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Present Sanctions Are a Form of Economic Warfare, Professor Says

May 1, 2022 (EIRNS)—In an interview published April 28 with CGTN, Prof. Robert Legvold, a well-known professor of political science at Columbia University, was asked about the present sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and NATO. “In the past, in 2014, the sanctions were meant to deter Russia from actions in Donbass and in Crimea, and were therefore intended to influence Russian behavior,” Legvold said. “That was the intent. I don’t think those sanctions ever affected behavior, but they certainly inflicted punishment, and they had various effects.

“But the new set of sanctions are far more comprehensive. They are far more devastating in their impact on Russia, and their purpose is basically different. Their purpose now is literally to seriously damage Russia’s economy and to change the balance of power in a broad political sense in terms of a weakened Russia. So this is economic warfare. This is no longer economic statecraft. And I think the West, the United States and NATO, is very clear about it. It’s no longer a matter of trying to influence Russian behavior, or President Putin. It really is now an effort to change the standing of Russia’s position, character, and resources.”

In his career, Legvold was involved in studies of Russia and the post-Soviet states and was director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University.

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