A Hoover History Lab Discussion between Kleinheinz Senior Fellow Stephen Kotkin, Research Fellow Michael S. Bernstam, and Sergei Guriev, provost and professor of economics at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).
Many analysts are skeptical about the effects of the sweeping sanctions imposed by the West on Russia – pointing to the Kremlin’s apparent ability to weather and circumvent the harsh measures. They say that Russia’s resilience to this onslaught is due to its geostrategic advantages including the sprawling Eurasian landmass and its relationships with China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of Central Asian countries that declined to join the sanctions regime. These skeptics also highlight perverse and unintended consequences of the sanctions, including driving economic activity underground, spurring criminal forms of commerce, and helping the Putin regime strengthen control over the private sector and oligarchs. What is the actual story? What are the facts, consequences, responses, paradoxes, and long-term effects of the sanctions on Russia? Has Russia become vulnerable economically? This conversation explores these questions and more.