Since Russia’s recognition on February 21, 2022 of non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in Ukraine and the unwarranted invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the European Union has taken sanctions economic against Russia. These measures came on top of those already taken in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea and the failure to implement the Minsk agreements.
“Unprecedented sanctions have been imposed on our country. But their main objective was not achieved by their initiators. They have failed to undermine our financial stability“, said Mr. Michoustin at the Moscow Financial Forum in September 2022. Yet it turns out that Russia is more affected than it seems. Economists have indeed claimed that Russia is currently experiencing a deep recession, after a 4% decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter.Its imports also fell sharply.
The daily Het Laatste Nieuws reveals that during a talk show on state television, some Putin propagandists let their concerns about the consequences of Western sanctions shine through. “Russian high-speed train Sapsan (a model made by German Siemens) won’t drive”, predicts a propagandist. “What are we going to drive with? What are we going to call with? What are we going to do ? Have we taken care of that?” wonders another. “Suppose we take those responsible to court… But that won’t give us another Sapsan. Or an airplane. All we have is Western. We can nationalize everything now, but what will we do the next day? a simple question with no satisfactory answer.”
In August 2022, a study conducted by analysts at the Yale School of Management already stated that “Company departures and sanctions cripple the Russian economy, in the short and long term”. The experts denounced in particular the statistics selected by Vladimir Putin and his speech praising the resilience of the Russian economy. The analysis indeed confirmed that the sanctions established “discourage many companies and countries from continuing to trade with Russia” before adding that the country was going to encounter difficulties in “to provide spare parts and raw materials, or to obtain certain essential technologies.” An assertion which therefore seems to be confirmed by the concerns of propagandists.