Disinfo: Sanctions against Russia are not effective, Russian economy is developing better than the EU’s


When the US and EU introduced sanctions against Russia, they were so confident about their effectiveness that they began assuring each other about this. For instance, former US President Barack Obama stated that thanks to sanctions Russian economy “is torn apart”. A few years after the introduction of sanctions the Russian economy is developing faster than the European one.


Although the EU's and US's sanctions against Russia were not aimed to ruin Russian economy and its performance is influenced by many other factors beyond sanctions, the claim about better performance of Russian economy under sanctions is not true. In reality, sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU, following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, have sapped Russian economic growth. The Russian economy has been performing worse during the whole period. 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. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the EU sanctions against Russia were introduced to prevent the development of the Eurasian Economic Union and that international sanctions produce no negative effects on Russia here, here and here.


  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: European Union, Economic difficulties, Conspiracy theory, 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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