The German government says it's looking at the entire set of instruments it could use in taking action against Moscow over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman has underlined, that she would not rule out consequences on the multi-Bbillion-euro Nord Stream Two pipeline project, if Moscow fails to thoroughly investigate the case. He also says the German leader is open to all sanction options.
The number of cases in which countries impose sanctions on others is climbing, accelerating rapidly from 2004 on. Besides Russia, the countries most often targetted are Iran and North Korea, as well as some African countries. The main pretext for such sanctions are violations of human rights and democratic procedures. They're also often ostensibly aimed at trying to prevent terrorism and war. But how effective are sanctions really at achieving their aims? Opinions are widely divided.
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