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Could More Sanctions Really Stop Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?

Russia Sanctions
Russian Tank Corp. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Zelenskyy Calls For More Sanctions On Russia – Following a conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on world leaders to once again ramp up the pressure against Russia with more crippling sanctions.

Writing on Twitter, the Ukrainian leader thanked Trudeau for the continued support for Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders but insisted that more needs to be done to stop Russia.

“I talked to Justin Trudeau and thanked him for the continuous and strong support of Ukraine’s defense,” the Ukrainian president said.

“I have once again stressed that the international position in relation to the sanctions against Russia must be consistently principled.”

Zelenskyy also referenced recent Russian military attacks in Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv, Chasiv Yar, and other Ukrainian cities – which he described as terrorist attacks, owing to the many civilian casualties – and suggested these incidents alone were enough to ensure that the pressure on Russia is “strengthened, not relaxed.”

Zelenskyy’s requests have not fallen on deaf ears over the last months, with NATO countries implementing some of the broadest sanctions ever implemented against a major economy. However, the Ukrainian president’s comments may have hinted to the Canadian prime minister to reverse a decision made earlier this month to grant an exemption to the economic sanctions imposed on Russia.

Under a two-year waiver, half a dozen Siemens Energy turbines that were in Canada for repairs will be returned to Germany, where they will be used for the Russian-owned Nord Stream 1 pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea and supplies gas directly to Germany. The pipeline is expected to resume at reduced levels this week following annual maintenance.

Even if NATO countries continue to ramp up economic pressure on Russia, however, the Kremlin has shown no sign of buckling under the pressure – and even announced this week that the scope of the war will be expanded in the coming weeks and months.

Putin Insists Russia Can Overcome

While Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted earlier this week that the sanctions against Russia were “colossal” and posed a “huge challenge” to his country and economy, he has remained consistent since the outbreak of the war that Russia will overcome the problem.

During a meeting of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects on Monday, the Russian president accused the West of purposely blocking access to high-tech equipment – an assessment that is entirely true – but insisted that Russia would overcome the problems.

“Realizing the colossal amount of difficulties we are facing, we will look for new solutions in an energetic and efficient manner,” Putin said, adding that Russia would not become isolated from the rest of the world.

While Russia may eventually succumb to the pressure of economic sanctions, it ultimately depends on whether or not Ukrainian forces are pushed out of the Donbas before the situation becomes critical for Moscow.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

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