A Defiant Russia Builds Barriers to U.S. Sanctions

May 29, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

This photograph shows bars of aluminum.

U.S. sanctions on Russia have hit Rusal hard. The Russian company is the world's second largest producer of aluminum.

(MIKE DOTTA/Shutterstock)


  • As the United States pressures Russia with sanctions, Moscow will use a mix of options to counter the penalties in the short term, including diplomatic negotiations and financial support for threatened businesses.
  • In the long term, Russia will continue deploying a strategy to insulate its people and businesses, leading Moscow to increasingly move away from the West and toward the East.
  • While Moscow may make tactical concessions to protect its economic interests, U.S. sanctions ultimately will be ineffective in compelling Russia to strategically shift its foreign policy, meaning the Russia-West standoff is here to stay.

U.S. sanctions against Russia aren't really working the way Washington had hoped. As the pressure builds, Moscow continues to duck, bob and weave to avoid the harshest blows. The Kremlin remains defiant and is even punching back at U.S. interests. What's more, Russia is working on short-term and long-term strategies to insulate its people, businesses and economy from Western penalties. U.S. attempts to alter Russia's behavior are leading Moscow to turn away from the West more and more and are also forcing some Russian companies, including the aluminum giant Rusal, to remake themselves....

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