DISINFO: EU sanctions fail to isolate Russia and isolate Europe instead
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DISINFO: EU sanctions fail to isolate Russia and isolate Europe instead


Sanctions penalised Europe and France in the first place. Because our exports to Russia have declined and Russia has gradually turned, because it is being pushed to do so, towards China.

Instead of taking our technologies from France and Europe, they are taking them from China and we are pushing the world's first reserve of energy, the largest country in the world, the first reserve of drinking water, the largest forest in the world, oil etc ... to China.

This huge transformation workshop at relatively low and competitive costs. Americans are very present here in Russia. The Americans are present as usual, they are looking at how to do business. Of course, they are happy to slow ours down. But for that, we cannot blame them. We must blame ourselves for not doing otherwise. These sanctions must be stopped at European level. France must be a driving force.

Russia today can overcome any sanctions that may come. Why? Because it is a huge space which in the worst case can, of course not for everything but for its survival, be autonomous. Second, it is focused on Asia. Today cooperation with China is very strong and not only China but also the Brics. Countries whose weight in world GDP is enormous, stronger than Europe. We do not isolate Russia, but we isolate ourselves.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about sanctions being ineffective and only harming the EU and profiting the US and China. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

The US implemented similar sanctions (see this update from April 2021) on Russia. Therefore, it cannot be said that the US forced the EU to implement sanctions so that American companies could take the Russian market instead of European companies.

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.

Chatham house discusses this misconception that sanctions would hinder Europe as it would favour the Russia-China relationship (in myths 9 and 14). The Russia-China cooperation was not created by the sanctions and is a long-term trend but it has not meet Russian expectations.

If economic sanctions were driving a Sino-Russian alliance, broader economic ties would be especially strong. But this is the weakest part of the relationship. Less than 1 per cent of China’s foreign investment goes to Russia. China’s hard bargaining has disappointed Russia, while local suspicion and hostility towards investors have disappointed China. Sanctions themselves have also deterred China from some deals. Meanwhile, thoughtful Russians quietly worry that their country could slip into a position of subordination.

In May 2021, the Atlantic Council published a report where it concludes that sanctions were effective from two aspects: first, it stopped Vladimir Putin’s preannounced military offensive into Ukraine in the summer of 2014. Second, sanctions have hit the Russian economy badly. Since 2014, it has grown by an average of 0.3 percent per year, while the global average was 2.3 percent per year. They have slashed foreign credits and foreign direct investment, and may have reduced Russia’s economic growth by 2.5–3 percent a year; that is, about $50 billion per year. The Russian economy is not likely to grow significantly again until the Kremlin has persuaded the West to ease the sanctions.

Read also related stories: Sanctions policy against Russia is not achieving its goals, EU has suffered more from the sanctions imposed on Russia, It was EU that suffered the most from anti-Russian sanctions, Sanctions against Russia are ineffective, EU is suffering from the sanctions against Russia, Sanctions against Russia are unproductive, Howl all over Italy: The Italian economy is dying without Russia.


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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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