Former Putin Aide: EU Sanctions Fruitless ({{commentsTotal}})

Former economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Andrey Illarionov said EU sanctions against Russia have not been effective because they have stopped short of what he says is required.

“I am yet to hear the idea of freezing Russian foreign assets. No one has seriously debated the topic of the EU sending 100 million euros to Russia every seven months [for energy],” he said at a Open Estonia Foundation forum.

“They [sanctions] are aimed at creating pain, but does a wounded bear change its behavior?” Illarionov said.

He said different sanctions could be more useful than sending troops various places, a reference to announced NATO deployments.

'Information War Is War'

Illarionov said information war was real war. “Meaning that the characteristics akin to a classical war can also be found in information war. For example information attacks, aggression, front-line, defense, resistance, retreat, enemies, victims, losses, divisions, armies, battle ground, planning information activities, information weapons, terror and agents,” he said.

Media outlets such as Perviy Kanal and Voice of Russia are no usual media channels, he said, adding that they are units in the information war. He said information resistance and independence are needed.

The aim on information war is not to gain territory but to conquer people's thoughts and values, regardless of territory, Illarionov said.

He said information war is rooted in the Soviet legacy, which had special propaganda units, institutions and universities. Such education was banned in the 1990s, but is now back, he said, with studies are offered at 74 universities in Russia.

He said information war is part of a new hybrid war, which includes undermining of states, corruption, and "tying the hands" of states.