Western Sanctions and Their Consequences for Russia
The article examines the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the United States and a number of other Western states with a view to forcing the Russian Federation to abandon undesirable actions in the southeast of Ukraine: in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as well as in the Crimea.
The purpose of the study is to analyze the situation and determine the further steps on both sides to improve relations between Russia, the US and the EU, despite anti-Russian sanctions.
The authors give a chronicle of events after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia in 2014, analyze the reasons for the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions by the US and its allies in connection with the assistance of our country to compatriots in the southeast of Ukraine. The article analyzes not only the reasons, but also the nature of quite serious political, economic, financial and other measures (sanctions) to force Russia to change the chosen policy towards sovereign Ukraine and its territories.
The authors note that the initiators of the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions were the United States and the leading states of the European Union; Among the participants in the “sanctions” were also Australia, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Japan and other states. In the opinion of the initiators of pressure on Russia, the reunification of Russia and the Crimean Republic, the former part of Ukraine, was illegal, as it violated the universally recognized borders and territorial integrity of a sovereign state, a member of the UN Security Council. The authors not only describe in detail the step-by-step introduction of anti-Russian sanctions, but also make a valid conclusion that the state policy of counteracting Western sanctions, conducted in 2014–2018, yielded positive results both in the political and economic spheres in particular, accelerated the implementation of programs on overcoming dependence on imports in a number of areas of the economy, including in industry and the agro-industrial complex of our country.
The consequences of imposing sanctions against Russia, their influence on the economy of different countries are being investigated by both Russian and Western scientists and specialists. So, in August 2017 a survey was conducted among 193 German companies operating in the Russian Federation. The study showed that 97% of the polled representatives of German business assess the new American law on sanctions negatively, among them 77% - “unambiguously negative.” In a positive light, only 3% of the polled companies expressed their opinion about the new sanctions.
More than half of the respondents (52%) reported that the new sanctions, directly or indirectly, but will affect their business. “At the same time, most companies are afraid of indirect consequences. About a third of respondents (30%) indicated that the new US sanctions would not affect them. And for 18% of respondents it is not yet clear whether sanctions will affect their business. Two-thirds of companies (65%) expect that sanctions will have a negative impact on their business. Entrepreneurs are afraid of fines from the US. In addition, the survey revealed an increased degree of uncertainty: one third of respondents at the time of its holding did not know whether new sanctions would be applied to their current projects or not.” Despite the tightening of sanctions, almost three-quarters of respondents (72%) plan to keep the level of business activity and investments in Russia at the same level, and 15% are going to even increase their activity and increase the volume of investments in the Russian economy. Only 13% of respondents are going to reduce their activity because of sanctions.
According to many respondents, sanctions are designed to promote the economic interests of the United States, as a result, almost three quarters of companies (73%) “call on the EU and the government of Germany to respond.”
The leitmotif of the need to apply sanctions against Russia was its participation in the events that unfolded on the territory of the neighboring state - Ukraine. By the end of 2013, a civil revolution had begun in Ukraine, which led to a coup d’état. One [western and central] part of Ukraine’s population supported a coup d’état, while another [southeastern] part of the country’s population opposed it. Since the conflict of political and other interests was accompanied by acts of violence in different parts of the country, separatism in the southeast of the country sharply increased in Ukraine. The first to withdraw from the unitary Ukraine was declared by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea [and the city of Sevastopol], having conducted on March 16, 2014 a referendum on the formation of the Republic of Crimea with the subsequent intention of joining Russia on the rights of the subject of the Federation. Russia supported the holding of the referendum by a military presence on the peninsula. The referendum was voted by 82.71% of voters, with a result of 96.77% for joining the Russian Federation. On March 17, the leadership of the Republic of Crimea asked Russia to join as a subject. In the end, the Russian Federation recognized the referendum in the Crimea and granted a request for the annexation of the peninsula to Russia, since Crimea has an important strategic importance for the Russian Federation in the Black Sea region.
The international community, in the person of states with developed market economies, primarily the United States, did not recognize the referendum in the Crimea and found the Crimea’s joining Russia, despite the will of the population of Crimea itself, an act of military aggression towards Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Separate trends covered the east of Ukraine - the Donbass region. On the basis of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine on May 11, 2014, the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic were proclaimed through a referendum. In Ukraine, a war broke out on the one hand for preserving the territorial integrity of the unitary Ukrainian state, on the other hand, for the formation of a new [con] federal state formation, Novorossiya, on the basis of the south-eastern regions of Ukraine. Despite the fact that the Russian Federation has not officially recognized LDP and the DNR until today, it did not introduce its peacekeeping troops into the territory of Ukraine, nevertheless, the blame for the events and the escalation of the conflict and violence in southeast of Ukraine are western countries, including Australia and Japan, try to entrust exclusively to Russia. Although the Western countries themselves provide financial, humanitarian, technical and other assistance to the Ukrainian authorities in the current civil war, which automatically makes them involved, that is, equally response.
The article contains a well-founded conclusion that, despite numerous difficulties, the state policy of counteracting Western sanctions played a positive role in Russia’s socio-political and economic development.
KeywordsAnti-Russian sanctions The policy of Russia Counteraction to Western sanctions
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