The National and Global Consequences of Sanctions Against Russia » WDET 101.9 FM

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Congress has sent $14 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and now President Joe Biden has said the United States will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. But most of the efforts of the United States, its Western allies and Japan are aimed at breaking Russia down economically.

In early March, economic sanctions came into force against Russia’s central bank, which have been called the “largest single action” of its kind in modern history. By cutting Russia off from its financial reserves, its currency, the rouble, has recently been brought to the brink of default.

“It’s not about the United States. Neither the sanctions story, really, nor this ramifications question is about the United States because the scale of the trade and even the financial intersection between Russia and America is really, quite insignificant. —Adam Tooze, Columbia University


Listen: how sanctions have a bigger impact in Europe than in the United States



Adam Tooze is a professor of economic history at Columbia University, author of numerous books on economics, including the most recent “Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy”. He says the sanctions mainly hurt the Indian and European markets because Russia sells oil to those countries.

“It’s not about the United States,” says Tooze. “Neither the sanctions story, really, nor this question about the ramifications is about the United States, because the scale of the trade and even the financial intersection between Russia and America is really, quite insignificant.”

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