In The News

Sanctioning Russia is Easier Said Than Done

Foreign Policy

21 Apr 2021

John Smith spoke to Foreign Policy about the Biden administration coming under pressure to take sanctions action against Russia in the case of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who went on a hunger strike last month to demand access to an independent doctor while serving a nearly three-year sentence for violating the terms of probation in a previous case.

“You certainly want to stop behavior rather than punish it afterward,” John said.

He added: “The danger with relying on pure conduct-based sanctions is that they may appear relatively weak...[there’s not a lot of return in] going after the relatively small cadre of officials and Russian government agencies that may be involved, many of whom may hold no assets outside of Russia.”

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