Der SpiegelDer Spiegel

How Well Are European Sanctions Against Russia Working?

By Michael Sauga

01 Jul 2022 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

The EU has imposed extraordinarily tough sanctions on Russia. But this probing Spiegel analysis exposes mistakes and misjudgements that have caused many of the measures to backfire.

The chief strategist for Europe’s economic war against Russia isn't much interested in military posturing. His uniform: gray sneakers and a blue business suit. His command center: a nondescript office on the 13th floor of the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels with a conference table, houseplant and a cluttered display cabinet.

And if you ask him if he feels he’s the commander-in-chief in the EU conflict with Moscow, you're likely a dismissive wave of the hand in response. "That’s not how the EU works," he says. "My job is to probe and then work out compromises."

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