Skip to main content

U.S. Economic Sanctions

A pedestrian walks past a vandalized mural depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belgrade on June 2.
A pedestrian walks past a vandalized mural depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belgrade on June 2.

Sanctions on Russia Are Working. Here’s Why.

The Kremlin’s ability to wage war is already constrained, but the worst is yet to come.

The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Ice Energy (L) transfers crude oil from the Russian-flagged oil tanker Lana (R), off the shore of Karystos, on the Greek island of Evia, on May 29.
The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Ice Energy (L) transfers crude oil from the Russian-flagged oil tanker Lana (R), off the shore of Karystos, on the Greek island of Evia, on May 29.

How Greek Companies and Ghost Ships Are Helping Russia

Vessels from Greece and phantom fleets of unregistered ships have allowed Moscow to evade sanctions and export its oil—but it’s about to get more difficult.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

How the U.S.-Chinese Technology War Is Changing the World

Washington’s crackdown on technology access is creating a new kind of global conflict.

Visitors take photos of the 2022 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Doha, Qatar, on Oct. 30.
Visitors take photos of the 2022 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Doha, Qatar, on Oct. 30.

World Cup Shows Need to Crack Down on Kim’s Labor Exploitation

Shipping workers abroad helps the North Korean leader evade sanctions and finance his nuclear weapons.

Protesters in Germany display Iranian and Kurdish flags in a rally in support of the demonstrations in Iran.
Protesters in Germany display Iranian and Kurdish flags in a rally in support of the demonstrations in Iran.

If Europe Wants to Sanction Iran, It Knows What to Do

United Nations sanctions are already on the books—they just need to be reactivated.

Venezuelan migrants stand by a fence at an improvised shelter in Panama City, on Oct.23.
Venezuelan migrants stand by a fence at an improvised shelter in Panama City, on Oct.23.

To Halt the Venezuelan Migration Crisis, Stop Banning Venezuelan Oil

The Biden administration’s policies on sanctions and asylum-seekers are making the country's humanitarian situation worse.

U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House in Washington on July 12.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosts Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the White House in Washington on July 12.

Hegemony in the Americas Has Been Turned on Its Head

Once-dominant Washington is now beholden to the whims of its smaller neighbors.

A man films screens demonstrating Baidu’s Apollo Go self-driving taxi service at the company’s Apollo Park testing site in Beijing, on April 22.
A man films screens demonstrating Baidu’s Apollo Go self-driving taxi service at the company’s Apollo Park testing site in Beijing, on April 22.

Washington Raises Stakes in War on Chinese Technology

New U.S. sanctions are in some ways more restrictive than Cold-War era controls.

President Xi Jinping is welcomed by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin
President Xi Jinping is welcomed by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin

How Far Will Xi Go to Help a Desperate Putin?

Cracks have emerged in their marriage of convenience, but the two autocrats are in it for the long haul.

A worker removes McDonald's logotype from a restaurant in Moscow on June 17.
A worker removes McDonald's logotype from a restaurant in Moscow on June 17.

Russia’s Clueless New Oligarchs

A new generation of business owners with no experience are snapping up Western companies’ assets at fire-sale prices.

Demonstrators and activists attend a vigil in support of Ukraine near European Union headquarters in Brussels on March 22.
Demonstrators and activists attend a vigil in support of Ukraine near European Union headquarters in Brussels on March 22.

How the Russian Oil Price Cap Will Work

Ignore the naysayers—the long-prepared plan is a smart way to slash the Kremlin’s profits.

A woman holds a banner that reads “Today a new country is born” as she awaits the inauguration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro at the Simón Bolívar International Bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta, Colombia, on Aug. 7.
A woman holds a banner that reads “Today a new country is born” as she awaits the inauguration of Colombian President Gustavo Petro at the Simón Bolívar International Bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta, Colombia, on Aug. 7.

Venezuela’s Enabling Neighbors Change Their Tune

Former Maduro allies in Colombia and Brazil have recently rebuked him.

Victory parade in Moscow
Victory parade in Moscow
Visitors view the Moscow skyline from the Vorobyovy Hills observation point during a hot summer day in Moscow on Aug. 18.
Visitors view the Moscow skyline from the Vorobyovy Hills observation point during a hot summer day in Moscow on Aug. 18.

Who’s Winning the Sanctions War?

The West has inflicted damage on the Russian economy, but Putin has so far contained those costs.

Containers are loaded onto a ship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
Containers are loaded onto a ship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.

Sanctioned Russian Ships Are Still Doing Business With India

The vessels’ activity highlights the challenge faced by the Biden administration in enforcing Russia sanctions around the world.

A signboard for TotalEnergies EP Myanmar is seen past a shuttered gate in Yangon on Jan. 22, after energy giants TotalEnergies and Chevron said they would leave Myanmar following pressure from human rights groups to cut financial ties with the junta since last year's military coup.
A signboard for TotalEnergies EP Myanmar is seen past a shuttered gate in Yangon on Jan. 22, after energy giants TotalEnergies and Chevron said they would leave Myanmar following pressure from human rights groups to cut financial ties with the junta since last year's military coup.

U.S. Eyes New Energy Sanctions on Myanmar After Execution of Activists

Oil and gas are a critical economic lifeline for Myanmar’s military junta.

An Iranian man looks at exchange rates in Tehran on June 15.
An Iranian man looks at exchange rates in Tehran on June 15.

Iran Stands to Lose the Most if the Nuclear Deal Isn’t Revived

Resistance and endurance are pointless if diplomatic and economic opportunities are not seized when they arise.

A view of the Russian Central Bank headquarters in downtown Moscow on May 26.
A view of the Russian Central Bank headquarters in downtown Moscow on May 26.

Actually, the Russian Economy Is Imploding

Nine myths about the effects of sanctions and business retreats, debunked.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele gestures during his speech at the closing ceremony of the Latin American Bitcoin & Blockchain Conference at Mizata Beach, El Salvador, on Nov. 20, 2021.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele gestures during his speech at the closing ceremony of the Latin American Bitcoin & Blockchain Conference at Mizata Beach, El Salvador, on Nov. 20, 2021.

El Salvador’s Scramble for a Bailout

With top officials beset by U.S. sanctions, the country’s IMF negotiations are bound to get complicated.

Load 10 More Articles
Loading graphics

Welcome to a world of insight.

Explore the benefits of your FP subscription.

Stay updated on the topics you care about with email alerts. Sign up below.

Choose a few newsletters that interest you.

Here are some we think you might like.

  • Morning Brief thumbnail
  • Africa Brief thumbnail
  • Latin America Brief thumbnail
  • China Brief thumbnail
  • South Asia Brief thumbnail
  • Situation Report thumbnail

Keep up with the world without stopping yours.

Download the FP mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

Download on the App Store
  • Read the magazine
  • Save articles (and read offline)
  • Customize your feed
  • Listen to FP podcasts
Download on the Apple App Store
Download on the Google Play Store

Analyze the world’s biggest events.

Join in-depth conversations and interact with foreign-policy experts with

See what’s trending.

Most popular articles on FP right now.