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Wars are expensive, as the Russian people are now learning.From 2008 to 2016, Russia increased its military expenditures from 3.3 percent of GDP – which roughly corresponds to the current US level – to 5.3 percent, according to the authoritative Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.Through financial sanctions, the U.S. can thus starve Russia of foreign investment.During the four sanction years from 2014 to 2017, real disposable incomes plunged by 17 percent, and investment slumped by 12 percent, though GDP fell by only 0.5 percent in this period.Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine have been imposing escalating trade sanctions on each another. Once Russia's most important energy customer, Ukraine has not imported any natural gas from Russia since November 2015 .For example, in April, the U.S. imposed additional sanctions in response to Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
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