Russian navy sailors line up during celebrations for Navy Day in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea, July 26, 2015.
Pavel Rebrov / Reuters

Whether or not the West’s sanctions against Russia have been a success depends to a considerable degree on what one thinks the sanctions were meant to achieve and how quickly. More than a year on, Crimea remains occupied, Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, and the longer-term goal of forcing the Kremlin to accept and abide by the accepted norms of international behavior remains out of reach. The Russian economy is suffering, but more because of low oil prices and structural economic weaknesses than the impact of sanctions, and Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have concluded that the costs are bearable.

So what now? Should the West simply be patient, or is it time for a change in strategy?

One of the reasons that the sanctions regime has not been more effective is that Moscow believes it can easily strike back at the West, dividing the allies and

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  • Mark Galeotti is Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs.
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