Are the EU sanctions against Russia working?
Sanctions are commercial or political penalties levied by either one or more nations against a target nation. They are basically inflicted on a target nation to force it to abide by specific rules. Russia is an example of nations that have undergone a series of sanctions from the EU. But are the EU sanctions against Russia working as expected by the EU nations? Well, the effectiveness of EU sanctions against Russia is discussed below.

In 2014, the EU levied a travel ban and arms restrictions on Russia. This is when Russia violently merged Crimea state to its territory and successive arms intervention in Ukraine. The EU sanctions were levied to deter Russia's citizens from touring EU nations for security reasons. Also, an embargo was levied to ban trade that involved arms between Russia and the EU nations. Basically, the EU levied the sanctions with the intention that Russia could end its attacks on Ukraine as well as trading in firearms.

Lack of unity among the EU

However, Ukraine's naval ships that were in the Black Sea got attacked again by Russia in 2018, despite the sanctions. This resulted in the injury of more than six naval sailors as well as the violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity. The EU condemned the attack and endorsed the extension of the sanctions which had been levied on Russia in 2014. Besides, the arms embargo levied on Russia did not deter it from trading in firearms. The state went on to trade with Asian countries such as China and India. In fact, the research found that Russia was the world's second firearm's exporter in 2018.

Lack of unity among the EU nations over Russian sanctions has eased the effects of the sanctions on Russia's regime to date. Notably, the imposition of sanctions by the EU has to be debated first before being legalized by the EU General Court, unlike in the US where the president has the ultimate decision. For instance, after the Ukrainian attack by Russia in 2014, the United Kingdom strongly proposed the imposition of a series of sanctions on Russia. The state termed Russia's regime under President Putin as a security threat to both Ukraine and EU nations.

The EU sanctions were levied on

However, other EU nations such as Hungary, Italy, and France suggested lifting the levied sanctions on Russia. For example, in 2016, the French Senate urged its state government to lift the sanctions levied on Russia by the EU until Russia plans to attack Eastern Ukraine. As a result, Russia's regime took advantage of the division to keep on with the prohibited activities.

The EU sanctions were levied on Russia's government officials, especially President Putin's elites. They were denied access to funds and their properties frozen. The EU had prospects that the government officials could advise the President to abide by the EU rules for them to access funding from the EU. Unfortunately, the EU penalties could not work because Russia's regime designed a method that eased the effect of the levied sanctions for its benefit. You might be wondering how Russia's regime under Putin managed to ease EU sanctions on its bureaucrats. Well, President Putin simply rewarded his supporters financially and scolded the government officials who boycotted his laws.

Are the EU sanctions against Russia working?

For example, Mikhail, who was one of Russia's government officials, was coerced to take refuge in London to evade Putin's wrath after boycotting his laws. Additionally, businesses of the government officials who boycotted Putin's laws were denied state funding and the owners were falsely charged with tax evasion and corruption. Therefore, Russia's government officials strictly adhered to the President's orders to evade the penalties. As a result of Putin's tyranny, the EU sanctions on his government officials did not work as expected by the EU.

Russia's citizens are also targeted through the imposition of economic sanctions by the EU. The EU expects the citizens to riot against their government to force the regime to abide by the EU laws. However, Russians perceive the EU sanctions as an assertive method used to erode the economy of Russia.

Furthermore, Russia's citizens have remained peaceful towards its state government despite its economic crisis. President Putin enforced the law of adaption as an alternative measure to ease the effects of EU economic sanctions. The law entails spending cuts and planned budgets on Russia's citizens to partly deal with the shortage of available reserves.

To sum up, it is apparent that the EU sanctions are not working against Russia. Instead, Russia's regime has established alternative measures to ease the effects of the EU sanctions as discussed above. Russia's regime would have adhered to the EU rules if the sanctions were consequential.

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