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The Russian full-scale conventional invasion of Ukraine has prompted dramatic economic action on behalf of the United States, which seeks to preserve its own interests and defend the sovereignty of Ukraine. This economic action has come in the form of sanctions. This paper identifies two major categories of sanctions, positive and negative, which work through different mechanisms in order to help achieve American interests. Negative sanctions are coercive and seek to modify the behavior of the target country (Russia) through punishment by inflicting costs for undesired action. Positive sanctions are a form of payment and can be used by the sender (The United States) to strengthen the target’s (Ukraine) military and bolster the target government's ability to operate in times of war. The U.S. has the ability to use both of these types of sanctions effectively due to its economic power in the current international system and its powers as a sovereign currency issuer, which can most accurately be analyzed through the Modern Monetary Theory framework. This paper takes the position that as a result of its power and the effectiveness of the combination of positive and negative sanctions being utilized, the U.S. has the ability to help shape the conditions for Ukrainian military victory, or the removal of Russian troops from Ukraine, in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. These sanctions can also allow the U.S. to achieve its strategic objectives without the use of American combat forces.
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Foss, Murphy J., "The Sanctions Weapon: The Dual-Sided Policy Shaping the Russo-Ukrainian War" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 237.
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