European discussions did not lead to any concrete action for a long time. And Russia exported as much energy as usual, but at higher prices, so it earned a record $357 billion, more than half of it from the European Union alone. In doing so, it recorded the largest current account surplus in 20 years, says Dr. Lukash Rachel, a Polish economist with the so-called Stanford Group, which is developing recommendations on sanctions against Russia.
TYGODNIK TVP: You are the only Pole who, together with prominent economists, former American ambassadors to Russia or the well-known political scientist Francis Fukuyama, is a member of the so-called Stanford Group. How did this initiative come about?
ŁUKASZ RACHEL: When war broke out in Ukraine, I happened to be interning at Princeton while my friends and family were helping Ukrainians in Poland. I wanted to get involved, too, but concluded that I would accomplish the most by working within my area of expertise. So I got involved with analysis and published articles on the costs and benefits of economic sanctions against Russia. Through these writings I got involved in discussions among researchers, and when the Group was established, we were invited to join. The Group is coordinated by the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul (he held that post from 2012 to 2014 and is now a professor of political science at Stanford University - editor's note). Over the course of the year, we wrote 10 substantive reports with recommendations that we submitted to policymakers in the U.S., but any reader of our conversation can also find them on our website.
Find the remainder of the interview here.