Poetins dilemma

PARIJS – Veel critici betogen dat de sancties die aan Rusland zijn opgelegd voor zijn daden in Oekraïne niet werken, omdat ze te beperkt zijn in omvang en reikwijdte. Bovendien zouden de sancties de Russische president, Vladimir Poetin, in staat stellen het Westen de schuld te geven van de interne problemen van Rusland. Sommige aanhangers van Poetin in Rusland verwelkomen de sancties als een manier om Russische autarkie – en dus strategische onafhankelijkheid van het Westen – af te dwingen.

Deze beweringen kloppen niet. Hoewel de sancties niet door China worden gesteund, hebben ze nu al stevige gevolgen, en de verwachting dat ze verder zullen worden aangescherpt is een bron van grote zorg voor beleggers en de Russische regering. Volledige autarkie zou neerkomen op een dramatische inzinking van de Russische levensstandaard – nu nog het fundament van de binnenlandse steun voor Poetin.

De jongste sancties zijn ongekend. De Europese Unie is zelfs nog verder gegaan dan de Verenigde Staten. Niet alle lidstaten van de Europese Unie drijven evenveel handel met Rusland, en er bestaan op dit vlak ook grote verschillen met de Verenigde Staten. Maar na het neerhalen van vlucht 17 van Malaysia Airlines kan Rusland niet langer een verdeel- en heersstrategie volgen die probeert deze verschillen uit te buiten.

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