We’ve all heard the famous quote, often misattributed to Albert Einstein: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.
While the meaning of the phrase is directed to the right application of the scientific method, it also applies to Geopolitical moves.
In 20 months of military conflict in Ukraine, the western countries have implemented a formidable, unprecedented array of economic sanctions against Russia.
And while the sanctions do hurt Russian economy to a degree, it has also been demonstrated that they are hurting the west just as much – specially energy-strapped European countries that have to do without cheap Russian gas.
Many nations in the west are heading for recession, but Russian economy is poised to grow – does that sound like a winning strategy?
And yet, now, the Biden’s State Department has imposed another sweeping round of sanctions on Moscow, this time targeting Russia’s energy capabilities, as well as tackling sanctions evasion.
This new sanctions package and the Lancet suicide drone, a menace to Ukrainian troops and equipment.
“The latest measures target a major entity involved in the development, operation and ownership of a massive project in Siberia known as Arctic-2 LNG, the State Department said in a statement. The project expected to ship chilled natural gas, known as liquefied natural gas to global markets.
Washington also targeted the KUB-BLA and Lancet suicide drones being used by the Russian military in Ukraine, designating a network it accused of procuring items in support of their production as well as the creator and designer of the drones.”
Hundreds of Russian companies, entities and individuals were added to a trade blacklist for supporting Russia’s military with drones, and an effort to curtail sanctions evasion in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China is also present in the package.
The Kremlin has been expecting the West to impose ever tougher sanctions, but alerted that there was a growing sense worldwide that such penalties hurt Western interests while Russia’s economy was adapting well.
“‘We will continue to use the tools at our disposal to raise the cost for Russia of waging this war and promote accountability for its atrocities and abuses in Ukraine’, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.”
These are the first measures targeting the Lancet drone, an ‘angular grey tube with two sets of four wings’ that has been wreaking havoc Ukraine’s frontlines. The move was welcomed by Kiev.
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the measures in his nightly video address as ‘just what is needed’. ‘And every sanctions decision must work in full, so that there is no chance for Russia to bypass them’.”
Al Jazeera reported:
“’Russia is dependent on willing third-country individuals and entities to resupply its military and perpetuate its heinous war against Ukraine, and we will not hesitate in holding them accountable’, Secretary of the Treasury Jane Yellen said in a statement on Thursday.
[…] Yellen said the “global sanctions coalition” had “choked off Russia’s access to key inputs for its military-industrial complex and has undermined the Kremlin’s ability to wage its unprovoked war”.
[…] Despite the sanctions, Russia’s economy is expected to grow 1.5 percent this year, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as countries like China, Turkey and India have provided Moscow with a critical economic lifeline.”