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Leonid Bershidsky

Sanctions Fight Inspires Russia to Hurt Russians

The measures proposed by the parliament would inflict damage on major companies and ordinary citizens rather than the U.S.
Will he sign?

Will he sign?

Photographer: Adam Berry/Getty Images

The U.S. and Russia have put off decisions on economic sanctions against each other, but the logic of their downward-spiraling relationship suggests that further restrictions are inevitable. It's difficult to predict where the U.S. will land on the issue, and who might end up suffering the consequences. The Kremlin's response is all but certain: It will intentionally target Russians more than Americans.

Whoever came up with the idea of making it impossible for UC Rusal, the aluminum company of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, to operate in the U.S. probably didn't consider its unintended effects. For example: What would it do to the global aluminum industry's supply chain? Or Australian-British Rio Tinto, which used to sell raw materials to Rusal? Or the workers at the Rusal alumina refinery near Limerick in Ireland? That's just collateral damage.