August 10, 2014
THE UR STUMBLES INTO ANOTHER VICTORY:
Russia plays a weak hand in battle with West over sanctions (Robin Mills, August 10, 2014, The National)
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 10, 2014 9:11 AM[R]ussia appears to be sanctioning itself. The West, borrowing from its Iran playbook, has imposed sanctions on the Russian energy sector, including on the long-term financing of oil companies and on advanced technology used in shale oil production and offshore drilling.In response, Russia banned food imports from the United States, European Union, Norway, Canada and Australia. From the US$43 billion of agricultural products it bought last year, $25bn are now banned. This may revive old memories of empty Soviet supermarkets, and spur inflation, seen at about 7 per cent this year.Russia's shift to retaliatory sanctions shifts the battleground from its strengths in covert warfare, diplomatic intimidation and dissimulation, to its weak point - the economy. Russia's GDP is just 6 per cent of Nato's and it was running into economic trouble even before the current crisis.