Sanctions against Russia barely effective

The sanctions against Russia have barely had any effect on the country's economy, researchers from ABN Amro write in a report. The trade reduced by a third between 2014 and 2016, but the effect of the western sanctions was limited. Last month the US and the EU extended the sanctions against Russia. 

The US and the EU placed sanctions on Russia after the annexation of Crimea in the summer of 2014. Those sanctions included freezing bank accounts, a travel ban for certain companies and persons and limitations on trade with Russia. "The sanctions have barely impacted the Russian economy," the researchers write. The downturn in the Russian economy is mainly due to the decreasing oil price and not the sanctions.

There seemed to be an effect at first. Russian companies had to quickly pay off foreign debt due to the sanctions on the flow of capital. This caused the rouble to decrease in value quickly, but the economy started to recover in 2015.

As a response to the sanctions Russia placed a boycott against fruit and vegetables from Europe, among other things. Trade declined, but had a limited effect overall. The Dutch export decreased by half a percent between 2014 and 2015. The pain was mainly felt in fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy and flowers.

In the long term the sanctions will have an effect. Russia can't import new techniques for obtaining oil and gas, collaboration with Western companies has ended. This will delay the modernisation in the sector.

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