The U.S. hopes the threat of harsh sanctions deters a Russian invasion of Ukraine—Here's how they work

The U.S. hopes the threat of harsh sanctions deters a Russian invasion of Ukraine—Here's how they work

Economic sanctions remain one of the most powerful tools the United States has in its foreign policy arsenal. And as Russian forces continue to amass along the border with Ukraine, officials in the U.S. hope the threat of those sanctions can deter a full-scale invasion. "The thing about sanctions is they're most effective if you don't have to use them," said Olga Oliker, program director, Europe and Central Asia at the International Crisis Group. "They're most effective if you can credibly threaten something that the other guy doesn't want enough that they don't then do whatever it is you're trying to keep them from doing." Besides sanctions that target individuals or specific companies, some proposals involve cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system, which would remove Russian institutions from an …
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