Russlands europäische Heimat

MOSKAU – Im vergangenen Frühjahr, nachdem Russland die Krim annektiert und seine Interventionen in der Ost-Ukraine begonnen hatte, verhängten die USA und die Europäische Union Sanktionen gegen russische Privatleute und Unternehmen. Doch wenn derartige Sanktionen ein wirksames Instrument sein sollen, um die Ambitionen Wladimir Putins zu parieren – was im Westen nach wie vor debattiert wird –, müssen Sie eine feste Hand gegenüber dem russischen Präsidenten mit einer offenen Hand gegenüber dem russischen Volk verbinden.

Um zu verstehen, welche Rolle Sanktionen im Umgang mit dem Kreml spielen können, braucht man sich nur die Bedeutung des Geldes für seinen Bewohner bewusst zu machen. Seit Beginn dieses Jahrhunderts bis vor ganz kurzer Zeit war Russland mit Petrodollars überschwemmt, und je mehr Geld ins Land strömte, umso mehr nahm auch Putins Dreistigkeit und Aggression zu.

Im Jahr 1999 trugen die Erlöse aus dem Öl- und Gassektor 40,5 Milliarden Dollar zum russischen BIP bei. Als die Preise anzogen und die Produktion stieg, erhöhte sich dieser Beitrag beträchtlich; von 2001 bis 2004 betrug er im Durchschnitt 73,5 Milliarden Dollar jährlich. Russlands wachsender Reichtum machte Putin mutiger – ein Wandel, der sich beispielhaft in seiner Entscheidung zur Verhaftung und Inhaftierung von Michail Chodorkowski, dem Eigentümer des Ölriesen Yukos, im Jahre 2003 zeigt.

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