Russian people will be ‘biggest beneficiary’ of sanctions


Populism is on the rise across Europe, often with help from Russian propaganda, analysts Dalibor Rohac, Edit Zgut and Lóránt Győri argue in a new AEI briefing.

Western democracies have imposed sanctions on Russia in an attempt to curb the Kremlin’s aggression, but Russians themselves may be the principal beneficiaries, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham told “Global,” a new podcast series by the International Republican Institute (IRI).

“Believe it or not, the biggest beneficiary of Russian sanctions over time will be the Russian people, because it will create the opportunity for change,” he said, a few days before introducing a bipartisan bill proposing new sanctions against Russia:

Recounting a recent trip to the Baltics with IRI Chairman Senator John McCain, Senator Graham discussed his commitment to help Russia’s neighbors fight against disinformation. “If we go on the offense and expose the way Putin does business to the Russian people, give tools to the frontline states, stop the expansion of propaganda, pass sanctions…this will bring on [the Putin regime’s] demise,” said Senator Graham.

The inaugural episode of “Global” also featured interviews with Andrew Kramer, Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, and Bakhtiyor Nishanov, IRI’s Deputy Director for Eurasia. “Global” is a monthly podcast that focuses on providing an introductory look at one of the more than 80 countries where IRI works around the world.

Each 45-minute episode will feature discussions with politicians, journalists and other experts on the country’s contemporary situation, historical context and future prospects. “Global” is available to download through iTunes, the iTunes podcast app, and Soundcloud. The next episode will be available on February 1 and will feature Colombia former Colombian president and IRI International Advisory Council Member Andrés Pastrana.  

IRI is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy

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