Author: Editorial Board, ANU
Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has inflicted a devastating toll, one measured in lives lost and cities destroyed. The response from much of the world has been swift and nearly unprecedented: not only through materiel support for Ukraine but also a suite of economic sanctions designed to disconnect Russia from the world economy.
Not since the League of Nations’ failed sanctions on Italy after the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 has there been an attempt to isolate an economy as large — Russia is the world’s sixth biggest economy measured at purchasing power parity — or as integrated in the world economy.
Sanctions that target a clear and unpardonable violation of international law, such as a war of aggression, can be justified in dire circumstances, but they come with costs. In this case, one of the most significant is the disruption that sanctions have caused to world energy markets. As Russian…