Why is it so difficult to assess the impact of

Why is it so difficult to assess the impact of sanctions on Russia?

After the partial military mobilization in Russia and the organization of contested referendums in the occupied Ukrainian territories, the European Union on Wednesday 28 “, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. These include import bans, “which deprive the Russian economy of 7 billion euros in revenue”, but also export bans from the European Union (EU) to Russia, “in particular the key technologies necessary for its war machine”.

A section of the French political class considers these measures to be ineffective. The President of the National Rally (RN), Marine Le Pen, reiterates that “these sanctions are of absolutely no use if they do not make the European peoples suffer and, by the way, the French people too” by throwing Europe into the energy crisis and enriching Russia.

Seven months into the conflict in Ukraine and even though the embargo on Russian oil is not yet in effect, is it safe to say that these sanctions did not have the expected impact on the Russian economy? The question is actually much more complex.

Unprecedented sanctions

The first sanctions against the Russian economy date back to 2014, after the annexation of Crimea. But the measures taken since Ukraine’s invasion reach the “highest level of sanctions any country has ever known,” says David Teurtrie, a geographer and associate researcher at the Europe Eurasia Research Center of the National Institute of Oriental Languages ​​and Civilizations (Inalko).

The six waves of measures passed so far are aimed at “weakening” Moscow’s ability to finance the war and “imposing” economic and political costs on the Russian elite, according to the European Commission, which assures that they are “not blocking” exports. Food and agricultural products or related transactions.

The Twenty-Seven agreed to ban the import of a long list of energy sector products (coal and Russian oil, with few exceptions), but also many commodities and other goods (iron, steel, timber, cement, gold, alcohols, etc.). The EU also imposes an export ban on high-tech (modern semiconductors, computers, etc.), luxury goods, goods and technologies needed for oil refining, energy or even maritime shipping.

You still have 75.1% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.