Emma Ashford is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's New American Engagement Initiative, which focuses on challenging the prevailing assumptions governing U.S. foreign policy and seeks to develop effective solutions that preserve America’s security and prosperity. Ashford's work focuses on questions of grand strategy, international security, and the future of U.S. foreign policy. She has expertise in the politics of Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. She is also a nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point. Ashford writes the biweekly column, "It's Debatable," for Foreign Policy.
At the time Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, Russia supplied the European Union with some 40% of its natural gas, 25% of its oil, and nearly half of its coal. But as punishment for the war, most of Russia’s energy imports to Europe will be banned by the end of the year, along with sweeping sanctions that target banks, businesses, and oligarchs. Is that smart policy? Those who argue “yes” say Russia must be punished for its actions, democratic governments should be protected, and that accommodations only embolden Moscow. Those who argue “no” say isolating the Kremlin to this extent is a dangerous gamble, which could undermine Europe’s economies, push Russia further toward China, and lay the groundwork for an escalation. In this context, and in partnership with the German Marshall Fund, David Ariosto moderates a debate on this question, "Should we isolate Russia?