Four years of sanctions: «to bomb Voronezh», the price paid for the expense of the Russians and the new restrictions in 2018

Center for strategic and international studies, USA (The Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS) may 7, was held a conference on the consequences of sanctions for the Russian Federation. The event was attended by many political and economic expertssummed up the results of the last four years, during which there were sanctions.

According to the Russian politician, former Deputy Chairman of the Russian Central Bank Sergei Aleksashenko, even before Western countries imposed restrictions against Russia, its economy was in decline. The recession that began in 2014, and to a greater extent was associated with the fall in oil prices and the unwillingness of the government to invest in the modernization of industry. Aleksashenko sure that the first package of sanctions has not had a significant impact on the Russian Federation, however, new restrictions, especially those that have been introduced this year, has dealt a severe blow to the economy of the country. As an example he cited the situation with the company «RUSAL«.

The members of the conference are also confident that the retaliatory sanctions introduced by the Russian Federation was organized on the principle of «let’s bomb Voronezh«, that is, they are affected mainly the population of the Russian Federation. Elizabeth Rosenberg, in the past dealing with sanctions, the US Treasury, said that the West needs to reconsider the principles of imposing restrictions. According to her, Russia increased production of oil and gas, and it allows the leadership of the country to avoid the disastrous consequences of sanctions.

David Murray, who previously held the position of Director of the Department of the U.S. Treasury, explained why America acts very carefully in this matter. This is because many American allies are highly dependent on Russia, so sanctions are imposed so that to minimize «collateral» damage.

At the same time, the majority of experts participating in the conference, declare the poor state of the Russian economy. The sanctions primarily hit the ordinary citizens of Russia, because the leadership begins to cut social benefits, raise the retirement age and tries to reverse a financial loss, at the expense of his people.

Some participants suggested that in 2018, the West will impose new sanctions against Russia. Especially the probability of such development of the situation in that case, if at the next election to win the democratic party. However, Kurt Volker believes that even this will not force Russia to abandon the chosen political course. According to him, Russia demonstrates a readiness for the continuation of the conflict and are not going to find a peaceful solution to the issue.

At the end of the conference, the experts noted that the West is to improve the effectiveness of sanctions and to put pressure on the defense industry of the Russian Federation. This sector is the most vulnerable for the Russian leadership, and it relies Vladimir Putin. If the head of the country make it impossible to use the military industry for their own purposes, it immediately will reduce the degree of tension and compromise.