‘The Soviet Union was economically isolated. It did not participate in global trade to any significant degree,’ says Jeffrey Mankoff, a former adviser to the State Department on Russia and now deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘It had an unconvertible currency. And certainly the level of trade and investment flows between the Soviet Union and the West was extremely limited. Today, that is obviously different.’

Mead’s piece to which I linked earlier posits that Western sanctions – including travel bans for senior Russian officials and the freezing of their assets actually plays in to Putin’s hands through keeping these officials and oligarchs home and beholden to him.

Here’s the opposing view…

via Obama’s Leverage Over Putin – NationalJournal.com.