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Academic: Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukrainian Crisis Not Working

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Western sanctions on Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine are not working and have a counter-productive effect, US-based academic Nicolai Petro told RIA Novosti on Monday.

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 8 (RIA Novosti) – Western sanctions on Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine are not working and have a counter-productive effect, US-based academic Nicolai Petro told RIA Novosti on Monday.

“If sanctions were designed to change Russia’s policy on Ukraine, they have failed. If sanctions were designed to boost Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity at home and rally popular support around his policies, then they were successful,” said Petro, from the University of Rhode Island.

“The West has no considered strategy about what to do for Ukraine, or how to influence Russian actions there. Sanctions thus seem designed primarily to placate domestic critics and show that the West is ‘doing something,’ even if they have the opposite effect.”

The European Union ambassadors met on Monday to discuss imposing new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged support for rebels in eastern Ukraine and a conflict that has claimed more than 2,600 lives since April. Russia says it may retaliate to new trade curbs.

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