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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