Eric Posner Q&A on Ukraine
The recent crisis in Ukraine has spurred a new round of thinking about the region’s political and economic situation by UChicago scholars Eric Posner and Stanislav Markus.
Posner, the Kirkland & Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law, has written numerous articles on the Ukraine crisis since Russia’s seizure of Crimea last month. An expert on international law, he authored The Limits of International Law and The Perils of Global Legalism.
Markus is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. His book Property, Predation, and Protection: Piranha Capitalism in Russia and Ukraine is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. An expert on property rights and state-business relations in the region, he has published his research in World Politics, Socio-Economic Review, Polity, and other journals.
Posner and Markus recently discussed the latest developments in Ukraine with UChicago News.
The United States and European Union have imposed a new round of 'targeted economic sanctions' on Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Will these sanctions work?
Eric Posner: The West is reacting properly to Russia’s continued provocative and aggressive behavior in Ukraine. However, I don’t think the current sanctions will work because they are too weak. The sanctions will only affect a small number of companies and individuals. The West could increase the severity of sanctions if they want to, but any type of strong sanctions could be very costly. For example, if the EU agrees not to buy gas from Russia, it could deal a fatal blow to Russia’s oil expert business. But, at the same time, the measure would also hurt Europe a great deal because they will lose a major gas supplier. Unless Russia does something truly outrageous, I doubt the world will impose severe sanctions.