Global Governance Centre
21 March 2022

Sanctions against Russia - Professor Grégoire Mallard in the News

Last week, Professor Grégoire Mallard, one of the Graduate Institute’s leading specialists of international sanctions, appeared in two separate interviews with news outlets to discuss the current onslaught of coordinated sanctions being imposed on Russia.

In a televised interview with RTS the 20th of March, Professor Grégoire Mallard spoke of Russia’s current political isolation, recalling the results of a recent vote within the UN General Assembly on a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from the territory of Ukraine. Noting Russia’s connectedness to the global economy, Professor Mallard situated the logic and strategy behind the implementation of economic sanctions as tools for putting a stop to the Russian invasion. When asked whether sanctions have a record of being effective, Professor Mallard reminded his listeners that whilst sanctions always generate effects, they might not necessarily produce their “desired effects”—a telling example being the burden that will inevitably be shouldered by the Russian civilian population.

Speaking to on the 14th of March, Professor Mallard lucidly summarized the three different types of economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States, the European Union, and Switzerland. Freezing the assets of Russian banks, including the Central Bank of Russia, Western allies have equally imposed targeted sanctions on Russian ruling elites and oligarchs. In a move to cripple the Russian energy sector, the United States has banned the import of Russian oil and gas, with the United Kingdom now vowing to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022. Deeming the current package of sanctions as reasonable and proportional to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prof. Mallard nonetheless reminds the international community of “the need to make the lifting of sanctions conditional on precise and realistic objectives.” Though undoubtedly participating in the vilification of President Putin and his government, sanctions are strongest when driven by defined political objectives, not “pure moralism.”


Watch the full interview in French with RTS.

Read the full interview in French with