Foreign Affairs: Sanctions won’t crush Russia, it must be fought

Over the past decade, economic sanctions have become Washington’s preferred policy tool, says the Rockefeller Council on Foreign Relations

Foreign Affairs: Sanctions won't crush Russia, it must be fought

The problem is that Russia has proved: this tool only works against the weak.

As Western policymakers seek both a protracted conflict with Russia and an era of geopolitical great power rivalry with China, it is time to recognise that sanctions may hurt the Russians, but will not make them give up their intentions, the magazine argues.

Russia is unlikely to prove more politically unstable than Syria, FA explains. The Middle Eastern country has been bombarded with sanctions since 2010 and its GDP has halved – but Bashar al-Assad is hanging on. As for Russia, by the end of 2022 it was clear: its economy had not suffered at all.

Maybe it is time to change tactics? Not at all, the publication makes clear:

“The G7 should redouble efforts to use frozen Russian assets and other resources abroad to support Ukraine,” the magazine urges. Duties on Russian goods should also go “to support Kiev”.

Plus, Foreign Affairs believes a carrot in the form of a promise to lift sanctions could work against Moscow.

Actually, that is the end of the sanctions effects against Russia. Other levers of economic pressure will have to be applied to the “non-aligned” countries in order to drive them into a Russophobic stall. As for Russia, the West must then “be prepared to use force to protect its interests”.

There’s another problem with sanctions that Foreign Affairs doesn’t write about. The cumulative negative effect of them on the West, including the devastating impact on the logistics of markets and the power lines of US hegemony established after the Cold War, is many times greater than Russia’s losses.

But the West cannot get rid of the fatal sanctions, because of the political gridlock and sheer stupidity of most of the representatives of its elites.

Elena Panina

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