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Smart Take | Will the New Sanctions Against Russia Make a Difference?

March 1, 20241:57

The United States announced a sweeping set of new sanctions against Russia this week in response to the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Mark Kennedy, Director of the Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition, provides insight into the effectiveness of the sanctions up until now, how the latest round of sanctions are different, and what impact they could have on the Russian economy.


Video Transcript

  • This video has been lightly edited for clarity

    The entities that are being targeted. You know, from the beginning have been those that have been fueling the economic engine of Russia, whether it be oil, it's diamonds, it's gold, as well as the war machine itself. There's new sanctions on North Korean suppliers of weapons. There have been previous sanctions on Iranian suppliers of weapons. And new as part of these sanctions is those that were involved with Navalny's retention and execution. 

    The European Union, for the first time is sanctioning Chinese entities. They had been trying to persuade China not to help circumvent the sanctions, and they finally, with their frustrations, decided that they needed to sanction Chinese entities. Are they being effective? Well, the Russian economy shrank a couple of percent in 2021, but it's grown a couple of percent since then, even though it's not forecasted to have a great year next year. So this hasn't prevented Russia from continuing to execute the war. 

    The Treasury Department suggests that its taken 5% off their growth. How has Russian achieved that? Largely through a significant amount of stimulus, 70% increase in military spending, possessor economic stimulus to mitigate the impacts on the Russian people. How long can Russia continue this? That's a question because there's a huge labor shortage as you look at so many Russians either getting out of the country or on the front lines, that continues to compress the Russian economy.



Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy

Director, Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition

Hon. Mark Kennedy (US Congress, 2001-07 MN), Director of the Wilson Center’s Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition, also serves as an appointed Civic Leader supporting the Secretary of the Air Force, a Senior Fellow at CNA-Center for Naval Analyses and as President Emeritus of the University of Colorado. Kennedy is dedicated to strengthening America’s alliances, and the technology, trade, infrastructure, and energy foundations of its economic and global leadership. Mark applies experiences as a first-generation college graduate, corporate executive, presidentially appointed member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, founder of the Economic Club of Minnesota and author of an Ivy League published book. He has engaged wide cross-sections of society in over 45 countries, including refugee camps, war zones, 50 military bases and three aircraft carriers at sea.

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Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition

The Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition works to shape conversations and inspire meaningful action to strengthen technology, trade, infrastructure, and energy as part of American economic and global leadership that benefits the nation and the world.  Read more