Russian sanctions do not scare Ukraine
The Russian sanctions response to Ukraine has come down to the fact that the authorities will restrict imports, as well as cause financial and other discomfort "to some citizens of Ukraine." Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the relevant decisions are ready and are about to be signed. According to the head of the Russian government, the sanctions will affect hundreds of Ukrainian companies, and Moscow will impose additional restrictions on the supply of goods and financial inflows from Ukraine.
It's hard to tell how this is compatible with the PM's subsequent statement that "we are overcome with most friendly feelings towards the Ukrainian people." Probably, a logical clue should be found in his statement that "neither the decree nor the government’s decree will apply to Ukrainians in general." But on the other hand, the restrictions imposed on the importation of Ukrainian goods, the sanctions imposed on Ukrainian enterprises will not only hurt Ukrainian authorities and oligarchs, but also undoubtedly affect ordinary Ukrainians working in these enterprises and living paycheck to paycheck.
However, according to Dmitry Medvedev, the brunt of the Russian strike will fall on "individual persons who harm the interests of the Russian Federation, taking actions aimed at causing damage to our country, our resolutions will apply to these particular people." The prime minister explained: "We’re talking about blocking their assets, located on the territory of Russia, prohibiting any manipulations with them. Secondly, it’s the prohibition of the transfer of funds, located on the territory of Russia. That is, a ban on the export of capital."
Thus, the government intends to execute the executive order signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin 'On Special Economic Measures in Connection with Ukraine’s Unfriendly Actions toward Citizens and Legal Entities of the Russian Federation.' The order, according to official reports, was issued in accordance with the law 'On measures against unfriendly actions of the United States of America and other foreign countries.' This law provides the right to the Russian authorities to respond with their own measures to protect sovereignty and their interests. The respond can stop the implementation of joint projects and programs, restrict foreign economic operations, including financial, change customs conditions, impose restrictions on almost any area, including humanitarian.
It was the first time when Russia used this law towards Ukraine, except for the ban on the transit of Ukrainian goods to Central Asia through its territory in 2016. While Ukraine has repeatedly introduced sanctions against specific Russian enterprises and dozens of citizens. The 'history of repression' has started on the day when Crimea entered the Russian Federation. At first Kiev joined the anti-Russian sanctions of the West, then it introduced them on its own initiative. Ukraine's "black list" includes state-owned Russian banks - VTB and Sberbank, operating on its territory, almost 2000 individuals and about 1000 legal entities, State Duma deputies, entrepreneurs and their companies, political parties, etc.
Economics expert from Kiev Natalya Michkovskaya, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Russia's actions against Ukraine are a classic example of game theory, the brunt of casualties will be taken by individual citizens, not by legal entities, as the Russian side says. "If Russia wanted to impose sanctions on legal entities, it could have done it earlier, when it restricted Ukrainian exports, when it almost completely stopped sales of Ukrainian engineering products on its territory. But now restrictive measures against our exporters will still be painful, but not the same as before. The impact force will be much smaller, because commodity markets are global. So Ukrainian companies will be re-oriented. No one will benefit from it," Michkovskaya believes. In her opinion, a careful study of the Russian decree suggests that the goal of the announced decisions is not real actions, but the threat of using these actions for some kind of wrong, if the Russian side interprets them this way, actions by Ukraine.