Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its perceived intervention in the eastern Ukraine conflict has led to it being hit with several rounds of western sanctions. More are in the pipeline with the United States and Europe developing a sanctions regime with multiple gears that can be engaged in reponse to Russia’s actions.
The targets of these sanctions are varied: individuals have been hit with travel bans and have seen their assets frozen; banks and companies with close ties to the Kremlin, have seen their access to longer term finance restricted; and sales have been restricted to parts of the economy, including the high-tech, military and oil sectors.
Sanctions have been the focus of the western response to Russian aggression because the West’s military options are limited.
Two questions arise: Are sanctions having an impact on the Russian economy? And are they working to moderate Russian behaviour?
Sanctions: Giving Putin pause for thought
The Kremlin was taken off-guard by the speed and severity of western sanctions, now exacerbated by the falling oil price