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US needs to crank up pressure on Russia’s economy – Former CIA chief

David Petraeus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
US needs to crank up pressure on Russia’s economy – Former CIA chief
Russia is “bleeding on the battlefield” as well as “in the economy, the home front,” yet West still needs to tighten the screws, says former CIA chief David Petraeus

Putin is in a very, very difficult situation. We need to continue to tighten the screws,” former CIA director David Petraeus told CNN.

Washington should increase pressure on Moscow, which is currently facing a number of economic and military challenges, Petraeus said. Russia is “bleeding on the battlefield” as well as “in the economy, the home front,” added the former CIA chief.

It has not been as bad as a lot of us hoped it would be. Still, they are in trouble on the home front,” noted Petraeus. According to the retired general, the main economic challenges facing Russia are the growing budget deficit, the withdrawal of more than 1,000 large Western companies from the country, the departure of major oil companies and their advanced technologies, and the severance of much of its trade with Europe.

Another serious problem for the Putin regime is the brain drain, claims Petraeus. “They’ve lost hundreds of thousands of their best and brightest — who no longer wanted to live in a country that is a global pariah,” he said.

According to experts questioned by CNN, Western sanctions have not delivered a deathblow to the Russian economy. Reasons for this include that not enough countries imposed sanctions, and that Russia is employing a number of sanctions evasion schemes to import crucial technology for weapons production through third countries.

The former CIA director called to address this issue, imposing active measures to counter Russia’s evasion of sanctions, including “minimizing” the “disappointing” number of countries willing to trade with Moscow.

We have to continue to stay after it — and I’m confident we will,” David Petraeus said.

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