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Top US Policy Journal: Sanctions are Backfiring

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Foreign Affairs Magazine, published by the US Council on Foreign Relations, the epitome of the US foreign policy establishment, has a new article out confirming what RI has been explaining for two weeks now.  

It argues that the west’s ill-conceived sanctions against Russia are backfiring by allowing Russia to use its reciprocal ban on food and agricultural imports to strengthen its position in Eurasia.  

Apart from former Soviet Central Asian states, surprise countries such as Turkey are also looking to enhance their trade relations with Russia in a way that serves Moscow's interests.

The article points out that US policy aims to prevent former Soviet Central Asia from being re-assimilated into a Russian led order. The sanctions war has undermined this policy as former Soviet Central Asian states rush to increase their presence in the Russian agricultural market in a way that strenghtens their ties to Russia.  


Schenkkan argues that this new Eurasian space will be “profoundly illiberal” since Russia will encourage its partners to limit Western influence. The project could include countries such as Turkey, whose leaders, according to Schenkkan, are increasingly open to calls to reject Western ideas of liberal democracy.

Schenkkan predicts that the Kremlin’s long-term ambition to use its new found economic leverage to create a counter-axis to the west “will falter because of its own bullying and incompetence”.

Whether or not that prediction proves correct her article highlights how the west’s sanctions policy is achieving results that are opposite to those intended by its authors.












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