OPINION: Western Sanctions Strengthen Russia’s Internal Political Stability

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti), Nikita Alentyev – The latest round of sanctions against Russia will ultimately result in greater political stability within Russia, Israeli political activist Avigdor Eskin told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

“Notably, the level of political approval to those in power, and hence the political stability, is unprecedented in the face of Western sanctions. This is sort of a gift to President Putin and it is up to him now to use it wisely,” he said, explaining that this kind of national accord was unthinkable just a little over a year ago.

Together with the new phase of sanctions, the European Commission said it is working on the next phase of stricter limitations targeting Russia’s economy. Eskin dismissed speculation on possible sanctions, focusing on those measures that are already in force.

“I wouldn’t want to speculate about possible further sanctions, but the current ones are, essentially, a ‘cure’ for Russia’s longstanding economic illness,” Eskin said.

“Russia has been lacking a mobilization factor much needed to reform the resource-driven and export-oriented economy into a system focused on manufacturing and services. The Western actions and what Ukraine is doing would be that necessary mobilization factor,” he said, stressing that history has shown countries have been able to emerge out of isolationist attacks stronger and more resilient.

Speaking on more specific consequences of the sanctions, Eskin mentioned the return of Russian capital into the country as a way to offset capital flight from risk-averse foreign investors.

“This would also make for appropriate circumstances for the return of capital to the country, as no Russian businessman is currently confident in what is to happen to their money abroad, which would re-direct capital back into Russia,” he said.

Eskin said that the wording chosen for sanctions aims to stress that those decision-makers “in charge” of Crimean reunification should be “held responsible,” although, in fact, these very people deserve a “thank you,” rather than a punishment.

“The territorial transformations associated with Crimea can only evoke gratitude to those in charge. Never has a transformation of such kind been so bloodless. The people yearned for reunification and their will was fulfilled. In this respect, it is very difficult to understand the grounds for criticism against Moscow,” he explained.

On Monday, the US imposed sanctions against 7 Russian individuals and 17 Russian companies, accusing Moscow of failing to meet its commitments under the Geneva accords and further escalating the crisis.

On Tuesday, the European Union also imposed sanctions on 15 additional Russian and Ukrainian officials. Most of those listed in the EU sanctions expand on the US list.

Later that day, Japan also announced additional sanctions against Russia over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Tokyo said it will deny visas to 23 Russian nationals, including government officials, amid Moscow’s “lack of visible action to reduce tensions in Ukraine.”

Moscow has repeatedly warned that talking in the language of sanctions is “inappropriate and counterproductive” and warned its Western partners about the “boomerang effect” that sanctions would have.

Leave a comment