Sanciones internacionales

Alexei Kudrin meets with other Russian Accounts Chamber officials in May. Photo via Getty Images.

On 10 October Alexei Kudrin, head of the Russian Accounts Chamber, spoke to leading business people about Western sanctions. He said that if sanctions were tightened, Russia would be unable to achieve the economic goals set out by President Vladimir Putin for his new presidential term.

Kudrin added that Russian foreign policy ‘should be subordinated to reducing tensions in our relations with other countries’. This success of this policy, he said, should be measured by whether sanctions were eased or intensified.

Kudrin’s comments are significant for three reasons. First, they sharply contradict the official position that sanctions are futile and ineffective, and that efforts to pressure on Russia are counterproductive.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tout le monde se souvient des conséquences catastrophiques pour les droits de l’homme des embargos commerciaux quasi-complets imposés à plusieurs pays sous l’autorité des Nations unies durant la décennie 1990, particulièrement en Irak, où la révélation de l’ampleur des souffrances infligées aux populations civiles par l’embargo a été le facteur déclencheur d’un abandon par l’ONU des sanctions et embargos de caractère général, au profit de sanctions dites «ciblées», aussi appelées smart sanctions, visant spécifiquement les acteurs, personnalités ou entités auxquels est imputé le comportement répréhensible (selon le cas : terrorisme, prolifération, atteintes aux droits de l’homme, etc.) qui justifie l’action.…  Seguir leyendo »

The EU sanctions ploy

The Chinese government isn’t concerned about the short-term economic effects of President Trump’s tariffs. The European Union is concerned with nothing else. For a fistful of dollars they are siding with the world’s foremost terrorist regime against the nation that has protected them since 1945.

As we will see in a moment, the EU is desperately trying to maintain its economic ties with Iran despite that fact and the events of July and August.

In early July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — regarded by some as a moderate, as if there were such a leader in Iran — threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

La retirada de Donald Trump del Plan de Acción Integral Conjunto (PAIC) con Irán y la reimposición de las sanciones estadounidenses a aquel país son una amenaza a la paz mundial. La seguridad de Europa depende de defender el acuerdo con Irán contra la retirada estadounidense. Para eso es necesario que Europa (junto con Rusia, China y otros estados miembros de Naciones Unidas) garantice un normal desarrollo de las relaciones económicas con Irán, lo cual sólo será posible en la medida en que confronte, y en definitiva revierta, las sanciones extraterritoriales de Estados Unidos, que pretenden disuadir a otros países de mantener actividades comerciales y financieras con Irán.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las sanciones contra Irán reinstauradas por el presidente norteamericano, Donald Trump, plantean dos interrogantes sumamente importantes que no tienen respuestas convincentes. Primero, ¿esta acción hará del mundo un lugar más seguro, como dice Trump, o desestabilizará aún más a Oriente Medio y minará los futuros esfuerzos por limitar las armas nucleares, como sostienen la mayoría de los expertos geopolíticos que no están directamente empleados por los gobiernos de Estados Unidos, Israel o Arabia Saudita? Y, segundo, ¿los esfuerzos de Estados Unidos por obligar a las empresas extranjeras a observar sus sanciones contra Irán resultarán en la práctica tan duros como la retórica beligerante de Trump?…  Seguir leyendo »

An anti-American protest on Wednesday in front of the former United States Embassy in Tehran after President Trump said he was abrogating the Iran nuclear agreement.CreditEuropean Pressphoto Agency, via Shutterstock

The July 2015 nuclear deal officially ended Iran’s isolation and economic punishment, but the comprehensive sanctions that the country had endured for nearly a decade continued to take a toll.

Those sanctions have profoundly damaged the Iranian economy. The government — hemmed in by domestic opposition and its own corruption — has done little to repair it. There have been encouraging signs of life since the nuclear deal, but they turned out to be short-lived.

President Trump announced on Tuesday that he would withdraw from the nuclear agreement and reinstate sanctions that had been lifted as part of it. This is not just a potentially fatal blow to the accord between Iran and five world powers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why the Latest US Sanctions on Russia Will Bite

The public spat this week, between the White House and Nikki Haley, US permanent representative to the UN, has thrown America’s sanctions policy into confusion. But this should not cloud a more significant moment. Earlier this month America imposed its most far-reaching sanctions yet on Russia. These mark a turning point in US-Russia relations – the moment when America took the offensive in a long struggle for influence waged with economic means.

Since the end of the Cold War, the West has sought to draw Russia into the global economy. Beyond the pursuit of new trade and investment opportunities lay a strategic calculation: globalizing Russia would normalize it.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a photo from March, people at a rail station in Seoul watch a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, center, and President Trump. Korean letters on the screen read: “Thawing Korean Peninsula.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

President Trump has made much of his “maximum pressure” campaign against North Korea. One element of that policy — and one that long predates Trump — is a set of tough international sanctions.

Last week, a U.N. Security Council committee added 22 new entities and 27 ships to the North Korean sanctions list. Are these incremental steps having any material effect?

This will be an important question in the run-up to Kim Jong Un’s planned summits with the South Korean and U.S. presidents. While North Korea’s young leader has played a brilliant diplomatic hand, he may have miscalculated the bite that sanctions are about to take.…  Seguir leyendo »

After decades of isolation and tense relations with the West, Sudan seems to be coming in from the cold.

The US announced that 20-year old economic sanctions would be permanently eased with effect from 12 October because of Khartoum’s ‘positive actions’ on five tracks, including a sustained cessation of hostilities in the conflict areas of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, improved humanitarian access and cooperation with the US on counterterrorism and addressing regional conflicts. This followed a provisional lifting of sanctions by President Obama in January.

President Omar al-Bashir and his officials are jubilant at what they see as a major political victory and an important step on the path to normalization of relations with the US.…  Seguir leyendo »

La semana pasada, en una señal descarada de rechazo a las nuevas y duras sanciones de las Naciones Unidas, el régimen del líder norcoreano Kim Jong-un disparó un misil balístico sobre la isla japonesa de Hokkaido, ubicada al norte -su segundo lanzamiento sobre Japón en menos de tres semanas-. Pero, lejos de indicar que las sanciones no funcionan, el accionar de Kim demuestra que todavía no son lo suficientemente duras.

Las últimas sanciones limitan las importaciones de petróleo, prohíben las exportaciones textiles y penalizan a determinadas entidades de gobierno norcoreanas. Luego de la respuesta de Kim, las sanciones deberían endurecerse aún más, hasta interrumpir todo comercio con Corea del Norte, e inclusive frenar todas las importaciones de combustible.…  Seguir leyendo »

Réuni lundi 11 septembre, soit huit jours après le dernier test nucléaire de la République populaire et démocratique de Corée (RPDC ou Corée du Nord), le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a voté, à l’unanimité, un huitième paquet de sanctions économiques à l’encontre de Pyongyang (résolution 2375). Comme pour les sept résolutions précédentes, les nouvelles mesures visent à limiter les revenus de la Corée du Nord et à empêcher le financement de ses programmes balistiques et nucléaires ; et comme pour les sept résolutions précédentes, il y a fort à parier que ces mesures n’auront pas l’effet escompté.

Le texte voté lundi constitue apparemment une version allégée de ce que désirait Washington, Pékin et Moscou, tous deux dotés du droit de veto au sein du Conseil et notoirement sceptiques sur la capacité de sanctions à faire évoluer les politiques nord-coréennes, ayant menacé de s’opposer à la résolution si elle s’avérait trop sévère.…  Seguir leyendo »

El viernes 25 de agosto, el gobierno de Estados Unidos impuso sanciones financieras a Venezuela, que limitan la posibilidad de que el gobierno de Nicolás Maduro y su petrolera nacional, PDVSA, emitan nueva deuda en los mercados de capital estadounidenses. Las sanciones se impusieron en respuesta a la elección inconstitucional y fraudulenta, organizada por el gobierno, de una asamblea constituyente, y al cierre de facto de la Asamblea Nacional, que había sido elegida de manera constitucional con amplia mayoría opositora.

Si los mercados financieros funcionasen bien, hace mucho tiempo que el acceso a los mercados financieros por parte del régimen de Maduro se habría cerrado.…  Seguir leyendo »

Luego de la elección e instalación de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, solo ha habido anuncios de sanciones individuales contra el presidente Maduro y algunos miembros de dicha asamblea, pero la Casa Blanca ha reafirmado que mantiene sobre la mesa las diversas opciones de sanciones económicas, incluyendo las dirigidas a la estatal Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Para captar la magnitud del efecto que pueden tener las sanciones en las finanzas de PDVSA, es importante entender que buena parte del flujo de caja de la empresa viene de los barriles que venden en el mercado estadounidense. La petrolera, a su vez, genera 95 por ciento de las divisas que ingresan al país.…  Seguir leyendo »

Donald Trump está perdiendo la paciencia con Corea del Norte. Con encendidas palabras, inusuales para un presidente estadounidense, advirtió hace poco que si Pyongyang vuelve a amenazar con atacar a Estados Unidos, habrá respuesta, con “fuego y furia como el mundo nunca ha visto”. Haga lo que haga, Trump debe comprender que nunca hubo tanto en juego, no sólo para la península coreana, sino también para la relación de Estados Unidos con China.

Las últimas dos pruebas norcoreanas de misiles balísticos intercontinentales, efectuadas el mes pasado, hacen pensar que el país ya cuenta con capacidad para golpear el territorio continental de Estados Unidos.…  Seguir leyendo »

This past weekend, on Aug. 5, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea. UNSCR 2371 condemned North Korea’s repeated missile tests — including several tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that suggested North Korea might be able to target the mainland United States. The United States had pushed hard for action to stall North Korea’s missile program, leaning particularly on China.

But are sanctions a good idea?

You might think so from the applause across the political spectrum. Of course, North Korea already faced targeted financial sanctions; the new sanctions are more general, prohibiting North Korea from selling goods such as coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead, and lead ore.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a rare bipartisan move, the United States Congress has voted to intensify sanctions against Russia, and President Trump has signed them into law. Even before the American leader put pen to paper last week, President Vladimir Putin of Russia fired back by demanding the removal of hundreds of Americans and Russians from the staffs at American diplomatic missions in Russia.

Mr. Putin had watched the United States turn an already painful list of sanctions from an easily reversible presidential decree into a law that would be next to impossible to repeal any time soon — a sorry result of a policy that the Kremlin had adopted in hopes of lifting sanctions altogether.…  Seguir leyendo »

A complete suspension of all sanctions in the near future is highly unlikely but some easing is possible. Different issues are involved in the various groups of sanctions, and some are more amenable to relaxation than others.

The first round of EU and US measures – visa bans and asset freezes for particular individuals and, by extension, businesses in which they hold controlling stakes – is tied to Crimea, and so these measures are unlikely to be removed.

The case of the Crimea sanctions is paradoxical. On the one hand, Russia’s annexation of Crimea is a fait accompli and it is hard to see it being reversed.…  Seguir leyendo »

La confrontation autour de l’Ukraine et de la Crimée ne correspond pas à une logique de guerre froide qui opposerait l’Occident à la Russie. Elle témoigne de la dégénérescence de la rivalité entre les zones régionales de l’Union européenne et de l’Eurasie, au point de contact de la Russie, en une guerre économique et paramilitaire. Sa violence est proportionnelle au fort degré d’interdépendance de ces deux zones.

L’élargissement de l’UE repose sur les valeurs du libre-échange pour garantir la sécurité collective et promouvoir un projet civilisationnel fondé sur la paix démocratique et libérale. Mais l’élargissement simultané de l’OTAN, sans intégrer la Russie, a provoqué un retournement dans l’UE où la politique sécuritaire est devenue la garantie du développement socio-économique.…  Seguir leyendo »

La levée des sanctions infligées à la Russie en réponse à son intervention en Ukraine a acquis le dangereux statut de sujet frivole – un thème sur lequel un candidat à la présidentielle peut dire tout ce qui lui passe par la tête, dans le seul but d’accrocher la une des journaux. Or la sécurité des Français est en jeu, même s’ils n’en sont pas convaincus. Croire que tous nos problèmes futurs seront au Moyen-Orient parce que nos problèmes actuels s’y trouvent, c’est céder à la tentation de chercher l’avenir dans le rétroviseur plutôt que dans le pare-brise.

Imaginons un monde, que l’élection de Donald Trump rend vraisemblable, où les Occidentaux feraient une croix sur les évènements survenus en Géorgie et en Ukraine depuis 2008 ; ils concèderaient à Vladimir Poutine une « zone d’influence » qui couvrirait l’ex-URSS, et supprimeraient les sanctions pour s’adonner à de juteuses affaires.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sanctions against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are exactly the wrong answer at exactly the wrong time.

The European Union and the United States have recently issued sanctions against a number of officials in my country’s government. In their view, the EU and United States are punishing the government for outbreaks of domestic violence in the DRC’s capital of Kinshasa earlier this year. But if the EU and the U.S. really want to help the DRC as they claim to, and not hurt it as they appear to, they will offer my country a carrot, instead of continuing to bash it with sticks.…  Seguir leyendo »