Sanctions and the Russo-Ukraine War: Are They Working?

James Van Zorge
James Van Zorge, is a Business consultant in Indonesia that has worked for the Harvard Institute for International Development, Food and Agriculture Organization, McKinsey & Co., and A.T.Kearney’s Global Business Policy Institute. He completed his BA in International Relations, summacum laude, at the State University of New York at Albany, and he holds a Masters of Public Policy, International Economics, from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Jakarta, IO – Ever since the start of the conflict, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted unprecedented economic sanctions targeted at Russian oligarchs, banks, state-owned enterprises in the high-tech and energy sectors, as well as increasingly stringent bans on Russian fossil fuel imports in the USA and the EU. 

Yet the main objective of the sanctions–which is to inflict sufficient damage to the Russian economy to the point where Putin’s ability to wage war is compromised and therefore would force his hand to come to the negotiating table–has still not been met. 

Rather than making a dent in Moscow’s war chest, ironically the sanctions on Russia’s fossil fuel exports–which account for the lion’s share of Russia’s economy–have, at least for the time being, created a windfall. 

For now, Putin is the one benefiting from the sanctions while at the same time consumers around the world are suffering from the consequences of high rates of inflation and economic decline.