Will Europe Pass Serious Sanctions? Ctd

foriegn markets

Yglesias argues that the EU is in the driver’s seat:

Here’s the one fact you need to know to understand where the real balance of power lies: Russia’s top trading partner is the European Union, but the EU’s top trading partner is the United States followed by China. In other words, the 306 billion euro trading relationship is a big deal either way you slice it, but it’s fundamentally a bigger deal for Russia than it is for Europe

And, as Tim Fernholz illustrates with the above chart, the Dutch have significant Russian capital under their control:

It’s no accident that Netherlands is one Russia’s largest offshore-financial centers—it has actively welcomed capital flows from multinational companies seeking to avoid taxes and scrutiny, and it just so happens many of those companies are Russian, often with ties to the Kremlin. That capital is useful for a small country like the Netherlands, but if investigators are able to prove allegations of Russian involvement in the air disaster, it will put the Netherlands’ financial sector in an uncomfortable bind: Can it be a banker to Russia’s biggest companies while Putin’s regime supports groups that murder Dutch citizens?

Yglesias, in another post, assumes that Europe will crack down on Russia eventually:

[N]o anti-Russian move comes without some costs. And those costs fall differently on different European countries. So everyone’s preference is for someone else to bear the cost. But that doesn’t mean nothing will be done. It merely means that some arrangement needs to be worked out to share the burden. That takes time. But pressure on Putin is steadily ratcheting up, and the Russian leader is fitfully trying to distance himself from his own overreach in Ukraine. Europe is slow, not weak.

Earlier Dish on possible EU sanctions here.