Tougher sanctions against Russia?

The sanctions against Russia are sort of a mixed bag. G7 just expressed its support for targeted sanctions against Russia, but the US and EU would move out on their own.  And according to NY TimeEuropean firms seek to minimize Russia sanctions. So would you say that the West will move towards real tougher sanctions against Russia or maybe not so much, and why? Read few comments.

Tomas JaneliūnasAssociate Professor at Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University

I’m watching news about a new stage of sanctions on Russia. And it’s no surprise that European companies, especially working in the energy sector, are doing their best to soften or postpone EU sanctions on Russia. I believe that EU measures will be not so hard as coming from the U.S. It’s true – European banks and businesses are far more exposed to the Russian economy than are their American counterparts and that why economic elites in the EU are willing to get more time for adjustment in the case of “economic warfare” between EU and Russia. As far as Russian conventional army is not invading directly in Ukraine, European politicians also could be seen more talking rather that doing radical steps. But as we saw in previous decisions, the leading decisions by the US may have influence on European stance as well. 

Peter ToumanoffAssociate Professor of Economic Marquette University

It is difficult to see how much tougher sanctions can be imposed that won’t hurt Europe as much as they hurt Moscow. Besides, the real cost to Putin is already being felt in Russia’s economy, which is weak and looks to be getting weaker. In order to respond to the credit downgrade, stabilize the value of the ruble and discourage more capital flight, the Central Bank of Russia has raised interest rates significantly. This can only further weaken domestic economic growth in Russia, pushing it into recession.

Riccardo Alcaro, Visiting fellow with the Center on the United States and Europe, Brooking Institution

There is not yet consensus within the EU to move farther than the so-caled 2nd stage sanctions, meaning sanctions targeting individuals or single companies. I do expect the EU to agree upon expanding the list of individuals targeted by assets freezes and/or visa bans. Should the situation get from bad to worse in Ukraine, as it seems likely, and particularly if the US moves first, the EU will be under severe pressure to eventually agree on 3rd stage sanctions – which target not individuals or companies but sectors of the economy.



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