Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Research May 08, 2023

EU sanctions against Russia: Coherence and efficiency after 12 months of war


The Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, in cooperation with the EESC and the SCEEUS, has compiled a study on the sanctions regime imposed on Russia due to the escalation of its war on Ukraine. The paper is accompanied by four commentaries by experts from Lithuania, Latvia, the UK, and Sweden.

The current sanctions regime imposed by the EU is unprecedented in scale and effects on the Russian aggressor. The deteriorating results of those restrictions on the military capabilities of the Russian Federation are undeniable. However, the existing sanction regime is not entirely flawless.

The complexities caused by the EU institutional approach, the scope of restrictions and extent of the economic relations to be severed, and the political implications of the international security crisis have made it hard to achieve the main goal of sanctions – forcing Russia to stop the war.

This paper, prepared by Ukrainian analysts, identifies several issues, which must be improved to make the sanction regime more efficient:

  • Non-exterritoriality of the sanctions regime and continued operations of Western companies in Russia through their local subsidiaries.
  • Loopholes caused by discrepancies between the different sanctions regimes (i.e., by the EU, US, as well as Japan, UK, and Canada).
  • The uneven regime of export control for dual-use goods and military use of commercial products.
  • Absence of restrictions towards many Russian entities belonging to military enterprises and the defense industry.