West's continued use of sanctions has less effect, according to Prof at U of South-Eastern Norway Glenn Diesen
... as the international system becomes more multi-polar. For example, Belarus, recently sanctioned by the EU for its human rights violations (following their grounding of a plane to arrest a Belarussian blogger), has other options in Russia. The US also sanctioned Myanmar following the coup, but they also have access to China and Russia.
The hope with sanctions is that by undermining the whole economy of a country the population made to suffer will put pressure on their government to change. It is considered by some to have worked on Iran following the first Gulf War. There are also economic consequences in other countries including the one doing the sanctioning, such as in the US where the price of gas is driven up in line with sanctions on Iran. Thereby, such sanctions can end up helping other countries that may not be allies. It can also lead to negative consequences for the sanctioning country when it imposes sanctions on other countries for things it also does but expects to not be criticized for (many have pointed out that the US and EU also grounded a plane in 2014 to try to aprehend Edward Snowden - Austria grounded the plane from its airspace).
The use of longlasting or permanent sanctions, especially when the sanctioned country has little ability to make concessions, it just leads to the sanctioned country learning to live without the countries that imposes the sanctions, according to Diesen.
Anti-Russian sanctions following Crimea and Ukraine in 2014 didn't lead to Russia capitulating to the West or destroying the Russian economy. Russia rewired its economy to the East, forming a strategic partnership with China, reducing its vulnerability by cutting exposure to Western industries, tech, transportation corridors, banks, payment systems. Same with Iran. And now Belarus.
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