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Live On Stage
Tuesday November 22 2022, 7pm GMT

Debate: Sanctions Against Russia Won’t Work

Since Russia invaded Ukraine last February the West has ramped up sanctions against Russia to an unprecedented level. Both Russia and the West are feeling the pain, but are the measures having the desired effect? 

Unquestionably, say sanctions supporters. A report by Yale University shows that the Russian economy has been crippled by the new sanctions and is heading for oblivion. With the loss of EU export markets, the withdrawal of over 1,000 foreign firms, and the tit for tat cut-off of gas exports, Putin is under serious pressure. And now that he is losing ground on the battlefield and ordering a partial mobilisation of Russian citizens to support the war, it looks as though sanctions are working. Soon Putin simply won’t be able to afford to continue the war – let alone contemplate attacking other vulnerable countries along Russia’s border. And without access to the advanced Western technology Russia needs for its vital industries, the regime itself may be unable to survive. 

Such thinking is hopelessly misguided, argue the sanctions sceptics. No one is doubting that sanctions are hurting the Russian economy, they say, but where’s the evidence that they are making Putin change course? What’s helping the Ukrainians turn things around isn’t the economic squeeze on Russia, it’s military aid from the West. Meanwhile, due to the shortage of gas, Europe has been plunged into the worst cost of living crisis in decades, with energy bills in Britain set to triple and inflation rampant. Sanctions may give us the sense that we are doing something about the war in Ukraine but not only are they unlikely to help that country, they are also a spectacular own goal. 

Who’s right and who’s wrong? Join us at Conway Hall on November 22, hear the arguments and decide for yourself.

Event Name

Debate: Sanctions Against Russia Won’t Work



Speakers for the motion
  • Richard Connolly

    Associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) with a focus on the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy

  • Simon Jenkins

     Journalist and author

Against the motion
  • Owen Matthews

    Russian expert and former war correspondent

  • Anna Reid

    Historian and journalist

Chair TBC


Location
  • Conway Hall
  • 25 Red Lion Square
  • London
  • WC1R 4RL
Time
  • Tuesday 22 November 2022
  • 7pm to 8:30pm GMT



Speakers

For the motion

Richard Connolly

Associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) with a focus on the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy


Director of the consultancy, Eastern Advisory Group, and an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London and the Centre for a New American Security in the Washington, D.C. He is a specialist on the Russian economy. His most recent books are Russia’s Response to Sanctions, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018, and the Very Short Introduction to the Russian Economy, published by Oxford University Press in 2020.
   

Simon Jenkins

 Journalist and author


 Journalist and author. He writes twice weekly for the Guardian and has worked on the Economist and Sunday Times and edited the Evening Standard and The Times. His books include works on London’s architecture, the press and British politics. His bestsellers include England’s 1,000 Best Churches and 1,000 Best Houses, a study of Thatcherism and a short histories of London, England and Europe. His book on Europe’s greatest cathedrals came out in 2021 and his latest book is Celts: A Sceptical History.   
Against the motion

Owen Matthews

Russian expert and former war correspondent


Russian expert and author of two highly praised works of non-fiction, Stalin's Children and An Impeccable Spy, as well as two acclaimed thrillers, Black Sun and Red Traitor. As a war correspondent, he covered conflicts in Bosnia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and Ukraine, and for ten years he was Newsweek's Moscow bureau chief. 

Anna Reid

Historian and journalist


Historian and journalist. She was Kyiv correspondent for The Economist and the Daily Telegraph in the early 1990s, and is the author of Borderland: a Journey through the History of Ukraine, the fourth edition of which will be published in September. Her other books are The Shaman’s Coat: a Colonial History of Siberia and Leningrad: Tragedy of a City under Siege, 1941-44, which was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and has been translated into seventeen languages. From 2002-6 she directed the think tank Policy Exchange’s foreign affairs programme, and she is a trustee of the Ukrainian Institute London. Her latest book, which will come out next year, is a history of the Allied intervention into Russia’s post-revolutionary civil war.  

Chair TBC