U.S. fears Russia sanctions are worsening economy, inflation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine galvanized the US, UK and European Union to unleash a slew of sanctions meant to punish Vladimir Putin’s government and pressure him to pull his forces back.

Advertisement

But some Biden administration officials are now privately expressing concern that rather than dissuading the Kremlin as intended, the penalties are instead exacerbating inflation, worsening food insecurity and punishing ordinary Russians more than Putin or his allies.

Officials were initially impressed by the willingness of companies from BP Plc. to McDonald’s Corp. to abruptly “self-sanction,” sometimes selling assets at fire-sale prices. But the administration was caught off-guard by the potential knock-on effects — from supply chain bottlenecks to uninsurable grain exports — due to the companies’ decisions to leave, according to people familiar with internal discussions…

When the invasion began, the Biden administration believed that if penalties exempted food and energy, the impact on inflation at home would be minimal. Since then, energy and food have become key drivers of the highest US inflation rates in 40 years, a huge political liability for President Joe Biden and the Democratic party heading into November’s mid-term elections. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that she “was wrong” in believing last year that inflationary pressures would pass. One of the results that she’s now seeing is related to the spike in prices due to unexpected self-sanctioning, according to one person familiar with her thinking.

Advertisement

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos

Sponsored

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement