Since 2014, the US and its allies have countered the Kremlin’s growing “hybrid warfare” with sanctions. Moscow’s malign activities have included military aggression in Ukraine, election interference, cyberattacks, assassinations, and disinformation. Western sanctions have imposed serious costs on the Russian economy and President Vladimir Putin’s cronies, though the Kremlin and some others question the efficacy of sanctions on Russia. How successful have the sanctions been in altering Putin’s actions? How can future sanctions become more effective in imposing costs on the Kremlin?

A new report by Dr. Anders Åslund, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, and Dr. Maria Snegovaya, nonresident fellow at the Eurasia Center, attempts to quantify the cost of sanctions on the Russian economy and assesses their effectiveness in deterring Kremlin aggression. This event features the authors of the report, as well as Dr. Sergey Aleksashenko, former deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Russia, and Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, as discussants. Ambassador Daniel Fried, Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, moderates.

Read the report


May 3, 2021

The impact of Western sanctions on Russia and how they can be made even more effective

By Anders Åslund, Maria Snegovaya

While Western sanctions have not succeeded in forcing the Kremlin to fully reverse its actions and end aggression in Ukraine, the economic impact of financial sanctions on Russia has been greater than previously understood.

Economic Sanctions European Union

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.