Global Affairs

Sanctions are powerful but increasingly risky weapon

The United States has been making more use of economic sanctions for political reasons, but this tool carries increasing costs

LONDON • Investing in Russia has always been a risky case of "famine or feast" for those brave enough to try. And at no time is this truer than now, for Moscow's stock market is in a tailspin. It lost almost 9 per cent in one day last week, while the rouble - the country's currency - was marked down by over 10 per cent.

Russia's politically connected billionaires, its famed oligarchs, are also hurting badly. Mr Oleg Deripaska, the raw materials magnate and Moscow insider who only a few months ago was feted by all the world's influential people at Davos, where he threw a lavish reception with pop singer Enrique Iglesias, saw the value of his companies drop by a quarter; he and his colleagues are estimated to have lost US$16 billion (S$21 billion) last week alone.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2018, with the headline 'Sanctions are powerful but increasingly risky weapon '. Print Edition | Subscribe