The impact of Western sanctions on Russia and how they can be made even more effective



Anders Åslund and Maria Snegovaya | Atlantic Council

  • While Western sanctions have not succeeded in forcing the Kremlin to fully reverse its actions and end aggression in Ukraine, the economic impact of financial sanctions on Russia has been greater than previously understood.
  • Western sanctions on Russia have been quite effective in two regards. First, they stopped Vladimir Putin’s preannounced military offensive into Ukraine in the summer of 2014.
  • Second, sanctions have hit the Russian economy badly. Since 2014, it has grown by an average of 0.3 percent per year, while the global average was 2.3 percent per year. They have slashed foreign credits and foreign direct investment, and may have reduced Russia’s economic growth by 2.5–3 percent a year; that is, about $50 billion per year. The Russian economy is not likely to grow significantly again until the Kremlin has persuaded the West to ease the sanctions.

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