Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests.

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Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests.

I don’t understand the reason for this topic. It seems quite outdated. There are more pressing issues which would likely have made for better debates. In any case, let’s see what we can do with this one.


Western Interests – These are the interests of the block of nations known as “Western” countries. These include, but aren’t limited to the U.S., England, France, Spain, etc…

Economic Sanctions – We know what these are. Trade embargos, export blocks, etc… are imposed as restrictions designed to economically starve a country so it doesn’t do bad things or is pressured into not doing bad things.

Case Positions


1. Security – Sanctions inhibit Russia from supplying arms, supporting groups that work against the West, and conducting military action which poses threats to strategic U.S. positions in Europe.

2. Oil – It is actually in west’s interest to keep OPEC the major supplier of oil to the world and force Russia from the market. Economic sanctions prevent Russia from selling, producing, and buying oil to fuel its machine. You can actually base an entire case off of oil related interest arguments.


1. Russia Is Not a Threat – Russia hasn’t been a threat since the Soviet regimes collapsed and the Cold War ended. It is a wounded animal that does not possess the economic or military strength to harm Western interests. Economic sanctions only starve the people.

2. Creation of Terror Cells – When you create a climate of poverty and oppression through economic sanctions, it creates a breeding ground for violent organizations and terrorists. Russia, and former Soviet block states, are recruiting havens for international criminal organizations. Economic sanctions directly lead to this happening.

Hope this helps, good luck!


29 responses to “Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests.

    • Well now I can’t tell you that; that would mean people on the debate circuit would recognize me. Ok, I’ll tell you…..I am Batman.

  1. How exactly do sanctions inhibit Russia from supplying arms? It seems like they still are/supporting groups that oppose the west

  2. Hey, sorry to ask but do you have any evidence for your first pro position I really like that argument but I cant find anything that really talks bout it or goes into to it. Thanks

    • I don’t give out evidence here. If you do a cursory search of Google Scholar using Russia, sanctions, and security, you’ll find a number of articles that support the first position.

    • Why? What does isolating Russia give us? The actual isolation of Russia may or may not be an interest, but the results of that isolation are what we should be looking at.

  3. I do not understand how Russia is not a threat because they do have nuclear warfare plus Putin has threatened to use it can you please elaborate and explain this more?

    • Hi Bob,

      Only one country in history has used a nuclear weapon, and that is the United States. Pakistan has had nukes for decades, but has done nothing with them. Russia will never actually use nuclear weapons because they will be just be destroyed by U.S. nukes in return. If Russia was going to attack the U.S. it would have happened by now.

    • Hi Favs,

      The positions above are frameworks that you can use for this resolution. For this topic, you must first ask yourself what Western interests are. The answer to that question will help you formulate your framework.

  4. How is terrorism gaining its how is that an insignificant problem when the organization is small or obtain the equipment to act on said terrorism

  5. Doesn’t Russia not being a threat favor the pro? Since the resolution says economic sanctions are reducing the threat.

    • The point is that Russia isn’t a threat anyway, even without the sanctions. You’re trying to reduce something which doesn’t exist.

    • If you would like evidence, you may purchase a brief on the Academy website, or sign up for coaching, and one of our coaches will work with you to research and put together a case 🙂

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