Russian propaganda outlets circulated an Asia Times’ interview of June 6 with U.S. economist Steve Hanke, who promoted the narrative that Western sanctions had further strengthened positions of Vladimir Putin and his allies. He claimed that the humanitarian and economic implications of sanctions would be far less significant for Russia than for the rest of the world, since Western allies are unable to replace Russian oil and gas.
Since a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hanke has been echoing pro-Russian narratives, advocating Russia sanction lift.
Through such “independent” foreign experts, Russian propaganda is once again trying to spread the narrative that Russia sanctions allegedly hit the countries imposing sanctions more than they do Russia, therefore it is logical to cancel them.
After the EU ambassadors on June 2 approved the sixth package of Russia sanctions, pro-Kremlin media stepped up the narrative that not so much Russia as the West would suffer as a result. It seems that precisely because of the sanctions targeting Russia, the EU countries over the recent months has been seeing record-hitting inflation and rising prices of grain and vegetable oil, while the sixth package of sanctions could lead to a “price shock,” higher interest rates, and a fall in purchasing power of the population.
If restrictive political and economic measures against Russia were not destroying its economy, Putin would not have to constantly repeat that “Russia sanctions in many ways provoke a global crisis.” Recently, he has been blackmailing the EU and the US, saying he would unblock Ukrainian ports for grain exports once Russia sanctions were lifted. On June 4, he came up with another option: if Ukraine wants to export grain, it can do so – through Belarus, and to make this happen, the EU will need to lift sanctions off Minsk.