U.S. Sanctions on Russia: Objectives, Impacts, and Options


The Obama administration imposed several rounds of U.S. economic sanctions on Moscow in a series of executive orders following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. So far, the Trump administration has not signaled any intent to change U.S. sanctions policy absent changes in Russia’s conduct. Nevertheless, concerns that the administration may ease sanctions have prompted considerable attention to sanctions policy in the Congress, where some advocate imposing sanctions through legislation. Others seek Congressional review of any executive action to remove U.S. sanctions against Russia. The Center for the National Interest organized an impressive expert panel to assess the sanctions, their impact, and options for the administration and the Congress moving forward. Speakers included:

– Sergey Aleksashenko, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former deputy chairman of Russia’s Central Bank and past chairman of Merrill Lynch Russia;
– Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and an expert on U.S. policy toward Russia and U.S.-Russia relations; and,
– Kyle Parker, a Senior Professional Staff Member with the House Foreign Affairs Committee who has been deeply involved in U.S. sanctions policy toward Russia for many years.

George Beebe, a senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest and a former foreign policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, moderated the discussion.