Current Sanctions Will Have No Effect on Russia, Says Vare
Transit expert and former Estonian minister Raivo Vare said that only Iran-style sanctions would have any influence over Russia. He said examples of effective sanctions were a trade embargo and freezing Russian currency reserves and bank assets.
Vare told ETV on Monday that Russia has already prepared itself for the current round of sanctions, which include suspension of talks on economic cooperation between Russia and the EU and the freezing of assets and travel bans on a number of Ukrainian and Russian officials.
“A more complicated move would be Iran style sanctions, affecting raw material trade and financial transactions. The later would be painful for Russia,” Vare said, adding that these methods could be used if the situation escalates into eastern Ukraine.
Political commentator Ahto Lobjakas said Russian President Vladimir Putin probably has a backup plan if financial sanctions are enforced: he has been asking the country's "oligarchs" for years to transfer their assets back to Russia to decrease their vulnerability.