Here’s how we know sanctions are hurting Russia

Now, with much of the global economy rejecting Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invaders stormed Ukraine, the country is once again on the verge of defaulting on its obligations to the foreigner.

Although the West has made it clear that it will do nothing that could be construed as joining in the firefight against nuclear-armed Russia, its unprecedented economic blockade and sanctions clearly have a effect.

It is unclear whether China intends to provide such assistance to Russia, and both countries have denied that Russia has requested it. Sullivan flew to Rome on Monday to meet with Chinese officials and discourage aid to Russia.

Here, I have rubles

Russia is threatening to repay foreign creditors from “hostile countries” in heavily devalued roubles, according to a report by CNN’s Charles Riley.

Non-payment or payment in rubles for more than 117 million dollars in interest payments on dollar-denominated government bonds due Wednesday would mean Russia had defaulted on its debt.

Russia has money to pay, but half its foreign exchange reserves are frozen by Western sanctions.

The default itself could end up being an endnote, according to Riley, since Russia has relatively low foreign debt. But it could cause major problems for any American companies exposed to losses, and it would surely further isolate Russia from Western companies.

Potentially grabbing what’s left

Separately, Russia is threatening the growing list of companies pulling out of Russia, saying their assets could be seized by the state.
Russia’s richest businessman, Vladimir Potanin, chairman of metals giant Norilsk Nickel – which, despite losing most of its value, is still worth around $22.5 billion – implored Russia not to take the assets of Western companies.

“First, it would take us back a hundred years, to 1917, and the consequences of such a move – a global distrust of Russia by investors – that we would suffer for many decades,” he said. he said in a post on Norilsk Nickel. Telegram account Thursday.

The only way it really ends

The question will ultimately be whether Russians are ready to accept their new status as global pariahs and give up the Western comforts some have grown accustomed to.

Putin is obviously ready to accept these things.

“Nothing will stop Vladimir Putin,” said Vladimir Kara-Murza, the dissident Russian politician who survived two poisoning attempts. He appeared Monday on CNN from Washington and said Putin had already erased 30 years of political gains since the end of the Cold War.

“The only strategic end to this is that Vladimir Putin is no longer in power in Russia. This is the only strategic solution. … Needless to say, only Russians can do this. Only Russians can influence political change in our own country,” he said.

He argued that the United States and other countries should redouble their efforts to get creative with technology and relay information to the Russians the same way they did with radio networks during the war. cold War.

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What do the Russians think? We don’t quite know

What effect the sanctions are having on ordinary Russians and whether their minds are changing seems uncertain at this time. Draconian new laws have essentially ended the independent press in Russia, and Western news agencies have expelled journalists from the country.

Valerie Hopkins, a Moscow-based New York Times correspondent who left the country, told CNN on Monday how difficult it is to gauge public opinion, although the fact that people are willing to risk being arrested in protest is notable.

A woman crashed into Russian state television news broadcast on Monday holding a “no war” sign and interrupting the propaganda regime fed to most Russians by state media.

“I myself have reported from Russians who don’t believe their own Ukrainian families that there is a war,” Hopkins said. “But as it goes on, I think maybe people are finding out more information. The problem is that it’s even illegal to take a poll or ask a question: ‘Do you support her? war? “

Look at this: CNN’s Brian Stelter interviewed Yevgenia Albats, editor of the liberal and independent newspaper New Times, which remained in Russia despite the new law banning critical reporting.

The West is running out of sanctions

Now it looks like it will turn into a test of willpower. The West is running out of sanctions because its response to Russia has been so swift and severe.

“The United States has done virtually everything it can to sanction all parts of the Russian economy, which will have a devastating effect over time,” said Angela Stent, former national intelligence officer for Russia at the National Intelligence Council, appearing Monday on CNN.

“The Europeans should give up buying Russian hydrocarbons, and they are not yet ready to do so,” she said. “They can only do that if they are sure they have other oil and gas supplies. There isn’t much left to sanction.”

Oil prices fall

In the United States, new indicators point to a domestic recession as a direct result of higher commodity prices expected due to Russia’s invasion – although the price of oil briefly fell below $100 a barrel on Monday, which means most of the price hike attributed to Russia’s invasion has now been erased and is expected to trickle down to gas prices, according to CNN’s Matt Egan.

What exactly can sanctions accomplish?

The sanctions imposed on Russia are unique in that they pinch a country that had been so entangled in the global economy.

But some worry that sanctions will often ultimately lead to capitulation — and such severe sanctions are not tied to a specific goal, according to Nicholas Mulder, a Cornell University professor and author of a new book, “The Economic Arme: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern Warfare.”

In a Q&A with The Atlantic, Mulder argued that the sanctions should have a more specific purpose.

“If there is a perception in the world, or on the part of Russia, that these are going to be permanent and they are going to be there no matter what Russia does, they will only be a weapon to destroy the Russian society and the I don’t think this will lead to the kind of longer-term international situation that we want to pursue.

Comprehensive sanctions that harm people as well as governments are “morally burdensome”, he said.

“If we engage in politics based on the idea that bad governments and their people are one, then we have embraced a way of thinking that comes dangerously close to how ultranationalists and fascists see the world,” Mulder said.

War against the Russian economy

That sanctions are now the key tool of war in the globalized society is undisputed.

Retired US General David Petraeus appeared on CNN’s “New Day” program on Monday and said there would come a time when Russians would get fed up.

“At some point, again, people are going to realize, you know, the stock exchange will never reopen. We’re not getting much for our ruble anymore. Various products that they took for granted just don’t go .to be on store shelves. Again, it’s starting to happen, and it’s going to get worse in the coming weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the war is getting worse

As these economic frustrations mount for Russians, the military horrors of the Russian invasion continue to emerge from Ukraine:

  • Shocking footage of a pregnant woman shot and killed in the bombing of a maternity ward in the city of Mariupol.
  • The Russians are ready to besiege kyiv and target civilians in a residential building.
  • The refugee crisis is getting worse. More than 2.8 million people have fled Ukraine, including more than 1.7 million to Poland alone.
  • And missile strikes a few miles from the Polish border brought the war closer to NATO’s borders.
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