Tensions between Russia and the West have not been relaxed.
Prior to the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, which took place on 27 October, the parties of the conflict were mainly consolidating positions. While the US proved ready to cooperate with Russia only on high security issues, the newly elected EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Federica Mogherini has articulated changing EU approach to the relationship with Russia:
“I think Russia stays a strategic player in the regional and global challenges, [regardless if ] we like it or not, but I don’t think it’s a strategic partner anymore”.
Consequently, despite the absence of escalation in Ukraine in October and certain skeptical voices in the EU, there is no disagreement in the West regarding the fact that sanctions should stay in place until the Minsk protocol is fully implemented.
Meanwhile, the subjects of Western sectoral sanctions have started to file complaints to the relevant European institutions. Sberbank, VTB, VEB, Rosneft, Gazpromneft are among the contested. Arkady Rotenberg has filed a personal complaint to the ECJ, too.
The Russian authorities have been focusing on economic problems. The main news of October 2014 was the plummeting rate of the ruble against US dollar and euro. First time since 1998 one dollar rose to 48 rubles. The drop in the exchange rate of the ruble exceeded 40% since the beginning of 2014, and half of it took place in October. Compounding these challenges, the drop in the price of oil has put additional pressure on the Russian economy.
Recent public opinion polls keep showing that the Russians are adjusting to new reality. Citizens believe these measures do not create practical problems for them and their families (79%). The respondents also believe (59%) that the country will only benefit from sanctions through local support of national industries.
The challenges of the current situation give more opportunities for those who have information at their disposal. For more, read summary of the Kreab Gavin Anderson Sanctions Bulletin October 2014 issue (download the report here: Kreab Gavin Anderson Sanctions Bulletin October 2014). We also can provide targeted studies tailored to your industry. To order a customised version send a request by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.