In March 2014, in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military actions in Eastern Ukraine, the European Council decided to implement sanctions against Russia. The EU criticized Russia’s actions against Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. In response to the EU’s sanctions, in August 2014 Russia introduced a food embargo on agricultural products from Western countries. The most frequently discussed topic regarding these sanctions is their effectiveness and their impact on the Russian economy. In other words, the experts aimed to identify evidence that Western sanctions do work against Russia and to estimate their effect on the Russian economy. This article discusses the views of Russian economists and political analysts on Western sanctions against Russia. The goal of the article is to present the opinions, analyses, and forecasts of leading Russian experts living in Russia and abroad and who are working for the government and/or in the academic field. The views of several experts were investigated regarding the situation resulting immediately after the imposing of sanctions and regarding perspectives of future development in Russia under the influence of sanctions. This article addresses the impact of some of these Western sanctions on different economic sectors and discusses the overall effect of sanctions on the Russian economy. In particular, the article covers the opinions of Russian economists and political experts concerning financial sanctions and its impact on the Russian banking sector; impact on direct foreign investments; impact on economic and political stability; and the effect from the introduction of Russian agricultural embargo on Western import. One section is focused on the views of economists on effectiveness of sanctions as political tool, and the last section summarizes the main political and economic effects of sanctions on Russia since 2014.
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