Former deputy US special envoy for Iran at US Department of State
- Background on sanctions use and effectiveness in achieving foreign policy goals, including assessment of 2014 sanctions on Russia post-Crimea invasion
- Latest sanctions placed on Russia and individuals, highlighting room for further measures, including related to Russia’s oil and gas industry
- Potential impact on Russian economy and companies operating in Russia
- Implications for economies and commodities in Europe and beyond, considering potential changes in other sanctioned countries and potential countermeasures from Russia
Sanctions were put in place in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea. What exactly were those sanctions and what were they designed to do?
In your 2017 book The Art of Sanctions, you were somewhat sceptical about the sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014. Tell us why, and what the framework is through which you view these sanctions?
What key sanctions have been imposed since Russia invaded Ukraine?
You mentioned a demonstration effect to the market and to Putin about the seriousness of these sanctions. Are policymakers watching the rouble, bank lending or economic indicators to test their effectiveness?
Has the US ever imposed sanctions on a country of this scale? Are there any precedents for it?
The US has banned Russian oil imports, it seems the UK is going to try to cut it out over time and the rest of Europe hasn’t. How would you rate the overall coordination of the sanctions? You highlighted the three key sanction categories around reserves, financial institutions and oligarchs. Do you think the US is coordinated enough with its European partners or Nato?
Are there areas where European countries have gone further than the US with sanctions? Is there anything more extreme in what Europe is doing, despite not being able to do secondary sanctions?
What are the key pain points in Russia and are sanctions properly targeted at this point? They’re aimed at financial institutions and a few oligarchs, but is that where the Russian economy can be hit?
You discussed the sanctions in place so far and Russia’s ultimate pain point being oil and gas. What are the increments from here if sanctions need to be ratcheted? Is there room for more ratcheting before we get to oil and gas?
As sanctions were being put on Iran and buyers were incrementally reducing production, was there a plan for other barrels to come onto the market? Did the people in the state department or the wider administration understand exactly where those barrels would come from? It was at a time when oil prices were above or around USD 100, like we have today.
We’ve seen some outreach by the Biden administration to Venezuela. Are there other areas where relations could be changing due to what’s happening in oil or other resource markets?
In your book you discuss the sanctions put on Saddam Hussein and his regime after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. How effective or ineffective were those sanctions? How would you compare that experience with Iraq to what’s happening today?
I read this past weekend that Putin likened sanctions to a declaration of war. How do you evaluate that statement? What level of resolve do you see in Russia?
We’ve heard how Russia built up massive foreign reserves, some driven by oil and gas prices. Do you think this will matter? How much of the reserves have been cut off through the impacts of sanctions?
How do you expect Russia to respond to the sanctions so far?
What was your reaction to the oil majors – followed by many other western businesses – deciding to leave Russia? Was this a surprise or expected? Have we ever seen anything similar?
The US sanctioned the Russian oil and gas industry in 2014, but production of both oil and gas continued to climb. Do you think the withdrawal of the oil majors from Russia will have more of an impact than those sanctions? Why did those sanctions not prevent oil and gas volumes from continuing to climb?
What do you think would happen if Russia cut gas supplies to Europe? Could there be any response from the west?
Do you think there is a degree of sanctions on Russia that you think could get Putin to roll back to previous borders with Ukraine? What would it take to achieve that?
How effective do you think sanctions will be on changing behaviour in Russia?
What are you monitoring as a sanctions expert to understand how effective the sanctions regime is?
Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you need to mention?
Gain access to Premium Content
Submit your details to access up to 5 Forum Transcripts or to request a complimentary one week trial.
The information, material and content contained in this transcript (“Content”) is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice of any type or a trade recommendation and should not form the basis of any investment decision.This transcript has been edited by Third Bridge for ease of reading. Third Bridge Group Limited and its affiliates (together “Third Bridge”) make no representation and accept no liability for the Contentor for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in respect of it. The views of the specialist expressed in the Content are those of the specialist and they are not endorsed by, nor do they represent the opinion of, Third Bridge. Third Bridge reserves all copyright, intellectual and other property rights in the Content. Any modification, reformatting, copying, displaying, distributing, transmitting, publishing, licensing, creating derivative works from, transferring or selling any Content is strictly prohibited