Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Western sanctions against Russia are ineffective and/or meaningless.
In fact, the sanctions from the US and the EU do not aim to punish Russia or the Russian people but were introduced to send a clear signal to the Russian government after Russia's illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula and the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17.
Claims that the sanctions are ineffective are not backed by evidence. In reality, most research supports the view that sanctions, imposed on Russia by the US and EU following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, 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. Russia’s own counter-sanctions have also had a clear negative effect on the welfare of the average Russian household."
According to the report of the European Parliament, the decline of EU trade with Russia after 2013 can be attributed to a number of factors, most importantly the slump in international oil price which damaged Russian economy and devaluated the ruble.
In 2014 Russian GDP growth was as low as 0.7%. It decreased by 2,3% in 2015 and had modest revival afterwards with 0.3%, 1.6%, and 2.3% of growth during 2016-2018, the World Bank data shows. In contrast to Russia, during the same period, the EU's economy did not experience recessions and had annual GDP growth between 1.8% and 2.5%.
The GDP forecast for the EU stands at 1.4% in 2019, while the Russian economy has forecasted growth of 1.2% in 2019, World Bank said in its Russia Economic Report. The cumulated 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.
The latest decision on a six-month extension of EU sanctions against Russian was taken on the 12th of September 2019, lasting until March 2020.