At the 2015 CIOR Seminar, Professor Ralf Roloff of the Marshall Center sought to explain the implications of the sanctions imposed upon Russia by the European Union. Economic sanctions, he argued, work – albeit slowly – by utilising a logic of asymmetric interpendence: They simply hurt Russia much more than they do a politically unified European Union and can, therefore, be considered a valuable part of a new strategy of containment as well as engagement of Russia.
Because of the asymmetrical nature of economic relations between the EU and Russia, these sanctions will have considerable impact on Russia in the long run. Moreover, the sanctions threaten to throttle an already weakened economy which is vastly dependent upon oil exports. In contrast, the impact on the EU is small: Overall, economic growth might be reduced by 0.2 – 0.3%. However, the impact is not evenly spread, with countries such as Finland and the Baltic states bearing the brunt of the costs. This will have to be carefully managed through the Common Agricultural Policy, Roloff argued.