It is difficult to affirm that the multiple sanctions imposed on the economy, finances, technologies and people of the Russian Federation have not caused damage of any magnitude. This damage can only be accurately measured by the Russian authorities themselves, although we can resort to statistics on the corresponding flows. The reality is that, against all bets from the West, the economy of the Eurasian power has not collapsed and the results of its performance contradict forecasts of a drop in GDP of up to 15%.
On the one hand, the imposition of massive sanctions has, in fact, had zero effect in changing the defensive behavior of the Russian authorities – what the Western media calls “aggressor”. Indeed, the special operation run its course. The stated justification is not to disavow Ukrainian sovereignty, but to ratify the independence of Ukraine of some territories that Russia considers to be part of its thousand-year history and territorial integrity.
In them the majority speaks Russian, not Ukrainian, and identifies with the traditions, customs and values of the Slavic country. The people of those regions recently expressed their determination to become part of the Russian Federation, beginning with Crimea in 2014 and ending with Donetsk and Lugansk in 2022. The sanctions did not change that conviction of the Russian leadership and we do not believe they ever would. This play was not worth it.
On the other hand, the other bet was to generate the economic disaster of Russia. It hasn’t been like that. Recent data confirms the fact that there has been no collapse and, despite the heavy blows, the financial system remains stable and daily income from the sale of oil and gas continues to rise to the astonishment of the sanction makers. The IMF, one of the fundamental pillars of the unipolar order in crisis, stated a few days ago that the sanctions imposed on Moscow they didn’t work.
Degrading Russia’s ability to do harm, they claim, forgetting the magnitude of the colossal material and human damage inflicted by the futile and crookedly justified wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Balkans are in fact without parallel in history. In the fateful moments of these wildly destructive wars, it never occurred to anyone to impose sanctions on the Western powers. And it is that in the order that they support and defend, the destiny, the rulers and the leadership models of entire nations are usually decided, without prior consultations, in flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations and with the tacit approval of the UN.
The economic sanctions, particularly those that are directed at the scientific-technical base and the production of new technologies or the improvement of existing ones, actually seek to leave Russia defenseless and isolated, without the financial food that the military machine demands, not so that cannot bear the cost of the current conflict, but to surrender ominously at the feet of US-ruled NATO. Russia once again shows its formidable historical resilience.
When Russia saw its GDP fall in the second quarter of 2022, Western leaders claimed that the sacrifice of the Europeans had been worth it. With oil and gas revenues and trade volumes recovering to record highs, some NATO members are openly questioning the effectiveness of sanctions as a deterrent against Russia. In short, the big loser in the sanctions scenario is the EU.
Behind the ineffectiveness of the sanctions lies a lesson that most Western leaders ignore: the irreversible crisis of the unipolar order. The United States does not have a unanimous vote from its allies in favor of its plans for geopolitical consolidation and its role as gendarme in the community of nations.
Since not everyone agrees, Russia is making the best of the splits, restructuring its economy, placing greater emphasis on its formidable military complex and applying greater force to its global diplomatic management, without omitting continents. If the IMF orthodoxy claims that the sanctions have failed and that the Russian economy demonstrates an unimaginable ability to adapt to the worst circumstances, the only possible derivative is that the Western world is not as monolithic as the United States and its allies want to imagine.
The evidence of the uselessness of sanctions to crush wills is growing. Due to the reckless policies of the North American neoconservatives, their unwillingness to negotiate based on mutual benefit, their penchant for military subservience and disdain for all international norms of consensus, the United States loses its leading role and once again it is Russia who takes it away, not to mention China.