U.S. Sanctions on Russia Barely Working

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists in the Belarus capital Minsk, on April 29, 2014, after attending a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council . Putin warned yesterday that new EU and US sanctions could impact the work of Western energy firms in Russia and denied there were any Kremlin forces in eastern Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL / ALEXEY DRUZHININ        (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)


    While the White House likes to point to the fall of the ruble and Moscow’s stock market as evidence of the success of Western sanctions, economic experts believe the moves may have had more of a psychological effect than a tangible one. The ruble and stock market began to fall before sanctions were imposed, and they are both stronger today than before sanctions were announced. What is making the Russian economy weaker, economists say, is the threat of further sanctions against whole sectors of the economy—even though President Obama has been reluctant to introduce them.

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