Here’s why sanctions on Russia might not work

Refilwe Moloto speaks with a panel of experts on the effectiveness of the sanctions currently imposed on Russia.

– Over the past fortnight, the US, UK and their allies have imposed various trade and banking sanctions on Russia

– On Tuesday, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks bowed to public pressure and suspended operations in Russia


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US President Joe Biden has announced that the United States is banning all oil and gas imports from Russia

Speaking on Tuesday morning, Biden said the move targeted “the main artery of Russia’s economy.”

It comes as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks bowed to public pressure on Tuesday and suspended operations in Russia, joining the international chorus of corporate outrage over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Over the past fortnight, the United States, United Kingdom and their allies have imposed sanctions on Russia, including trade and banking sanctions, including the removal of certain Russian banks from the Swift messaging system,

But what sanctions on Russia are likely to work?

CapeTalk’s Refilwe Moloto posed the question to a panel of experts on Wednesday.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to applying sanctions.

Christopher Michaelsen, Associate Professor at the School of Global and Public Law – UNSW

It’s about creating a groundswell of Russian resistance to the war that will put pressure on Putin.

Dr. Greg Mills, Director – Brenthurst Foundation

The problem with sanctions, says Dr. Greg Mills of the Brenthurst Foundation, is that sanctions can take a while to have an impact:

It probably won’t be fast enough for the Ukrainians.

Dr. Greg Mills, Director – Brenthurst Foundation

This may increase the cost for Mr Putin, but it is unlikely to affect his current plans given his level of engagement in Ukraine.

Dr. Greg Mills, Director – Brenthurst Foundation

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