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The economic sanctions are generally believed to have helped weaken the Russian economy slightly and to intensify the challenges that Russia was facing.

A 2015 data analysis suggested Russia's entry into a recession, with negative GDP growth of −2.2% for the first quarter of 2015, as compared to the first quarter of 2014. Further, the combined effect of the sanctions and the rapid decline in oil prices in 2014 has caused significant downward pressure on the value of the ruble and flight of capital out of Russia. At the same time, the sanctions on access to financing have forced Russia to use part of its foreign exchange reserves to prop up the economy. These events forced the Central Bank of Russia to stop supporting the value of the ruble and increase interest rates.

Some believe that Russia's ban on western imports had the additional effect on these challenging events as the embargo led to higher food prices and further inflation in addition to the effects of decreased value of the ruble which had already raised the price of imported goods.[130]

In 2016 agriculture has surpassed the arms industry as Russia's second largest export sector after oil and gas.[131]

Effect on US and EU countries[130]

In 2016 agriculture has surpassed the arms industry as Russia's second largest export sector after oil and gas.[131]

As of 2015, the losses of EU have been estimated as at least €100 billion.[6] The German business sector, with around 30,000 workplaces depending on trade with the Russian Federation, also reported being affected significantly by the sanctions.[132] The sanctions affected numerous European market sectors, including energy, agriculture,[133] and aviation among others.[134] In March 2016, the Finnish farmers' union MTK stated that the Russian sanctions and falling prices have put farmers under tremendous pressure. Finland's Natural Resources Institute LUKE has estimated that last year farmers saw their incomes shrink by at least 40 percent compared to the previous year.[135]

In February 2015, Exxon Mobil reported losing about $1 billion due to Russian sanctions.[136]

In 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy published a report on the impact of sanctions, stating that the EU countries were losing about "

In February 2015, Exxon Mobil reported losing about $1 billion due to Russian sanctions.[136]

In 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy published a report on the impact of sanctions, stating that the EU countries were losing about "3.2 billion dollars a month" due to them. He also noted that the sanctions were "intended to serve as a deterrent to Russia but run the risk of being only a deterrent to the international business community, while adversely affecting only those vulnerable groups which have nothing to do with the crisis" (especially people in Crimea, who "should not be made to pay collectively for what is a complex political crisis over which they have no control").[137][138][139]

Three days after the first sanctions against Russia, on 20 March 2014, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a list of reciprocal sanctions against certain American citizens, which consisted of ten names, including Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, Senator John McCain, and two advisers to Barack Obama. The ministry said in the statement, "Treating our country in such way, as Washington could have already ascertained, is inappropriate and counterproductive", and reiterated that sanctions against Russia would have a boomerang effect.[140] On 24 March, Russia banned thirteen Canadian officials, including members of the Parliament of Canada, from entering the country.[141]

On 6 August 2014,[142] Putin signed a decree "On the use of specific economic measures", which mandated an effective embargo for a one-year period on imports of most of the agricultural products whose country of origin had either "adopted the

On 6 August 2014,[142] Putin signed a decree "On the use of specific economic measures", which mandated an effective embargo for a one-year period on imports of most of the agricultural products whose country of origin had either "adopted the decision on introduction of economic sanctions in respect of Russian legal and (or) physical entities, or joined same".[143][144] The next day, the Russian government ordinance was adopted and published with immediate effect,[145] which specified the banned items as well as the countries of provenance: the United States, the EU, Norway, Canada and Australia, including a ban on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports. Prior to the embargo, food exports from the EU to Russia were worth around €11.8 billion, or 10% of the total EU exports to Russia. Food exports from the United States to Russia were worth around €972 million. Food exports from Canada were worth around €385 million. Food exports from Australia, mainly meat and live cattle, were worth around €170 million per year.[146][147]

Russia had previously taken a position that it would not engage in "tit-for-tat" sanctions, but, announcing the embargo, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, "There is nothing good in sanctions and it was not an easy decision to take, but we had to do it." He indicated that sanctions relating to the transport manufacturing sector were also being considered. United States Treasury spokesperson David Cohen said that sanctions affecting access to food were "not something that the US and its allies would ever do".[148]

On the same day, Russia announced a ban on the use of its airspace by Ukrainian aircraft.[146]

In January 2015, it became clear that Russian authorities would not allow a Member of the European Parliament, Lithuanian MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis, make a visit to Moscow due to political reasons.[149]

In March 2015, Latvian MEP Sandra Kalniete and Speaker of the Polish Senate Bogdan Borusewicz were both denied entry into Russia under the existing sanctions regime, and were thus unable to attend the funeral of murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.[150]

After a member of the German Bundestag was denied entry into Russia in May 2015, Russia released a blacklist to European Union governments of 89 politicians and officials from the EU who are not allowed entry into Russia under the present sanctions regime. Russia asked for the blacklist to not be made public.[151] The list is said to include eight Swedes, as well as two MPs and two MEPs from the Netherlands.[152] Finland's national broadcaster Yle published a leaked German version of the list.[153][154]

In response to this publication, British politician Malcolm Rifkind (whose name was included on the Russian list) commented: "It shows we are making an impact because they wouldn't have reacted unless they felt very sore at what had happened. Once sanctions were extended, they've had a major impact on the Russian economy. This has happened at a time when the oil price has collapsed and therefore a main source of revenue for Mr Putin has disappeared. That's pretty important when it comes to his attempts to build up his military might and to force his neighbours to do what they're told." He added, "If there had to be such a ban, I am rather proud to be on it – I'd be rather miffed if I wasn't."[155] Another person on the list, Swedish MEP Gunnar Hökmark, remarked that he was proud to be on the list and said "a regime that does this does it because it is afraid, and at heart it is weak".[156]

With regard to Russia's entry ban on European politicians, a spokesperson from the EU said, "The list with 89 names has now been shared by the Russian authorities. We don't have any other information on legal basis, criteria and process of this decision. We consider this measure as totally arbitrary and unjustified, especially in the absence of any further clarification and transparency."[157]

On 29 June 2016, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree that extended the embargo on the countries already sanctioned until 31 December 2017.[158]

According to a 2020 study, the Russian counter-sanctions did not just serve Russia's foreign policy goals, but also facilitated Russia's protectionist policy.[159]

Sanctioned individuals include notable and high-level central government personnel and businessmen on all sides. In addition, companies suggested for possible involvement in the controversial issues have also been sanctioned.

See also