How Russia Survives Western Sanctions
The Russian economy is weaker than it wasprior to the invasion of Ukraine but, tothe frustration of Western policymakers, sanctions evasion and Moscow’s pivot tothe East have helped to keep the country afloat, suggests Yigal Chazan in his report for the GeopoliticalMonitor
. But the underlying conditions are notgreat. High interestrates and inflation,a weakruble, and biglabor shortages do not augur well, especially when much of thecountry’s foreign reserves have been frozen byWestern governments, and most Russianbanking system assets are sanctioned. The invasion has triggered aneastward geostrategic shift, with President Vladmir Putin finding willing tradeand investment partners in Asia, apparently undeterred by the threat of Westernsanctions. Trade between Russia and China rose by nearly30 per cent to exceed $200 billion in the first 11 months of 2023,with the Chinese exports to Russia surging by 50per cent. Half of Russia’soil and petroleum exports went to China in 2023, with 40 per centgoing to India.