The sanctions of the West against Russia “inadvertently” made Russian President Vladimir Putin even stronger, said former NATO Secretary General Andres Rasmussen.
“I have no doubt that in reality economic sanctions against Russia in some way made Putin stronger, because the elite in Russia has become even more dependent on the Kremlin and on Putin,” he said, speaking at the Hudson Institute at the conference “US sanctions against RF: an assessment of their influence and costs. “
He explained that now the possibilities for external financing are very limited, and now the elite “is extremely dependent on domestic financing in Russia.”
“So we unintentionally made Putin stronger and made the elite in Russia even more dependent on Putin and the Kremlin, which is consequences. Nevertheless, I believe that sanctions are necessary,” added Rasmussen.
The former NATO Secretary General noted that “obviously, the consequences must come.” “And if we do not want a war with Russia, what else do we have to do except to impose sanctions? And we did it, realizing that this could have negative consequences, but I think that the negative consequences of inaction would be even worse” , – Rasmussen believes.
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated due to the situation in the Crimea and Ukraine. At the end of July 2014, the EU and the US moved from targeted sanctions against individuals and companies to implementing measures against entire sectors of the Russian economy. In response, Russia limited imports of food products from countries that imposed sanctions on it: the United States, the EU, Canada, Australia and Norway.
Moscow repeatedly states that it is counterproductive to speak with the Russian Federation in the language of sanctions.