Russia is the world’s top sanctions target There are now more sanctions against Russia than against Iran, Venezuela, Myanmar, and Cuba — combined
According to a new report from American technology company Castellum.AI, there are now more sanctions against Russia than against any other country in the world.
The company’s data shows that sanctions against Russia have now directly affected more than 5,500 entities. About half of them were on sanctions lists before Russia recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” and invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
For comparison, Iran, which comes in second place, is the target of a little over 3,600 sanctions. Syria is subject to over 2,600. There are over 2,000 against North Korea, 651 against Venezuela, 510 against Myanmar, and 208 against Cuba.
The sanctions imposed on Russia after its recognition of the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine target politicians and officials (including President Vladimir Putin), businessmen, large corporations and financial institutions, and the Russian military-industrial complex. They’re supplemented by sectoral sanctions, which have limited Russian banks’ access to international markets and frozen the Russian Central Bank’s foreign assets.
Out of all of the measures taken by foreigner governments to rebuke Russia, it’s the sanctions against the Central Bank that are the most severe, according to Castellum.AI. The company also highlighted the speed with which most of these sanctions were adopted. “The crippling economic sanctions which targeted Iran were adopted over the course of 10 years. The same type of sanctions adopted against Russia have been implemented in the course of 10 days,” said Spencer Vuksic, a consultant for Castellum and the author of the report.
Vuksic noted several features of the sanctions imposed against Russia in recent weeks:
- In quantitative terms, sanctions against the highest number of entities have been adopted by the US (1,194), Canada (908), and Switzerland (824).
- 90% of the sanctions apply to individuals, while the rest apply to companies, naval ships, and aircraft.
- The UK has imposed only 7% as many sanctions as the entire EU, and 14% as many as the US.
At the time of the report’s publication, none of the sanctions included bans on importing Russian oil or gas. On March 8, however, the U.S. announced an immediate embargo on Russian petroleum products, while the UK vowed to be free of them by the end of 2022. The EU, meanwhile, announced its intention to decrease its reliance on Russian petroleum but did not go as far as a ban.
Cover photo: Михаил Терещенко / ТАСС