Grading the effectiveness of sanctions on Russia

Since February 24, Ukraine’s international partners have introduced seven packages of sanctions in response to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, which have targeted a wide range of Russian individuals, banks, businesses, etc. The latest package approved on July 21 was intended to “tighten existing economic sanctions” and included a partial ban on the import of Russian gold and the freezing of Sberbankʼs assets.

While some experts may argue that the impact the sanctions have on the Russian economy is not devastating enough, overall, Russia is facing significant problems because of the West’s measures. Moscow’s budget surplus has turned into a deficit, Russians’ real income has shrunk for the first time in a long while, more than 1,000 major global businesses have left the Russian market, and this list can be continued.

Some observers point to the fact that the exchange rate of the Russian currency is very high, alleging that the Western sanctions thus are not very effective but this interpretation is dubious. This is because Russia exports large volumes of oil and gas while the imports have collapsed following the sanctions. Of course, there is space to improve the collective response to Russia’s aggression, and the partners are working to perfect the implementation and strengthen the effectiveness of sanctions.

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