The thorny issue of sanctions

The prospect of issuing a waiver has come at a time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in a slew of New Delhi abstentions on condemning the aggression at the United Nations including at the Security Council and General Assembly

The thorny issue of sanctions
Source: Twitter / @shreyadhoundial

In the last two weeks Russia has earned the dubious distinction in the world as being the “most” sanctioned nation getting past North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba, not necessarily in that pecking order. One estimate is that there are more than 5000 sanctions in place against Moscow cobbled together by the United States and the European Union. Even Switzerland which generally stays out of this game is now a part of the process, mostly on the financial front. That the Russian President Vladimir Putin looks at Western punitive measures as an act of war does not seem to faze those who are intent on making Moscow pay a hefty price for its invasion of Ukraine. Or as the President of the United States Joseph Biden just about put it, “Putin does not know what is coming his way”.

S-400 "Triumph" air defense missile systems. Source: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

There are many facets to the subject of sanctions, one of which being third countries being dragged into the picture — that targeting a country for doing business with the sanctioned nation. At the peak of the punitive measures against Iran, Washington pressured New Delhi to stop buying oil and petroleum products from Tehran; with great reluctance India cut short its imports even if Iranian terms were quite enticing. In the context of Ukraine, India is again facing some flak for its “neutrality”, some law makers miffed at India not exercising its global power status and responsibility and condemn Russia for invading its neighbor.