No menu items!

Opinion: Why the West’s Sanctions on Russia Miss the Mark

(Opinion) The recently revealed economic trends regarding Germany, the EU, and Russia raise critical questions about the efficacy of Western sanctions.

In a world where geopolitics often overshadows rational policy decisions, the situation provides an opportunity for reflection.

Has the West’s reliance on sanctions, especially against Russia, been effective? The current data points to a resounding ‘no.’

The Russian Economic Resilience

Let’s start by discussing Russia’s economy, which was expected to crumble under the weight of sanctions.

Instead, it’s showing signs of resilience.

Why the West's Sanctions on Russia Miss the Mark. (Photo Internet reproduction)
Why the West’s Sanctions on Russia Miss the Mark. (Photo Internet reproduction)

The International Monetary Fund recently IMF increased Russia’s growth forecast to 1.5% for 2023, a rate that matches expected growth in Western countries.

In sectors like defense and retail, we even see over-average growth. Simply put, Russia is bouncing back.

The Indian Middleman

While Germany and the EU have tried to minimize their direct energy dependencies on Russia, they’ve seen a surge in oil imports from India.

Here’s the kicker: much of this oil is likely sourced from Russia.

Not only does this render the attempts to sidestep Russia ineffective, but it also raises the cost for the consumer.

The only clear winner in this equation is the Indian business sector, which profits from the markup.

Simultaneously, the EU continues to import Russia’s high-priced liquefied natural gas. The irony here is inescapable.

Despite a policy aim of reducing dependency on Russian energy, Europe is buying one of the most expensive forms of it.

Shifting Trade Winds

As if to add insult to injury, Russia has not been idle; it has expanded its trade horizons. A pivot towards Asia has led to a 41% rise in Russian-Chinese trade.

On the flip side, Russian-German trade plummeted by 75%. This suggests that Russia finds new doors opening in the East while the West turns its back.

Finally, the attempt to cap the price of Russian oil at US$60 per barrel ended in failure. Russia’s Urals oil market prices have surged to US$74 per barrel.

This further underscores the inefficacy of policy measures aimed at curbing Russia’s economy.

Final Thoughts

The objective of sanctions is to bring a country to the negotiating table. But what happens when that country learns to thrive under those very sanctions?

It’s time to question the effectiveness of such policies. We need to look beyond sanctions as a catch-all strategy and invest in more nuanced diplomatic measures.

Because as it stands, the only thing these sanctions seem to be disrupting is the Western fantasy of having control over Russia’s actions.

Check out our other content