It seems obvious that sanctions — an increasingly important tool of Western foreign policy — should inflict significant pain on the target without exacting unsustainably high costs from the country imposing them.

But the European Union’s sanctions on Russia — intended to punish the country for its brutal war of aggression against Ukraine — do not meet this condition.

At the center of the EU’s plan to punish Russia is an effort to eliminate its dependence on the cheap Russian energy that long powered its growth, including by increasing its reliance on liquefied natural gas imported from the United States and elsewhere. But LNG has long been an overpriced (and carbon-intensive) alternative to piped gas: before Russia invaded Ukraine, it was four to five times more expensive than natural gas. Now, it is even more exorbitantly priced: Since the war began, the cost of LNG has more than doubled.