Russia back into a path of normalcy that will allow it to gain access to international capital."
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Don Jensen, senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, isn't as optimistic that the Ukraine situation will be resolved.
"A frozen conflict is much more likely. He can't afford to go further," he said.
Jensen believes Putin has lost control of the economic situation but not the domestic political one, yet.
"He's painted himself into a corner where he needs this high — in the 80s, still — public support … to maintain his authority but there's not any near-term signs it's going to go down," he said. "That's a longer-term problem, once some of the economic hardships we're seeing now filter through the society."
—Reuters contributed to this report.