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The Graphic Truth: Piling sanctions on Russia

Western powers have tightened the screws on the Russian economy since Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine. But so far sanctions have done little to sway Moscow. Still, the economic pain now inflicted on Russia is far more intense and widespread than what the US and its allies are doing to other regimes hostile to them. Here's a snapshot of current economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia has geared up to avoid food scarcity.

Paige Fusco

Food security: one area where Putin’s plans are bearing fruit

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Russians were seen scrambling for packets of sugar at supermarkets. It was the first sign that Western sanctions meant to punish President Vladimir Putin for the war might actually be having a serious impact. Stores imposed limits on the purchase of some products, and Putin's government rushed to reassure Russians that they would have enough to eat.

Russians are facing shortages of everything from smartphones and cars to paper, but experts say there’s one area where the country might be able to largely insulate itself from the sanctions that have otherwise ravaged the economy: food security.

Since 2014, when Russia’s annexation of Crimea triggered a wave of targeted sanctions, the Kremlin has been preparing for the possibility of more wide-ranging economic punishment from the West. Through a massive program of import substitution, it has tried to reduce the dependence of Russia’s economy on imports by developing domestic industries across sectors over the past eight years. While those efforts have failed in most fields, they have yielded some success in food and agriculture.

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Do unregulated cryptocurrencies undermine US sanctions? | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Do cryptocurrencies undermine US sanctions?

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Do cryptocurrencies make it harder to enforce foreign policy sanctions?

Well, that is exactly what the Biden administration worries about. As part of growing concerns of whether unregulated currencies undermine a whole host of policies, sanctions and foreign or trade policy should be a priority area. And just like others who wish to evade tracing of their wealth or transactions, the very states or their sanctioned entities should be assumed to resort to all options to evade restrictions while continuing to do business. So having cryptocurrencies undermining the ability to enforce strategic goals logically raises eyebrows in Washington.

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Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective on US politics:

How likely is bipartisan action against Russia in light of Taliban bounty reports?

I think it's probably unlikely. One of the challenges here is that there's some conflict of the intelligence and anything that touches on the issue of President Trump and Russia is extremely toxic for him. Republicans have so far been tolerant of that and willing to stop any new sanctions coming. I think unless the political situation or the allegations get much worse or more obvious, that stalemate probably remains.

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What do Spain's election tell us about populism in Europe?

It says that populism is continuing to grow. The VOX party on the far right for the first time breaks through 10%. They are in Parliament, they've got 24 seats, and like so many other countries across Europe that's something that is continuing to grow. Their popularity is mostly in the south, where all of those North African immigrants are coming in.

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Are religious tensions rising in Sri Lanka?

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Sanctions delay plans for North Korean beach resort: analysts

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SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has again pushed back the construction end-date of a massive beach resort - a move analysts say shows the regime is struggling from international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons programmes.
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