Will new US sanctions hurt Russia's economy?
The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against six oligarchs with close ties to the Kremlin and their business empires - citing recent misconduct by the Russian leadership as the reason for the move. News of the sanctions rocked the Moscow Exchange on Monday - with shares and the rouble nosediving. But not all observers believe this will weaken Russia's economy in the long term.
The best antidote for capital flight
Ria Novosti believes that the sanctions could ultimately help the Russian economy:
“No tax amnesty and no special programmes for getting back capital could prove as effective as the fear of losing everything in the West. For a long time a considerable portion of the Russian business world believed nothing guaranteed ownership rights in Russia - but that they were sacred in the West. Washington is now providing convincing arguments that the story about 'ownership rights being sacred in the West' has long since ceased to be true. And if a few Russian business people who exported their capital to the West a little too actively have to suffer for the image of the 'West as a safe haven' to be destroyed, then that's a great deal. Russia's economy only stands to gain from that.”
US wants to isolate Russia economically
Financial expert Kirill Tremasov, by contrast, warns in a Facebook post republished by newsru.com:
“I get the impression that since 2014 we've become so convinced of the lacking impact of sanctions on our economy - or more precisely of their limited impact - that hardly anyone is taking the most recent developments seriously. That's a mistake. The events that took place on Friday mark the beginning of a new stage in relations with the West. We are experiencing a new reality. The US has taken a decisive step in the economic isolation of Russia. That is very, very serious. ... Rusal, one of Russia's biggest exporters, was dealt an unprecedented blow which will destroy its value to a certain extent. And now all Russian companies are effectively facing the same fate.”