The U.S. and Russia have put off decisions on economic sanctions against each other, but the logic of their downward-spiraling relationship suggests that further restrictions are inevitable. It's difficult to predict where the U.S. will land on the issue, and who might end up suffering the consequences. The Kremlin's response is all but certain: It will intentionally target Russians more than Americans.
Whoever came up with the idea of making it impossible for UC Rusal, the aluminum company of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, to operate in the U.S. probably didn't consider its unintended effects. For example: What would it do to the global aluminum industry's supply chain? Or Australian-British Rio Tinto, which used to sell raw materials to Rusal? Or the workers at the Rusal alumina refinery near Limerick in Ireland? That's just collateral damage.
On the other hand, potential Russian countersanctions, described in a bill sponsored by most of the Russian legislators from the speaker on down, include measures that can hurt millions of its own people. The legislators knowingly disregard it.
The bill -- which requires a presidential order to take effect -- is designed to "hit Americans in the solar plexus," as one of the numerous sponsors, Mikhail Yemelyanov, put it.