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Comparative Perspective on the Application of Unilateral Sanctions By the EU and the US: the Example of Russia

Student: Milana Muksenova

Supervisor: Anastasia Likhacheva

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

This research paper is dedicated to the comparative analysis of sanction policy regimes of the United States and the European Union. In order to assess the comparative perspective of their sanction policies, the case of the Russian Federation in the period from the year of 2014 till the middle of 2020 was selected. The research question which is posed in this work is the following: was the impact of domestic politics inside the United States and the European Union one of the determining factors in relation to their sanctioning regimes against Russia since 2014? This paper makes the following hypothesis: even though the United States’ and European Union’s sanction regimes are foreign policy-oriented, the domestic political factor plays a significant role in the anti-Russian sanction policy of both the US and the EU. Through the research the main differences and similarities in the sanction policies of the US and EU and how these differences impact the relations between them and Russia are going to be analyzed. In order to make an analysis, the comparative case study method was selected. After the research has been made, this work comes to the conclusion that the hypothesis is confirmed. The main goal of this paper is to demonstrate how the domestic situation inside the US and inside the EU affects the decision-making on the foreign policy issues, in particular, the decision to impose sanctions against the state. The analysis also makes a contribution to the debate of relations of the Western countries vis-à-vis Russia.

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