Issue Brief: Revisiting Oil Sanctions on Russia

Lead PI: Richard Nephew

Unit Affiliation: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP)

July 2015 - Ongoing
Asia ; Russia ; Ukraine
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: Sanctions have become part of the Russian economic landscape since the crisis in Ukraine broke out in December 2013. They have had an impact on the Russian economy, but have yet to change the situation in Ukraine. Reports continue to emerge that the Russian government is arming and supporting insurgents in eastern Ukraine, while the political process that was supposed to help the temporary cease-fire begun in February 2015 appears to have stalled. New sanctions may therefore prove necessary, if the United States and European Union continue with their efforts to persuade Russia to contribute positively to a political solution and deter Russia from further intervention in Ukraine. One possible area for new sanctions is in the field of oil exports. Richard Nephew, a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and program director for economic statecraft, sanctions and energy markets, examines the possible role that an oil export reduction strategy could play in Russia. In noting the pitfalls and complications, he argues that such a strategy could be part of the overall approach to Russia, but that both different sanctions measures and a holistic approach to Russia-Ukraine policy are necessary for any effort to be successful.