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Corporate ‘Self-Sanctioning’ of Russia Has US Fearing Economic Blowback

Officials seek to clarify guidance so there aren’t unintended impacts on inflation, supply chains

A closed McDonald's restaurant in Moscow on May 16.
A closed McDonald's restaurant in Moscow on May 16.Photographer: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine galvanized the US, UK and European Union to unleash a slew of sanctions meant to punish Vladimir Putin’s government and pressure him to pull his forces back. 

But some Biden administration officials are now privately expressing concern that rather than dissuading the Kremlin as intended, the penalties are instead exacerbating inflation, worsening food insecurity and punishing ordinary Russians more than Putin or his allies.