Western Officials are reportedly now looking for ways to bypass the measures Russian President Vladimir Putin put in place to attempt to shield his country from Western economic sanctions.

The Details: After the U.S. and its allies unleashed painful sanctions on Russia in 2014 for making an incursion into Crimea and Eastern Ukraine President Putin and his advisors took a series of steps to shield the Russian economy from further Western sanctions.

To do this Russia has imposed a conservative economic policy in recent years, keeping its debt under 20 percent of GDP, as opposed to the 133% seen in the U.S. In addition, Russia has weaned itself off the U.S. dollar and established significant financial reserves in gold and foreign currency of an impressive $630 billion dollars in December.

Russia has also reached out to China, opening a new gas pipeline with the east asian powerhouse that caused trade between the two nations to grow to over 100 billion dollars a year.

U.S. official intend to attempt to bypass this strategy, which it dubs ‘Fortress Russia,’ if and when the country chooses to invade neighboring Ukraine. In response Western officials are reportedly planning a series of painful sanctions that will attempt to starve Russia of badly needly microelectronics, software, and other technology produced in the West, as well as unleashing sanctions targeting Russia’s leadership class. Including potentially Mr. Putin himself.

If these measures will succeed in penetrating Russia’s economic armor remain to be seen however.

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