The first, relatively minor European Union sanctions against Russia have already been imposed, but major new ones are expected early next week, aiming to “punish” Russia for not stopping Crimeans for voting to break away from the Ukraine.
There is a “long list” of possible sanctions under consideration, but while Western political leaders talk up the chance to really stick it to Russia, businessmen warn that the move is likely to spark Russian retaliation and a sanction war that harms both sides.
Russian MPs say they are readying sanctions of their own in response to such moves, and that asset seizures by the US and EU could result in similar asset seizures within Russia of companies from those nations.
Even things Russia doesn’t directly retaliate over, like a proposed Visa ban on CEOs for Russian energy giants, could greatly harm the ability of EU utility companies to secure needed natural gas supplies, and convince those companies that moves toward China and other eastern countries, already in their first tentative steps, are both safer and easier paths for export growth.
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