Andreas Goldthau

Understanding the Risks of Sanctioning Russian Oil

With secessionist events in Ukraine unfolding, further U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia remain a policy option. Russia’s oil sector fuels roughly forty percent of the country’s current budget, so finding an effective way to sanction it is an obvious target for the United States and its western allies. Before sanctioning Russian oil, however, it is essential to answer one key question: how will markets respond to eliminating exports from today’s largest global oil producer? As Deborah Gordon and I argue in our recent piece, the answer to this question is not reassuring—neither for Russia, nor the West. Any steps to sanction crude therefore should be considered with extreme caution. Read the piece on Carnegie’s Eurasia Outlook.

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