Czech Leader: Sanctions Boost Putin’s Popularity

Anti-Russia sanctions have failed to achieve their goal and are contributing to President Vladimir Putin’s popularity, Czech leader Milos Zeman said on Monday.

“Sanctions have practically zero effect,” Zeman said at an economic forum in Prague.

“Sanctions help strengthen the myth of a sieged fortress [Russia], which leads to the growth of President Vladimir Putin’s popularity among Russians,” Zeman said.

He said Russians consider western sanctions an attempt to discriminate their country.

Putin said during his annual question and answer session last week that the policy of sanctions against Russia was “useless and senseless.”

The West started imposing sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine since March 2014.