Nearly one-third of the world economy is under sanctions


Over the past six decades, the use of economic sanctions by Western powers and international organizations has increased considerably. In the early 1960s, less than 4 percent of countries were subject to sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union or the UN; today that proportion has risen to 27 percent.

The magnitude is similar when considering their impact on the world economy. The proportion of global GDP produced in sanctioned countries has risen from less than 4 percent to 29 percent over the same period. In other words, more than a quarter of the countries and almost a third of the world economy are now subject to UN or Western sanctions.

Under international law, only sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council have legal force. Sanctions imposed by the United States or the European Union constitute, under international law, a declaration of war insofar as they impose a…

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