If we want to analyze sanctions towards Russia, it is not unreasonable to learn from history. No war with Russia defeated Russia. On the contrary, such wars always caused suffering not only in Russia but also throughout the rest of Europe.

We, in our Czech parliamentary movement Freedom and Direct Democracy from the beginning, we were against sanctions to punish Russia for defending the interests of Russians in eastern Ukraine and the Crimea.

I have long been thinking about what was the real aim of breaking business connection with Russia, namely sanctions.

From the beginning it was clear that no sanctions can force Putin to change his policy.

PutinfaceWe know that Americans like to use the policy of economic embargo against inconvenient governments. They have used sanctions to weaken and destabilize the economy of the target country, followed by inciting civil unrest.

But in Russia, which is strongly uniform in the question of patriotism, this could never succeed.

Sanctions united Russians, and Putin used them to strengthen the independence of Russia from the European Union. De facto, he has forced European companies to replace imports by investing directly in Russia. So the goods that we imported there, they are produced in Russia today. Our companies pay taxes to Putin and employ Russians.

Russia of course turned its attention to other partners – China, India and Latin America.

To sum up – due to sanctions, Russia has become more independent from the West. Who left this battle weakened? Unfortunately, we did.

I like the motto “Those who trade, do not fight.“