Pro Russia rally St Basil Cathedral Anna Sergeeva/ZumaPress

Waarom sancties tegen Rusland niet werken

MOSKOU – De westerse aanpak van Rusland is gebaseerd op de veronderstelling dat aanhoudende druk op het land het regime van president Vladimir Poetin ertoe zal aanzetten concessies te doen of zelfs ineen zal laten storten. Niets is echter minder waar.

De veronderstelling die ten grondslag ligt aan het westerse sanctiebeleid is dat de scherpe achteruitgang van de economie die hiervan het gevolg is het Russische publiek, en met name de financiële en politieke elite, tegen het Kremlin in opstand zal laten komen. Poetin zal zich niet kunnen weren tegen de toenemende oppositie van de rijke stedelijke gebieden en de bloeiende middenklasse van het land.

Bovendien zal volgens deze redenering militaire druk – in de vorm van mogelijk dodelijke hulp aan Oekraïne – de gewone Russen ook tegen Poetin in het geweer brengen. Niet bereid om hun zonen te zien sterven voor de Donbas zullen zij een anti-oorlogsbeweging vormen die hem zal dwingen zijn territoriale ambities te matigen. Zowel van bovenaf als van onderaf onder druk gezet zal het Kremlin zijn beleid moeten veranderen en misschien zelfs gaan democratiseren.

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