Disinfo: EU has suffered more from the sanctions imposed on Russia


The EU suffered the most serious damage as a result of the exchange of sectoral sanctions and Russian counter-sanctions


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western sanctions on Russia claiming that they have backfired. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia with the latest ones applied in October 2020. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea,  the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine and the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

According to research into the effect of sanctions, the cumulative export loss to Russia during 2014-2018 is estimated at EUR 30 billion (about -0.2% of EU’s GDP in 2018), incurred largely during 2014-2016, as EU exports to Russia recovered in 2017. While these sanctions do affect the EU's economy, the EU-wide impacts of the export losses are estimated at less than 0.2% of total value-added and employment.

Research showed that already in 2016 most of the affected agricultural sectors had been able to find alternative markets, either within the EU or beyond.

Russia’s own counter-sanctions have also had a clear negative effect on the welfare of the average Russian household. Most research supports the view that sanctions have worked as planned, noting the drag they have imposed on Russia’s general economic development since 2014. This adverse effect most likely operates by depressing both foreign trade and foreign capital flows into Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: European Union, Vladimir Putin, Sanctions


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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