News / Economy

Analysts See Little Impact From Western Sanctions on Russia

Pro-Russian supporters take part in a rally outside the regional administration in Donetsk.  The US and the European Union imposed sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans on officials from Russia and Ukraine after Crimea applied to join Russia on referendum, March 17, 2014.
Pro-Russian supporters take part in a rally outside the regional administration in Donetsk. The US and the European Union imposed sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans on officials from Russia and Ukraine after Crimea applied to join Russia on referendum, March 17, 2014.
Ken Bredemeier
Experts on economic sanctions say the measures imposed by Washington and the European Union on Russian and Ukrainian officials will have little immediate impact.

Those travel and visa restrictions were imposed on people who pushed Crimea to join the Russian Federation.

But some analysts worry that sanctions may be strengthened soon, which could raise tensions further.

One native Russian who tracks economic issues, Misha Gutkin of VOA's Russian service, says some of the seven Russian officials sanctioned by U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday were surprised at how weak the measures were and they laughed about them.

One official, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, used his Twiiter account to jokingly address the American leader as "Comrade Obama."

Some of the Russians said they have no assets in U.S. financial institutions and no intention of traveling to the U.S., negating the impact of a visa ban.

Gutkin cited the comments of Vladislav Surkov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of those sanctioned by the U.S.

"Vladislav Surkov said he considers [being sanctioned] an honor, and in fact he has no property or bank accounts in the United States. And the only things that he is interested in the United States are works by [poet] Allen Ginsberg, [artist] Jackson Pollock and [rap musician] Tupac Shakur, and I don't need a visa to enjoy those, he said. So far the effect is negligible," said Gutkin.

The Russian stock market advanced Monday, suggesting that investors in Moscow were not very worried by the sanctions. The United States says it may impose further sanctions if Russia continues to push to annex Crimea.

Poltical scientist Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says the United States is treading a fine line in imposing sanctions.

"The challenge the United States faces is how to make sanctions sufficiently painful that they will encourage more reasonable behavior from Russia, but at the same time not so painful that they are likely to trigger an escalation," said Farnsworth.

He said the West's confrontation with Russia over Crimea "is bad now, but it could easily be worse."

Bankrate.com analyst Mark Hamrick says tighter sanctions could heat up the confrontation, and that could hurt the economy.

"If things start going down a slippery slope at an accelerating rate - it’s going to be very unsettling for the financial markets, so this is definitely a key risk factor for investors to be watching," said Hamrick.

Hamrick says he hopes cool heads (reasonable people) are able to keep the situation from escalating.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7492
JPY
USD
102.27
GBP
USD
0.5960
CAD
USD
1.0950
INR
USD
61.300

Rates may not be current.