December 29, 2022

Russia’s Economy Is Still Working but Sanctions Are Starting to Have an Effect

Source: NPR

Journalist: Jackie Northam

Though they may not have wrought the kind of economic turmoil in Russia initially predicted, analysts say these measures are causing damage and could have deeper impact going forward.

"The short answer is yes" — the sanctions are effective, says Edward Fishman, who led the State Department's sanctions policy after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. But he says it depends on what Western nations are aiming for with the measures. "They aren't trying to achieve a psychological change in Putin. They're not trying to make Putin, you know, wake up in the morning and decide that Ukraine was not worth ... the effort," he says. "What they're really trying to do is just create attrition in Russia's military-industrial complex and its economy writ large."

"This Fortress Russia strategy, which was talked about and some people laughed about it in the beginning of the 2022 sanctions, it did prove to be at least partially effective," she says. "We were expecting a much deeper contraction, myself included." Elina Ribakova says that preparation, along with a skilled response by Central Bank officials, helped control the immediate financial crisis from the sanctions, allowing Russia to hold on to more than $250 billion in foreign reserves.

Read the full story and more from NPR.


  • Elina Ribakova

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program

    Elina Ribakova is a former Adjunct Senior Fellow for the Energy, Economics, and Security Program and has been a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for Interna...

  • Edward Fishman

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, & Security Program

    Edward Fishman is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, where he focuses on the intersection of business, economics, and national security. His r...