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Do sanctions on Russia work? Why should reluctant countries join the sanction coalition? And why the Davos focus on AI, fintech, climate change etc, and a sort of optimism that this war is contained are misplaced? I spoke in Davos on these questions. Here is the thread. 1/

There is a concern among Ukrainians that Davos and the world are discussing technology, climate change, and economic issues while there is an ongoing war with Russia. But I think that these issues are critical to humanity and must be addressed, yet that the war with Russia 2/
must also be stopped in order for meaningful progress to be made on these issues. I also think it is bizarre and surreal that in the 21st century in my university in Kyiv students are experimenting with OpenAI, while staying in bomb shelters bc of Russia missile attacks. 3/
This reality needs to be changed before the world can explore opportunities to address other issues. Sanctions, together with military action, can be effective in achieving this objective, but we have to be very clear about what we want to achieve. 4/
The Russian narrative that sanctions will escalate the situation should not be accepted. Whether sanctions work or not depends on our goal such as to punish Russia (works!), deny its ability to wage war (somewhat), or create incentives for international businesses to 5/
become independent from Russia (works!). Some countries accept the Russian narrative that sanctions will escalate the situation and make things worse. But they are wrong. Russia argues that it does not repond to rational calculus of the sanctions. 6/
But it is not true. Russia has shown rational calculus in the past when it comes to sanctions, for example, during the grain deal. It even made public statements to remove sanctions on fertilizers. In any case, if we accept that Russia is irrational, the 7/
future is dark, and Russia wins. So we must not. Russia is sneaky about making sure that its rationality does not become publicly known. It's important to publicize evidence where Russia shows rationality&not to buy into the Russian bluff that it doesn't respond to incentives. 8/
Many countries are reluctant to join sanctions or support harsher measures due to the argument that sanctions do not work and impose costs on these countries. Some countries become safe havens for bypassing sanctions. They risk losing agency and becoming dependent on Russia. 9/
Being on the right side of history is important for countries to consider when deciding on sanctions. Being right morally, ethically, and as humans is key. This war is a war of choice, and the situation is black and white. But if this argument is too abstract, 10/
there are two pragmatic reasons to impose sanctions on Russia. First, join the coalition of developed democratic counties and get access to their markets and technology, get their partnership and goodwill. Second, bring forward the end of the war, and so stabilize the future 11/
of your own economy. Staying neutral can harm a country's economy and industry. Joining the coalition and staying with it is a pragmatic choice. 12/12
Tymofiy Mylovanov
President, Kyiv School of Economics; Adviser, Zelensky administration; Minister of economy, Ukraine, 2019-2020; Associate professor, University of Pittsburgh
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