Economic Affairs

The limits of economic sanctions on Russia

Their impact will grow over time but, meanwhile, there are ways for the economy to stay afloat

The financial sanctions will be especially painful. Most Russian banks will be unable to access the Swift messaging system. PHOTO: REUTERS
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The economic sanctions imposed on Russia have the capacity to cripple its economy and financial system, but it's not clear when or even whether they will succeed in ending the war in Ukraine. All sanctions have loopholes and workarounds, the capacity of Russia's regime and society to withstand the sanctions could be underestimated and the political impacts of the sanctions within the country are uncertain.

The sanctions on Russia are about the most comprehensive ever applied. More than 30 countries, which represent over half of the global economy, have joined in. Coming wave after wave, the sanctions have targeted Russia's financial system, its high-tech production capacity, transport networks and consumer sector. They are also aimed at Russia's oligarchs and other individuals in the country's ruling establishment, including President Vladimir Putin himself.

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