February 23, 2023

A Tool of Attrition

In his 2022 State of the Union address, delivered less than a week after the invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden touted the “powerful economic sanctions” that the West had imposed on Russia, measures that had instantly crushed the ruble and laid waste to the Moscow stock exchange. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden warned, “has no idea what’s coming.”

Sanctions are more of a marathon than a sprint, and the long-term picture looks much more promising than the short-term one.

This year, by contrast, Biden did not even mention sanctions in his State of the Union speech. His silence was understandable. After edging toward the brink of collapse, Russia’s financial system stabilized. ATM lines dissipated, and the ruble bounced back.

Read the full article from Foreign Affairs

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