the European Union on Monday extended for six months the anti-Russian sanctions. To new unprecedented measures of pressure on Russia call American politics. Threats of sanctions and counter-sanctions between Washington and Beijing. Even the global crisis that came along with COVID-19 do not appear to have chilled the ardor of the lovers of punitive measures. International experts shared their thoughts about the effectiveness of sanctions and their future in the world after the pandemic of coronavirus.
His decision to extend economic sanctions against Russia until 31 January 2021, the Council argued that the peace process in the East of Ukraine still does not progress.
Recall that the European sanctions restrict access to five major Russian financial institutions, as well as three major energy and defense companies in the three markets of primary and secondary capital in the EU. In addition, prohibited the export and import of weapons and export of dual-use goods for use in Russia for military purposes. Limited Russia’s access to some technologies and services that can be used for the production and refining of oil.
In this background of the international discussion club “Valdai” has held presentation of the new report “the Policy of sanctions after COVID-19: whether to wait for the sanctions epidemic?”.
“MK” posed questions to the panelists:
1) is it even Possible to talk about sanctions as an effective instrument of pressure of some States on others?
2) What forms can take the sanctions pressure postpandemic era?
Ivan Timofeev, program Director of the club “Valdai”:
1) Sanctions policy and its effectiveness can be considered from different points of view. If we are talking about changing the internal or the foreign policy of the state against which sanctions are imposed, they are rather ineffective. Because this happens rarely. Often it is the attitude of the allies of the countries-initiators of the sanctions than to the enemy.
From the point of view of the damage that can cause a country-initiator countries-objectives, the damage can be quite large: sanctions hurting the economy, affecting economic growth, quality of life of citizens, on access to international Finance and so on.
If you understand the sanctions and their effectiveness as the ability to achieve change in the political course of the enemy, then they are likely to be ineffective. But from the point of view of damage, they are more effective.
2) COVID-19 had no significant influence on the policy of sanctions. None of the existing sanctions regimes were not revised.
the Only thing that was done is a small humanitarian exceptions to existing regimes. Most likely, these exceptions will still survive for some time, but they do not affectt fundamentally on the policy of sanctions, do not help to fundamentally countries that are under sanctions.
Strictly speaking, COVID-19 essentially nothing has changed. And the number and intensity of sanctions will only increase.
Xenia Kirkham, lecturer, king’s College London (UK), expert of the Valdai club:
1) the answer to the question of whether the sanctions are effective or not, largely depends on what we mean by efficiency, as well as from our theoretical positions.
for Example, if we follow the liberal analysis of costs and benefits, the answer is “no”, because not only the extremely high incidental costs, but the effectiveness of sanctions in General are overrated because they often do not achieve their main goal of changing policy or regime in the state, which is the main goal.
the Problem is that liberal theory does not understand that the nature of authoritarian rule is based not only on coercion but on legitimacy.
Liberals expect signals about the suffering created by sanctions, will lead to the mobilization of rational people that will push their governments to implement the necessary political changes for the sake of economic stability. However, as the example of Cuba, this is not happening – Castro rhetoric against sanctions has strengthened the claims of regime legitimacy.
If we follow institucionalistas, the answer is “Yes”, as for them the effectiveness of sanctions depends on the type of regime, but authoritarian regimes are more resistant to sanctions than democracies. However, this approach is also problematic because of democracy or authoritarian regimes rarely exist in pure form – most state systems are hybrids.
Therefore, the emphasis on “efficiency” of sanctions in itself is wrong, and it would be more appropriate to focus on those mechanisms through which sanctions.
2) Despite some expectations that COVID-19 could weaken the existing sanctions regime, in fact, remains the prevailing trend is to strengthen, not weaken sanctions.
In the short term, the laws of the United States will continue to penetrate into various spheres of international political economy, to punish the Corporation, to prohibit various types of transactions and even, as suggested by Mike Pompeo, focus on “individual behavior”. Thus, the number of third parties affected by secondary sanctions will only increase.
This extension will be supported by joint efforts of the U.S. agencies responsible for the implementation of the policy of sanctions, such as the Office for foreign assets control of the U.S. Treasury, Bureau of industry and security, U.S. Department of Commerce, etc.
eventually, one��about this trend may be reversed because of the growing resistance not only from the sanctioned States, but also by strategic allies like the EU.
Extraterritorial coverage secondary sanctions may eventually force Europe to adopt a more decisive answer, especially against the background of the main threats to European interests. Although abandoned the Euro and the yuan challenges the supremacy of the U.S. dollar began to decline in the longer term, the use of Finance as a weapon can lead to the strengthening of coordination and resistance, as well as to the formation of alternative economic and financial channels.