Many have doubted whether US sanctions against Russia would ever have much impact. But it seems they do.
A very interesting piece has appeared on 7 March in Vzglyad’ ru, a publication that, to say the least, does not favour the West (or Ukraine). Written by Ol’ga Samofalova and entitled “The USA is Blocking the Expansion of Russia’s Profits from Oil”, it points to the critical effectiveness of US sanctions against Russian energy.
In 2012 the Ministry of Energy compiled a draft on the energy security of Russia that apparently was not completed because of the need for updating. It pointed to the main threats to the country’s energy supplies and their further development: the United States and its allies. Whereas the switching to green energy, notably by the EU, presents only a secondary threat, the American sanctions were “a threat that had been implemented.” On 1 November 2017 in further retaliation for Russian aggression against Ukraine, the US Treasury imposed restrictions affecting Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore and shale projects.
Restrictions placed on access to Western technology, equipment and long-term finance have proved effective. President Putin threatened, as did his predecessors, that Russia would turn East to counterbalance the West. It was always an idle threat carrying little credibility because of repetition. Going to Asia was never a solution. Russia will not give any islands back to Japan. And credit from China is expensive and the Chinese place conditions on debt. The main one being that the money must be spent on Chinese equipment. Russia needs to develop new oil fields. The country has to develop its own technology. “It is time that Russia learnt how to circumvent American sanctions”, Samofalova insists.