Ex-Ambassador to Russia: Sanctions Could Affect Global Economy

Image: Ex-Ambassador to Russia: Sanctions Could Affect Global Economy Michael McFaul

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 10:06 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The debate over sanctions against Russia for its aggression into Ukraine is between those who want to deter and punish Russian President Vladimir Putin and those who worry about their effects on the global economy, said Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia.

President Barack Obama on Monday issued a new round of sanctions aimed at deterring Putin from further interference in Ukraine. Russian markets responded with a rally, as the RTS Index gained as much as 2.1 percent Monday.

"The debate is between those who want to deter Putin and punish him versus those who worry about the global economy," McFaul told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.

McFaul said Obama is "balancing those two objectives." He said sanctions against Russia's banking sector and oil and gas industries would "reverberate" throughout the rest of the world.

Some lawmakers have called for sectoral sanctions against Russian industries, including mining, financial institutions, and energy. McFaul cautioned that sectoral sanctions could do more than harm just Russia's economy.

"That's going to hurt, first and foremost, the Europeans, and maybe our economy," he said. "On the one hand, [Obama] wants to push back on Putin. On the other, he doesn't want to precipitate a global recession."

It doesn't do any good to sanction someone "to change their behavior," McFaul said. Rather than deter Russian aggression, "Putin's going to dig in" as a response to sanctions.

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