Who Needs Europe or the US?

A thought-provoking piece from Pyotr Vlasov, originally published in Gazeta, and conveniently translated by Worldmeets.us:

But even if the inconceivable happens – and it’s hard to imagine the West ripping the shirt from its chest and suddenly demolishing all trade ties with Moscow, no economic apocalypse will occur.

There will be no repetition of the shortages and decline of the late 1980s. China, Japan, Korea, and India, in principle, produce the range of goods that we currently obtain from the West, and they are more than ready to buy raw materials. What’s more, the Russian economy is a far cry from the dull system of planning and distribution that existed at the sunset of the Soviet Union. Moreover, a certain degree of isolation from imports that easy oil money has attached us to would rather be to our advantage.

I think I would translate “attached” to “accustomed” in that last sentence.

Keep in mind all of those abstentions in the UN General Assembly vote censuring Russia for its annexation of Crimea. We ain’t the only game in town.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. stonetools says:

    I dunno. I believe that the EU is by far Russia’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than half of all trade. Economically, Russia needs Europe more than Europe needs Russia. I think this is why Russia is treading carefully here. Look here:

    ◾Russia is the third trading partner of the EU and the EU is the first trading partner of Russia.
    ◾Trade between the two economies showed steep growth rates until mid-2008 when the trend was interrupted by the economic crisis and unilateral measures adopted by Russia, which had a negative impact on EU-Russia trade. Since 2010 mutual trade has resumed its growth reaching record levels in 2012.
    ◾EU exports to Russia are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, medecines and agricultural products.
    ◾EU imports from Russia are dominated by raw materials, in particular, oil (crude and refined) and gas. For these products, as well as for other important raw materials, Russia has committed in the WTO to freeze or reduce its export duties.
    ◾The EU is the most important investor in Russia. It is estimated that up to 75% of Foreign Direct Investment stocks in Russia come from EU Member States (including Cyprus).

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    The point is that Europe may need Russia more than Russia needs Europe.

  3. stonetools says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I’d say the above article points in the other direction. Take a look at the sentence discussing investment

  4. Ben Wolf says:

    Russia doesn’t need foreign investment. It has its own currency and therefore does not rely on the EU to buy rubles and then give them back.