From the subtitle of a Wall Street Journal article at the time I wrote this post:
Russian Foreign Minister Says Sanctions Are Aimed at Hurting Economy
It’d be a poor set of sanctions, even for the Obama administration, if they weren’t having the intended effect.
And he had this:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday accused the West of “seeking regime change” in his country by imposing sanctions against Moscow.
Probably not, just behavior change. But if regime change did happen, what would be the downside for us? At worst, we’d just get another KGB has-been or another oligarch in charge. But the Russian government might get replaced by something better. It is, after all, on the far left side of the distribution curve for quality of governments.
The present Russian government has annexed the Ukraine’s Crimea and is occupying eastern Ukraine, and it has invaded, partitioned, and now occupies parts of Georgia. It’s conducted damaging cyber warfare against the Baltic States. It’s repositioning ground forces near the Polish and erstwhile Ukrainian border.
Back to that behavior change: get Vlad to withdraw from Ukraine, and maybe the sanctions will get lifted. Go one better: get him to withdraw from Georgia and pull back from the Polish and restored Ukrainian borders. See how that works, Sergei Viktorovich.