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An Inquiry into the Effect of the 2014 Russian Sanctions on European Gasoline Markets

During March 2014 the world witnessed one of the most overt signs of geo-political aggression since the end of the Cold War. It was during this month that the Russian Federation formally annexed the previously Ukrainian territory of Crimea. This event resulted in ripples throughout the international community, drawing strong condemnation from the United States (U.S.), European Union (EU), Australia, Japan, and many other countries (Khlebnikov 2014). Eventually, in response to perceived Russian expansion, these countries placed economic sanctions upon Russia for its actions (Dreyer and Popescu 2014) The purpose of these sanctions was to showcase displeasure with Russian involvement in Ukraine and Crimea and ultimately to persuade Russia to allow Crimea to remain a part of Ukraine (Newsroom – European Commission 2017). In retaliation, Russia enacted counter sanctions within the agricultural sector against sanctioning countries (Reuters 2016). With the resulting deterioration of Russian relations with Western nations, these sanctions are among the most important topics in the international relations sphere. As these sanctions were so recently enacted, there has been little study of the resulting economic effects of these sanctions on EU countries. As there are many EU countries who rely heavily upon trade with Russia for energy, defense, and financial products, it is safe to assume that there should be some form of loss trade for these countries. This loss trade should be magnified for countries as one moves geographically closer to Russia due to existing trade ties.

This is the purpose of my study, to better equip foreign policy makers to better understand the consequences of the 2014 Russian Sanctions for countries that choose to enact them. By adding to knowledge of potential unintentional effects of the 2014 Russian Sanctions, I hope to spur more informed conversations amongst foreign policy makers worldwide.

Peters, Eric Senior Thesis

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