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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9152
JPY
USD
122.70
GBP
USD
0.6494
CAD
USD
1.2374
INR
USD
63.925

Rates may not be current.