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Businessweek
Economics

Biden’s Tough Sanctions Create Worry That Putin Lacks an Exit

The crackdown on Russia’s economy could have consequences that last decades.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 1. 

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 1. 

Photographer: Jim Lo Scalzo/Bloomberg/Bloomberg/EPA

The sanctions the U.S. and Europe are slapping on Russia’s economy and the billionaires around President Vladimir Putin are unprecedented in scope. Some experts wonder if these powers have made clear what actually needs to happen to get those restrictions lifted.

With each day bringing new punishments—against Russia’s central bank, the airline sector, and more—President Joe Biden’s focus has been on inflicting as much pain as possible and slowing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The broad reach of the measures, and the coordination among the U.S. and other powers, has also demonstrated the international community’s united anger at the invasion of the sovereign country. But there’s concern that the administration isn’t thinking hard enough about how to bring the conflict to an end.