December 18, 2014

COLUMN-Russia Sanctions: Beware the Blowback

By Elizabeth Rosenberg

In recent days, the U.S. Congress has moved aggressively to increase the economic pain inflicted on Russia in punishment for its brazen destabilization of easternUkraine and Crimea.

Legislators are attempting to up the ante with Moscow by passing new laws to penalize foreign banks and energy companies for doing business in several Russian economic sectors.

The desire to inflict more economic difficulty on Russia is understandable. By imposing pain on Russia, the United States and the European Union can try to force Moscow to change its aggressive behavior toward its neighbors.

But the new sanctions may not be as effective as Congress hopes, and President Barack Obama should be reluctant to enforce the penalties aggressively, as doing so would have serious consequences for the United States and its partners abroad.

Read the full op-ed at Reuters