Image by Gage Skidmore
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, freshly back from a Congressional delegation to Moscow, and a meeting with Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner that sanctions against the Russian Federation are not working as intended. The exchange was also reported by Russian state news agency TASS.
“On the ground, they don’t seem to be having a real horrible economic effect..You do something and nobody ever sits back and analyzes, ‘Well, is it working?’ And I think you’d be hard-pressed to say that sanctions against Russia are really working all that well.”
“My sense is that the targeted sanctions to the oligarchs, to the members of government, are the ones that really sting and probably [offer] the best chance of affecting their behavior.
“Russia wants to reconstitute, basically, its sphere of influence that they had in the Soviet Union. So, you understand that, and if you don’t want to let that happen, you’ve got to push back with strength and resolve … but that doesn’t mean that we have to be enemies.
“We’ve blown it way out of proportion [as if it’s] the greatest threat to democracy … We need to really honestly assess what actually happened, what effect did it have, and what effect are our sanctions actually having, positively and negatively.”
The delegation to Moscow, and Johnson’sinterview, came towards the close of a very successful World Cup tournament in the Russian Federation for Moscow, which has been a public relations coup for Russian President Putin and the Kremlin.