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The economic sanctions imposed by the West against Russia in 2014, following the latter’s aggression in Ukraine, were deliberately limited but nevertheless significant, their impact distinguishable from that of the fall in oil prices that occurred in late 2014. Edward Hunter Christie argues that these sanctions, in combination with credible threats of further sanctions, appear to have had an effect in limiting Russian aggression in Ukraine, even though they have not led to a reversal of facts on the ground. This article also explores the possibility that, in the absence of other coercive components to underpin diplomatic efforts, the earlier application of more robust economic sanctions might have had stronger effects on Russia’s behaviour.
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