by Mary Kaldor

“It is not evident that the sanctions under discussion—such as on the SWIFT mechanism for financial transfers, excluding Russia from the dollar-led banking system—will help. In most other cases, such as Venezuela, Iran or Syria, such sanctions have tended to hurt ordinary people more than elites and provide a convenient scapegoat for the regime.

What is missing so far from western responses is an emphasis on human rights. If aggressive behaviour abroad is linked to repressive and predatory behaviour at home, then human rights must be central.

Russia is affiliated to the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, whose members are committed to observance of human rights. These organisation should be given a much more prominent role in the discussions around the crisis.”

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