[guest post by Dana]
As Ukraine makes a surprise move, which found Russia caught off guard, an op-ed in the Washington Post explains how current sanctions against Russia, which are having a substantial impact, still need to be tightened up as Russia must be met with nothing less than “total isolation”:
The United States and other democracies around the world rightly responded to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine by imposing new sanctions on Russia’s financial system, oil and gas exports, and certain individuals. These sanctions are more comprehensive than any other effort undertaken by the free world against a dictatorship the size of Russia.
They have certainly weakened the Russian economy. But only the most optimistic believed that sanctions would persuade Putin to change his mind and withdraw his army from Ukraine. Instead, the purpose of these sanctions should be to limit Russia’s capacity to wage this war against Ukraine — to compel, not persuade, Putin to end his invasion. To date, there have been some successes, but the experience of the past six months also shows that there is much more to be done. We have several suggestions for measures that we think are worth taking.
Targeted export controls on sensitive technology have proved especially effective by limiting Russia’s ability to replenish precision weaponry. Over time, this disruption of sophisticated technology components, including first and foremost chips that Russia cannot make, will weaken Moscow’s military capabilities.
Now the democratic world must impose additional import restrictions on technologies such as aircraft parts, sonar systems, antennas, spectrophotometers, test equipment, GPS systems, vacuum pumps and oil-field equipment. Russia should be completely unable to obtain any high-tech imports, as ultimately most technology is dual-use. Any technology that helps the Russian economy also helps Putin kill more Ukrainians.
Over the long run, the exodus of tens of thousands of Russian high-tech workers triggered by Putin’s war also will further diminish Russia’s military industrial base. Moving forward, the West should do more to facilitate a massive Russian brain drain. Democratic countries should make it easier to accept Russian immigrants with technological expertise through a variety of residency and economic incentives. Europe and the United States must also make it easier for political and media opponents to Putin’s regime to immigrate, to help further divide Putin from the Russian people.
The op-ed continues to list and explain what other steps must be taken in order to limit Russia’s ability to continue their fight against Ukraine. The question becomes one of how far is the West willing to go:
Finally, democracies must signal their intention to maintain sanctions for as long as it takes to achieve three outcomes: Ukraine must regain all of its territory, including Crimea; Russia must pay war reparations to Ukraine in full; and Russian war criminals must be brought to justice. Leaders of the free world must avoid the temptation to offer partial sanctions relief for incremental changes in Russia’s war efforts, and they should never do anything regarding sanctions relief without endorsement from Ukraine’s government.
Expanding and sustaining sanctions will be costly to the United States, Canada and Europe. But this is the price we must pay for decades of failure to act against Putin’s authoritarian and imperial ways. Fortunately, nations of the free world pay this cost solely with money; Ukrainians are paying with blood.
As of this morning, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Ukraine to announce yet another additional aid package to Ukraine.
With that, I want to turn your attention to a speech that Liz Truss, now the new British prime minister, gave back in April 2022 about the dangers of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. In her speech, she stressed that there could be no complacency because the fate of Ukraine hung in the balance. Clearly, it still does. Her speech begins at the 17:00 mark: