Western sanctions placed on Russia and its leadership could have a wider impact on the country’s economy than believed, according to a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
In an interview with Fox News’ Jonathan Hunt, William B. Taylor gave his take on the possibility of new U.S. sanctions. Taylor served as ambassador in Kiev during the Bush Administration and now acts as a vice president at the United States Institute of Peace.
Taylor says Russia’s support for a referendum on Crimea independence will only harm Moscow’s global political and economic interests.
“I think he [Putin] is making a mistake,” Taylor said. “The sanctions that we are considering and already imposing … will have an effect. I don’t know if they will have an effect on Vladimir Putin, but they will have an effect on the people around him.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday sanctions imposed by the West “would inevitably hit the United States like a boomerang." Their foreign ministry added they “will not accept the language of sanctions and threats,” and will respond if sanctions are imposed.
Taylor dismissed these comments as “bluster.”
Taylor believes broader sanctions, especially those that would affect Russia's banking sector, could grab Moscow’s attention more than current ones put mainly on individuals.
“The United States could have a big effect on that even without the Europeans because of the size of our banking sector,” Taylor said.
Taylor warns further Russian military movement would only hurt the country's standing with Europe and the U.S..
Watch full interview above.