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These are the only sanctions that Russia cares about: Politics : - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum


These are the only sanctions that Russia cares about

By: dayan (M) |Time : August 16, 2016, 11:00:28 PM
Holly Ellyatt, CNBC

 Russia can expect 'indefinite' sanctions for its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, according to a Russia specialist who says the country is unlikely to ever hand the territory back to Ukraine.

"It's absolutely our opinion that Crimea-related sanctions will stay indefinitely because clearly Crimea is not going to go back (to Ukraine) as far as the Russians are concerned," Chris Weafer, a senior partner at economic and political analysis firm Macro-Advisory, told CNBC on Tuesday.

But, according to Weafer, the Kremlin only really cares about one damaging restriction – that of its financial sector. "With parliamentary elections coming up in September and although the economy has come someway, it is still on the floor, so showing strength in Crimea and showing that Russia is prepared to defend its interests there is good domestic politics too."

When Russia "illegally invaded" Crimea, a part of southern Ukraine, in early 2014 the international community reacted to what the EU said was a "deliberate destabilization of a neighboring sovereign country' by imposing restrictive measures against it that are still in place.

Sanctions include asset freezes and travel restrictions against individuals, officials and businesses perceived to be involved in Crimea's annexation, as well as a ban on imported goods from Crimea and tourism services.

Russia was also quickly accused of supporting a subsequent pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine. It denied the charge but the EU and U.S. decided in September 2014 to impose a further batch of economic sanctions targeting - and crucially, isolating - Russia's financial, energy, technology and defense sectors and restricting trade in these areas.

It is these sanctions that have been far more extensive and damaging on the Russian economy than those solely related to Crimea, in no small part causing Russia's economy to nosedive into a recession in 2015 amid the ensuing capital flight.

"You must differentiate the two blocs of sanctions," Weafer noted. "The Crimea sanctions are not going anywhere as far as anybody is concerned but we're looking at (these separate) sectoral sanctions that affect the technology sector, oil and financial sector and of those three, the financial sector ones are the most important," he added.

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