by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Is it Washington or the Kremlin which is the most confused about sanctions and their impact? Washington and Europe have made it very clear that sanctions do not apply to payments for Russian energy and minerals. Only the US has banned the import of Russian gas and oil. As the US uses no Russian gas and only 7% of its oil is from Russia, the sanction is without effect. There are no bans on imports of Russian minerals as the West can’t get by without them, just as Europe, especially German industry, cannot get by without Russian energy. There are no sanctions on banks for processing payments for Russian energy and minerals.
So, what do the Western sanctions do? They identify for Russia the pressure points where Russian sanctions on the West can severely damage the West. Why doesn’t Russia use this power?