The economic hybrid war was supposed to bend Moscow to the will of the US and its allies, but it seems they overplayed their hand
© Getty Images/Ivan Yanshin
“Every cloud has a silver lining,” is a familiar line of reassurance, and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached for it, recently, as he commented on the slew of sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West and its allies in recent years. They are “a powerful step towards greater economic and financial sovereignty, which is crucial,” he ventured.
Moscow has long been accustomed to sanctions pressure, going back to the Soviet days, and the EU and US began to announce new waves of restrictions from 2014. However, that pressure reached a whole new level last year after Putin launched the military campaign in Ukraine, making Russia the most sanctioned country in the world, ahead of Iran. Moscow has been slapped with ten sanctions packages, from Brussels alone, since February of last year.
Still, even those measures have not been enough to cripple the Russian economy. Western officials have conceded that the decisions made by the Russian government to push back against sanctions have helped the country’s fiscal base hold up in spite of the challenging environment.