We hosted a Webcast with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on 17th June 2021 at 5:00 pm IST on ‘Sanctions… and Counter-sanctions’. The panel included: Dr Erica Moret, Senior Researcher, Global Governance Centre, IHEID and the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies; Dr Ivan Timofeev, Director of Programmes, Russian International Affairs Council and Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri, Former Ambassador to Nepal, European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg and former Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN.
- 1. A shift from multilateral to unilateral/autonomous sanctions: Over the last few decades, we have witnessed the shift from the United Nations (UN)-led multilateral sanctions to unilateral/autonomous sanctions imposed by the West, Russia, China and other countries in West Asia and Africa to fulfil their foreign policy objectives. These unilateral sanctions have either been imposed to supplement UN measures, compensate for the lack of UN measures or address issues outside of the UN framework like corruption, drug trafficking, public health, misinformation etc.
- 2. Impact of Western sanctions on businesses: U.S. unilateral sanctions capitalise on the centrality of the U.S. dollar in the global financial system. Therefore, many countries adhere to them – even those which oppose the sanctions like the Russian and Chinese companies. U.S. sanctions on Russian officials and private hacking groups based in Russia for multiple cyberattacks on American critical infrastructure have affected Russia’s digital sector.
- 3. India and sanctions: India has been impacted by Western sanctions in the 1970s and 90s. It adapted to them and achieved self-reliance, for example, in the nuclear and space domains. In the current geopolitics, India can play an important role in advocating reforms to the UN multilateral sanctions process to make them relevant for changing global realities.