Russians Battle Western Sanctions

Given Russia’s imbalanced economy — heavily dependent on energy income — it seemed an easy target for Western sanctions, but instead Russians have responded by creating new industries, big and small, writes Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

In 2014, when the United States and the European Union slapped sanctions on Russian officials and businesses, many observers both in Russia and the West predicted serious problems for the Russian economy and near-certain failure of the Russian government’s efforts to substitute for the lost access to foreign products. But those dire predictions were based on a complete misreading of the mood and general political situation in Russia.

Some of the estimated 12 million Russians who took part in Immortal Regiment parades across the country over three days in May 2016. (RT photo)

The American legislators who initiated the sanctions believed that the punishment directed at the Kremlin leadership and Russia’s corporate chieftains would alienate the so-called oligarchs from President Vladimir Putin and possibly lead to regime change or, at a minimum, a change in Russia’s foreign policy to suit better the wishes of Washington.

U.S. and European politicians justified the sanctions as punishment for what they called Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea and Russia’s military intervention in the Donbas region of Ukraine in reaction to what Moscow and many eastern Ukrainians called a Western-orchestrated “coup” that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in February 2014.

Russia responded to the Western sanctions with an embargo on food products from the sanctioning countries and rolled out a generalized policy of “import substitution” to sharply curtail the dependency of the Russian economy on outside commercial products and political pressures.

More than two years later – although Russia has faced some difficulties – the evidence is now clear that the sanctions against Russia have largely failed, on both an economic and political level. Reunification with Crimea and the ensuing Western sanctions aroused a swelling of national pride and patriotic feelings in the broad public.

So, instead of caving in to Western pressure, the Kremlin doubled down and has stayed the course on Crimea, on Donbas and – more recently – in Syria where its military support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad has gone directly against U.S. and Western policies of backing violent insurgents in another “regime change” project, a conflict in which Assad now appears to have largely prevailed.

So, in terms of domestic politics and international geopolitics, Putin and Russia appear to have frustrated the U.S. and the European Union as well as U.S. regional allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel ,which were strong advocates for Syrian “regime change.” But what about Russia’s strategy of creating domestic sources for what can no longer be imported?

Expectations of Failure

Within months of the Kremlin’s announcement of this policy, commentators were publishing statistics showing that “import substitution,” i.e., Russian products replacing Western ones, was negligible, that the strategy was failing. To explain why, these skeptics pointed to the unbalanced structure of the Russian economy, heavily dependent on the extraction of raw materials with massive resources invested in the highly profitable energy industry, which boosted the ruling elites. Moreover, Russia received low ratings as an “investor friendly” country, which limited outside investments.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 23, 2015 Tehran. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

Those doubts had validity and there were other problems, particularly the cost of money and its scarcity. In 2014, the Russian economy was experiencing high inflation and suffering from the attempts of the Bank of Russia to contain it with tight-money policies. The costs of borrowing for small businesses were particularly usurious. Indeed, lack of working capital at competitive prices was the main contributor to the flooding of the Russian market with imports and the collapse of local industry.

Yet, despite these headwinds, the Russian government began to make significant progress. Though the creation of industrial sectors can take years, the Kremlin identified priority sectors and provided various kinds of government assistance that included credit subsidies. The Kremlin also took steps to maintain the ruble at a low exchange rate to protect against imports whatever happens to the sanctions and embargo.

Agriculture is one sector where the potential payback was relatively quick, for example, by prioritizing wheat over livestock or poultry over pork. When the oxygen of subsidized credit was applied, the results were stunning. In 2017, despite negative weather conditions in the spring and early summer, Russia is expecting its largest ever grain harvest, possibly reaching 130 million metric tons, and the country is retaking its position as the world’s top wheat exporter and leading exporter of other grains and of beet sugar.

What is happening in other sectors of the economy which the government prioritized for import substitution will be obvious only in the years to come, precisely because of the greater capital and knowhow required and thus the slower payback. But given the way agriculture has responded to stimuli from the Kremlin, it is reasonable to expect similar success stories in manufacturing and service industries like banking, insurance and computer programming over time.

Since arising tide raises all ships, the initial agricultural success has attracted big business interest not only to industrial-scale farming of grain crops but also to many other sides of the food supply and its processing. Such investments are being made not only by start-up small- and medium-sized businesses but also by the oligarchs, for whom this is a point of pride and a direct response to the wave of patriotism that has swept the country.

Thus, as The Financial Times recently reported oligarch Viktor Vekselberg has been pouring vast capital via his Renova holding company into the construction of greenhouses for vegetable crops that are in great demand among Russia’s urban populations. Payback on these investments is measured in years, not months, and demonstrates great confidence of Russian competitiveness against ground crops from Turkey and Central Asia and from hothouse crops from Western Europe whenever the sanctions are lifted.

The result of these various undertakings is that Russian Federation Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev, himself a farmer with large-scale interests in the sector, can report regularly on the dramatic progress being made in all areas of agricultural self-sufficiency. Indeed, in many product groupings quite apart from grains, Russia is becoming an exporter for the first time since before World War I.

The Fish Turnaround

This economic transformation has included progress in a surprising area, given Russian national traditions that favor meat over fish. This prejudice was long justified by the quality of fish products that were available in the market from Soviet times. The improvement in assortment and appeal of these products dates from the middle of the first decade of the new millennium.

Red Square in Moscow with a winter festival to the left and the Kremlin to the right, in December 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

The Financial Times article gave statistics for the Murmansk-based LLC Russkoye More, an ambitious firm that is rapidly expanding to occupy the leading position as supplier of farmed salmon in what is a major import substitution project. The Russian market for fresh salmon, like the E.U. market, was until two years ago entirely dominated by the Scandinavians, now on the embargo list.

Whereas The Financial Times addresses the changes in the fish sector at the corporate and macroeconomic level, there is also the microeconomic level where people live and where demand meets supply. From my own visits to supermarkets, to independent fish vendors, to covered street markets in cities and in the countryside up to 80 km from St Petersburg, I can speak from first-hand experience about how these fish supplies are reaching consumers. The distribution and logistical chain is all the more important in products as perishable as fresh fish.

Some specific fish varieties are locally grown in the Russian Northwest region, including the sig, a fresh water member of the salmon family native to Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest body of fresh water that is 50 km east of Petersburg, and also the minnow-sized koryushka, another native of Ladoga that each spring travels down the Neva River to the lightly saline Gulf of Finland to lay its eggs and is caught on the way in vast quantities to the great pleasure of Petersburgers.

But the bigger picture is that — as the largest country on earth representing more than 10 percent of the world’s land surface — Russia has tremendous fresh water resources in terms of lakes and rivers that still abound in fish enjoying local reputation and retail distribution. This is particularly true of the Siberian rivers; smoked delicacy fish from there are sold at high prices across the Russian Federation. In addition, Russian fishing fleets based in Murmansk, to the north and in Vladivostok to the east have been and remain large suppliers of ocean fish.

What has changed is the scale of production and distribution of fish whether from fresh salt water or from lakes and rivers or farmed fish. In the past, the fish section in Russian supermarkets meant shelves of tinned sardines or catfish in tomato sauce, today every respectable market offers fresh fish, in filets or whole, presented on beds of ice.

Specialized fish stores have sprung up even in the hinterland in the Northwest, receiving daily shipments of farmed salmon, wild gorbusha and hefty flounders, among other varieties. By local standards, these fish are all substantially more expensive sources of protein than domestic chickens or pork chops. But they obviously do find their consumers and they are priced 30 percent or more below West European store prices for similar fish.

Until recently, ocean fish were brought to market frozen. The Soviet Union developed a large fleet of trawlers and fish processing ships that brought frozen product to port, much of it going into export. The fish were usually low grade, bony, good only for stews and soups. Higher-grade fish like cod appeared for sale in shops in bulk in contorted stages of rigor mortis, not very appealing to the faint of heart.

Meeting Demand

Now, in the past couple of years, the frozen foods bins of super markets are stocked with fish steaks packaged in clear plastic that are as attractive and as high quality as anything sold in Western Europe. These cod steaks, wild salmon (gorbusha) steaks have been flash frozen and are offered in half-kilogram portions. The labeling stresses that no preservatives have been used, that the products are natural and healthful, with detailed nutritional information provided.

Russian naval base in Sevastopol in Crimea. (Photo by Natylie Baldwin)

In the days of the Soviet Union, the Russian fishing industry produced some world-beating tinned products including red and black caviar and Chatka brand king crab meat. These exclusive and very pricey products are exported, where they enjoy demand and are available domestically in specialty shops. But most tinned fish traditionally fell into the category of low-grade fish in tomato sauce or very poor grade vegetable oil.

Over the past several years, that has changed beyond recognition. Tinned fish of world-class quality is making its appearance on store shelves. For example, a week ago I discovered a new arrival: “premium” class chunk tuna in olive oil packaged in 200 gram glass jars. The producer is the Far East fishing fleet, and the fish name is given in Japanese as well as Russian. The product is similar in design and presentation to premium tuna on sale in Belgium at twice the price.

And finally another fish product category is worth mentioning: the salted, smoked or otherwise processed and unit-packed fish sold in the chilled products sections of supermarkets. This has expanded in product range and quality so as to be beyond recognition when compared with similar offerings just a few years ago.

Many different suppliers vie in the category of cold or hot smoked, salted salmon shrink-wrapped in units of 200 grams plus or minus. Herrings filets in oil or in sauces are now very attractive and of generally high quality. Anchovies and other small fish filets have proliferated. And hitherto unknown product categories such as “seafood cocktails” consisting of baby octopus and squid, pink shrimp and mussels in brine are offered in small plastic pots; quality is in no way inferior to what you would find in an upscale supermarket in Western Europe.

All such alien — “indescribably awful” (???????) foods in the judgment of your average Soviet consumer — are today welcomed as the basis for salads, as stuffing for avocados, themselves a relatively new food item to the Russian shopper.

Travel abroad, and 10 million Russians do travel abroad each year, has turned them into quite sophisticated shoppers and diners. And what they have come to love they now can largely find in their supermarkets supplied by domestic producers, including all varieties of fish specialties.

The point is, that from nowhere, the Russian fishing industry has made enormous strides and, unlike the cheese industry, is fully replacing imports with equal or better quality contents and lower prices.

This is the consequence of change in demand as well as change in supply. Demand has changed because before 2014 Russians still distrusted their compatriots and believed that everything made in their country was rubbish. The Ukraine crisis, the reunification with Crimea, the war in Donbas, and the upsurge of patriotism prodded folks to try their own. What Russia has now is a virtuous cycle: the Russian people expect better and what they are getting is better.

Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His last book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. His forthcoming collection of essays Does the United States Have a Future? will be published in October 2017. © Gilbert Doctorow, 2017

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75 comments for “Russians Battle Western Sanctions

  1. Pixy
    October 13, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Why cannot I share the articles from this site on VK.ru? Is it done on purpose or it it just an oversight? Thank you.

  2. Jura
    October 10, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I’m horrified to see how easily you are convinced by some blunt mendacious report of some analyst and Russia Today propaganda.
    Pity you never lived under russian occupation.
    I did. and so far I still like more the Pax Americana that Pax ala Russe.
    Go delve in a subject of a daily life in russian “glubinka” and you will get pretty disillusioned.
    & I may assure you that you in the USA are under a heavy influence of Russian propaganda, they are perfect in doing that.
    The fact that USA economy is doing poor does not mean the opposite way (ie asian type totalitarism ) is a solution.
    Go start with the change, first kick this trumpet beast out of the throne. then read soem critiques of russia written by Russians
    And remember those chosen by the nation are its REPRESENTATIVES.
    it means you deserved it :)

  3. Thomas Bergbusch
    October 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Fantastic article. As a Canadian, since my country has had its share of collapsed fisheries, I wonder if the new harvesting practices and production/processing techniques are going to be ecologically sustainable. It is not enough to have a superior product — one has to have a sustainable one.

  4. Mild-ly Facetious
    October 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Why the Rothschilds wanted the murder of Tzar Nicholas ll and his Christian family.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/06/17/professor-francis-boyle-impeachment-bush-obama/

  5. GMC
    October 2, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Wow- you nailed it when it comes to shopping in RUs market places- esp. the fish. I thought I was pretty good at picking and eating fish -from Alaska to Crimea- but these Russians ” really ” know their fish and every which way to cure it and serve it. What the West’s sanctions didn’t realize is that Russia’s fed thru their local markets and the food is grown within 10 to 20 kilometers from their market place in many regions. Farmers market on steroids. And the most remarkable thing about the Russian Federation – you can live for 400 to 700 dollars a month in any rural area because they refuse to live in the – fast lane. Great article GD

  6. L Garou
    October 2, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Deja vu’ for Russia as they attempt to embrace their Christian heritage and progress as a sovereign nation.
    Does Russia expect the West’s fake Christian church leaders to embrace them as well? LOL, don’t make me laugh!
    Deja vu’ (aka) meet the neo-Bolsheviks,
    (same as the old Bolsheviks).

  7. Realist
    October 2, 2017 at 9:53 am

    With so many domestic products now being produced to replace imports, the employment rate in Russia must have significantly improved since the sanctions were imposed by Washington. Since these are true agricultural and industrial jobs and not mere service sector jobs, their economy must have truly advanced, unlike our own which is given just the veneer of healthy growth by many part-time temp jobs in retail and poorly compensated service work. Meanwhile, Europe has lost many good jobs as they have lost trade with Russia. Moreover, now they have to provide work not only for their own people but the numerous migrants flooding the EU as a consequence of America’s wars in the Middle East. Things are so kattywumpus in Europe, thanks to Uncle Sam, that PCR says Russia continues to prop up Ukrainian businesses, not just with commerce but with major loan packages, including the Ukrainian banks. Go figure.

    • Dave P.
      October 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Realist – you wrote: “. . . unlike our own which is given just the veneer of healthy growth by many part-time temp jobs in retail and poorly compensated service work.”

      In our big Beach City in Orange County, over the last two years, they have built two ten story, and one four story hotels, about thirty fast food and other restaurants, and forty or fifty small mom and pop shops for selling consumer goods – made in China – while about five hundred jobs have been lost in the manufacturing industry, mostly in Aerospace. That is what the story of American Economy is, for a long time now.

    • Piotr Berman
      October 2, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      Employment is stable. It is a success of sort because the real income have fallen ca. 10% and imports ca. 50%, construction has fallen, so just resuming anemic growth required to replace a lot of economic activity that went down. Quite important for the social cohesion, the new jobs were spread more uniformly across the country than before, when the two greatest cities were growing and numerous area were loosing population.

  8. Jens Guld
    October 2, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Many years ago (Putin had just about got his first pair of short pants) my teachers in the Danish red brick school I went to told us why Obama’s sanctions were the greatest gift Putin and Russia could possibly get.The Book was written in the 1830’ties by a German.
    Those interested can get it gratis here as an ebook:
    Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy
    http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/list-the-national-system-of-political-economy

    You can also get it from Amazon, but that costs money and the book will only be in Amazon’s MOBI format, or you can buy a dead tree version.

    List was busy not just in Germany but also in the United States. But of course American politicians, economists and historians cannot be expected to know their own history.
    At least the American politicians and Wall Street people should have heard about Alexander Hamilton, who wrote something similar, but no.

    • Dave P.
      October 2, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Jens Guld – Thanks for the link. I read chapter VIII on Russia, and it is valid today in Russia’s economic development as it was in 1820. And Russians seem to have adopted that course for economic development. West has always been hostile to them. I do not see how The West can help Russia ! The Western Sanctions have finally opened their eyes.

      Reading Russian literature and history, one finds that The West has always looked at the Russians as not civilized. And that is how they look at them today – Russians as uncivilized. But it is a fallacy. It is not true today. Yes, there is still a big difference in so called standard of living in the West and in Russia. And there is a difference in other aspects, religion, social. But in education and cultural development, Russia is not behind the U.S. There is no need to read the books about it. A visitor can just visit U.S., look at it’s Cities and it’s people and make some conclusions from that.

      And in political establishment, in Media, and elsewhere, there has been a very significant decline in the U.S., and elsewhere in The West as well. On the other hand the Russians are showing far more sophistication in these spheres.

    • Brad Owen
      October 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      YES. List (German American) was one of “Lincoln’s economists” ,Henry Carey (Irish American) was the other one. They had big influence on Bismark’s Germany, Alexander II’s Russia, Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Republic of China. They, along with Matthew Carey (Henry’s father), Henry Clay, were champions of what is known as The American System of Political Economy (Alexander Hamilton was its progenitor). The foremost living proponent today of the American System of Political Economy is Lyndon LaRouche. This system is anathema to Adam Smith (he and Gibbons both sponsored by Jeremy Bentham of East India Company fame, champion of what is called The British System of Economy) and Free Trade, and Monetarism. IT is The Battleline that has defined the Two main Warring Factions of Western Civilization for 300 years now: We The People vs. Oligarchy. Read about it all for free on EIR website; use their search box.

      • Brad Owen
        October 3, 2017 at 4:12 am

        List wasn’t alive when Lincoln was president, but his ideas were, and he knew Henry Carey’s father, Matthew Carey. It also points out how the “America Experiment” was the project of European philosophers and economists from many different European Countries seeking a way out of Venetian-style oligarchic control. Of course ,the same oligarchic families and Fondi sent their agents over here too, and we were a particular target of theirs from the very beginning (see: Synarchy against America; from EIR search box).

    • Skip Scott
      October 3, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Hi Jens-

      Thanks for the link. I would discourage anyone from buying anything from Amazon since Jeff Bezos has a $600m contract with the CIA.
      Take the time to make a few more clicks and buy it from somebody else.

  9. Peter P
    October 2, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Russia seems to have enacted a classic judo move.

  10. October 1, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    US, China, Russia, EU, et al, dooming the world with their rapacious appetite for goods and services, foods and products, land, water, minerals, fossil fuels, forests, and now, more of the same — valleys of wheat, infected with fertilizers, pesticides, Monsanto. Four times the number of the world’s fishing fleet than the ocean can sustain.

    Capitalism and consumerism, and this big divide of the white race somehow exploiting all the countries of people of color. Mass starvations, wars, poverty, climate change/global warming, and we talk about sanctions and USA-Russia pissing contests, two countries with stockpiles of nukes and bio-conventional weapons.

    Animal, plant life, oceans — we need global health, not plastic-wrapped farmed (contaminated) salmon (sic).

    This capitalist system is perpetuating global collapse and it would be interesting if a Russia could break out of that paradigm, but it’s all show and tell, big fancy things, materialism, the continuing games of the white race to control humanity from sea to oil sea.

    Solutions are in those hovels, those so-deemed (sic) third world (sic) countries — not in the refineries of war-surveillance-drugs-punishment-usury-toxins-propaganda-media-junk-obsolescence- despair.

    • SteveK9
      October 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      I think you have it exactly wrong. What those impoverished people in the third world need is more technology, not living in grass huts, eating fish heads. Very easy for you to say. Go live in a hovel if you like. The best thing that China (and Russia) is doing now, is helping to develop the undeveloped World with the Belt and Road Initiative. And, Russia’s aid in developing nuclear power in various countries desperate for energy (Jordan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Vietnam, …. ) is a fantastic thing for all those countries.

      • Dave P.
        October 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm

        SteveK9 – You have a very good point there. Those countries do need electric power and new technologies – nuclear plants may be the answer, as Russia is going ahead with it. They need the right kind of capitalism – a planned Capitalist System, where the resources for development go to the right kind of sectors to meet the real needs of people. They do not need fast food joints. There is no room to have autos either – they need efficient trains. And above all strict population control.

        Observing the last seventy years, The West does not seem to understand or accept this kind of development. They have their own model, and they are out to implement it since the collapse of USSR in 1991 – by the force of arms. And no matter whatever the costs are in terms of human death and destruction.

    • Dave P.
      October 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Paul Haeder –

      Very interesting comments. You have described very accurately of what is happening with the current mode of Capitalism – leading to destruction of the planet, one way or the other. Either through nuclear war or thru the ecological destruction. It should be clear by this time, the way the West has gone after Russia, and other Nations beyond, there is not much chance of its’ ending any other way.

      Your comments: ” This capitalist system is perpetuating global collapse and it would be interesting if a Russia could break out of that paradigm, but it’s all show and tell, big fancy things, materialism, the continuing games of the white race to control humanity from sea to oil sea.”

      Both neither Russia or China can get out of this paradigm. Both Countries tried different modes through that Marxism based upon philosophy of materialism too. Yes, there were many good points in that system. Now, They have to keep pace with “The West” in developing new technologies, and develop new weapon systems or The West will gobble them up in a short time. They have to have growth and big economies to generate revenue to make weapons, and keep up with “The West” to survive.

      The modern human being in the West had been programmed from birth to want all these new and fancy things technology can innovate and produce; iPhones, tablets, and all that, and fast foods. And now it has spread to the entire World – Western influence is paramount every where. Moscow has that problem too. All these protesters – funded by Soros or other NGO’s – in the Red Square we watch are not protesting for so called freedom and democracy. They want all these fancy things they have in those Western European Countries. You find this class of citizens in the Third World Countries too – the so called Middle Class who wants all these fancy things and want to be just like “The West.”

      And in a very short time, that Russian civilization during the Soviet days where people had time to read books, will be a thing of the past. They will be just like us – ignorant, with all these fancy things to play with.

      And the newspapers, and magazines like Economist who write all these glowing tributes of GDP growth of six or seven percent in Third World Countries like India, China, Indonesia have not a clue what is really happening there. The countries like India are already facing a catastrophe in people’s health brought about by polluted and foul air, and dirty water unfit to drink. It simply can not be solved unless these countries turn away from this current mode of Capitalism as you pointed out and turn to planned economies to meet the real needs of the people. And simultaneously control population growth through global efforts.

      And to make the point I can’t help but write something out of personal life. I grew up where there was no garbage generated – zero. And I can tell you that in our home of two retired people – a green home too- we crate more garbage in one or two days than my mother living in the village back home generated in a year – she died three years ago at the age of ninety three in the village.

      And here at home we watch the Oscars – a ritual – every year. This year my wife – a very devoted Hillary fan – with tears in her eyes, could not stop clapping when she heard all these wonderful speeches by our movie idols pleading for a green world. They were criticizing Trump for destroying this Planet – he had been in office for only two months – and pledging to make the Earth green. And watching those Oscars we order a pizza, and generate some more garbage. And our movie idols retire to the parties in their big mansions with swimming pools and private tennis courts and talk about – God knows what, may be about The Green Earth or some other cause. And now these Movie Idols have joined the War Party – The Necons- in full strength. May be it will bring the Green earth or Brown Earth sooner.

  11. Kozmo
    October 1, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    No sanctions on the USA for its illegal invasions and drone wars. No sanctions for Israel’s illegal occupation of land or its persecutions and wars. Sanctions are a one-way street, evidently.

  12. Mark Thomason
    October 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    This is what happened with the Embargo Act of 1807, when Thomas Jefferson put the US under a voluntary embargo of imports in response to abuses of American trading vessels. The US manufacturing economy boomed, with this creation of a huge protected and guaranteed market despite quality problems.

    The West had long maintained that Russia needed this reorientation of its economy, but Western trade had frustrated it by overwhelming competition on every product, for quality and price.

    Then the West handed Russia the way to do it, the automatic cure.

    The Embargo Act caused strains in the US too, as trading interests were harmed. The rising interests offset that. The same has happened in Russia. The oligarchs are making more money than ever, doing more things than ever. Regime change? The oligarchs have never had it so good.

    • Dave P.
      October 1, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Mark Thomason – Your are absolutely right. These Western Sanctions may turn out to be a blessing for the Russians. With the oil prices at record levels, the Russians were lulled into slumber of Western Style consumerism – all these super markets, McDonalds, and fancy stores with Italian goods with these Western Investments in Russia.

      As Doctorow writes: “What is happening in other sectors of the economy which the government prioritized for import substitution will be obvious only in the years to come, precisely because of the greater capital and know how required and thus the slower payback . But given the way agriculture has responded to stimuli from the Kremlin, it is reasonable to expect similar success stories in manufacturing and service industries like banking, insurance and computer programming over time.”

      It seems like they are preparing for the worst possibility- complete Economic Blockade by the West, including the Aviation Industry. They are testing the 200 seater new MC-21 passenger jet. Also planning with China with a wide body jet for long hauls by 2025. In case that does not come on line by that time, they are trying to revive IL-96, new version with 350 seats.

      It is not easy for Russia, because lot of their Industrial base was in South East Ukraine – which they lost. The Ukrainian Nationalists have been and are acting very foolishly. If they had cooperated with Russia, both Ukraine and Russia, the brotherly countries, would have been far better in every way by this time. The Western scheming with Ukraine has harmed both the countries, Russia and Ukraine, and continues to do so.

      Putin is not a Nationalist as the Western propaganda is constantly blurting out – from the Media and the mouths of the Elite. He is a very pragmatic leader. In fact, this question was put to him by Oliver Stone in his interviews, when he asked him about the religious revival in Russia. Putin’s response was that during the Soviet times, with all the flaws in the system, people believed in Socialism and were working for some ideal. With the collapse of USSR and the System, they needed some replacement, some thing to believe in – the meaning of life in other words.

      I wish that Ukrainian Nationalists come to their senses soon. It would be good to see those trains running from Moscow to Odessa and Kiev again. It will be good for the whole Europe.

      • GMC
        October 2, 2017 at 11:33 am

        Excellent post – I see exactly what you are saying and its a shame that Kyiv/Washington has forced the Russian/Ukraine families to put their relationships on hold. The propaganda coming out of Kyiv is the same as the MSM to the Americans which is Russian demonization. Crimea’s population has been exploded with the Neo-Nazis in control to the north but at the same time Russia is pouring billions into infrastructure, renovations, new schools and has started to renovate all the old USSR sanatoriums, summer camps and public facilities. There are jobs here and as the article states – no one will go hungry or without shelter – in mother Russia. Ukraine totally blew it but when a country is as corrupt as Ukraine is easily taken over by the West which is more corrupt – what can we expect ? Spacibo

  13. Mark H
    October 1, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I hope everyone read the recent piece at the Saker? – “EXCLUSIVE NEWS: Economic Sanctions Against Russia Flop: The first comprehensive study of anti-Russia sanctions shows they hit EU much more than Russia”.
    http://thesaker.is/exclusive-news-economic-sanctions-against-russia-flop-the-first-comprehensive-study-of-anti-russia-sanctions-shows-they-hit-eu-much-more-than-russia/

    If the Gilbert Doctorow article above is true then the EU may now be on the receiving end of a double whammy. First they have likely been hit harder than Russia by the introduction of these (US driven) sanctions. Second, if sanctions are now removed not only may Russian demand for some of these sanctioned goods have evaporated, but Russia may now be interested in exporting some of these items which places them in competition with the EU.

    The law of unintended consequence is a bitch.

  14. Delia Ruhe
    October 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I’m gratified to learn that Russians have turned Washington’s undeserved punishment into a stimulus to successful domestic enterprise. What still baffles me is that Europeans disadvantaged by sanctions against Russia are still largely behaving like obedient vassals of Washington—which is exactly what they’ve been for decades.

    The sooner Europeans wake up to the fact that their future is with Eurasia, not the decomposing corpse of Pax Americana, the better off the World Island will be. The fast-developing Asian economies—particularly with respect to the New Silk Roads development project (i.e., OBOR or BRI)—require the active input of the Western Europe nations or it will be a lopsided development with respect to human rights and environmental concerns. The absence of that input would mean a political, social, and economic environment more unstable than the one we’re presently living through, what with far-right extremism gaining in the polls across the democracies.

    Indeed, America is quite incapable of picking up the human and environmental slack through sanctions and military threats. Quite the opposite. For despite the rhetoric which supposedly drove the negotiating of the TPP (the “Terrifying Pacific Partnership”), America is so deeply mired in hypocrisy—and Americans so blinded to it—that I heaved a sigh of relief when Trump pulled out of the deal. Eurasia will be perfectly capable of creating the balance necessary to create an economy as durable as the private-and-public mixed economies that existed in the Western world before the implementation of a greedy, destructive, class-based neoliberalism in the 1980s.

    Thank you, Gilbert Doctorow, for this report and its welcome news.

    • GMC
      October 2, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Absolutely Ms.Ruhe, the Russian Federation, China, Iran and others do not wish to relive the past but wish to go forward into another era. The West is hanging on to their trouser cuffs and doing everything possible to hold them back. The NWO is really – The Old World Order who has been run by the liars, thieves and murderers for centuries. It’s the 21st century not the era of the crusades in order to own – all of Jerusalem – There ain’t no Future in the Past – Only something to learn from.

  15. Abe
    October 1, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    “The European Union and the United States of America have gone to extreme lengths to punish Russia for what many experts claim was a breach of international law. When the Crimea peninsula rejoined Russia in March of 2014, the globalists used a foregone conclusion to great effect. Today, the most liberal interpreters of the situation misinform society by taking advantage of people’s limited knowledge of legal precepts. […]

    “The case of Ukraine in its ‘entirety’ is an adjudication that no person or body has addressed, at least not to my knowledge. The interference, investment, and outright subversive activities by western entities during the EU accession processes, nor the veritable coup that took place in and around Maidan Square do not even factor into these judicial or academic narratives. The Soros NGO efforts, Senator John McCain cheerleading the overthrow, and US dignitaries arrogantly stomping on the rights of half of Ukraine have no bearing.”

    The Ukraine Problem: International versus Universal Law
    By Phil Butler
    https://journal-neo.org/2017/09/30/the-ukraine-problem-international-versus-universal-law/

  16. john wilson
    October 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    As Doctorow points out, sanctions mean that countries that are sanctioned will do everything they can to bypass the sanctions including producing their own goods. Eventually the only goods needed to be imported will be raw materials and Russia has all it needs of these. It may seem rather fanciful to think that even small counties could produce sophisticated goods themselves but 3D printing is moving ahead at a pace and the the time may come when anything can be manufactured on these machines. The result of sanctions and countries being forced to produce their own stuff or just manage well enough without, means the collapse of world trade and the Americans will be hit the hardest. The people suffering from the current American sanctions on Russia are in fact the Europeans who no longer have the good customer that Russia once was.

    • hatedbyu
      October 1, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      not only what you mention but so much of europe depends on russian oil, gas and coal. the countries that are bound by this have been grumbling for years.

    • Virginia
      October 2, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      John Wilson, Your comment: “The people suffering from the current American sanctions on Russia are in fact the Europeans who no longer have the good customer that Russia once was.”

      I always enjoy hearing from you in Great Britain. I do think, however, if the EU wishes to do business with Russia, they could do that. It’s Europe’s choice to vote for and go along with US/UN imposed sanctions, or the EU countries can vote against them. Why didn’t they?

  17. October 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Food sovereignty is a good thing but this article doesn’t address sustainability — fishing stocks around the world are collapsing and I’m not too overjoyed to hear that upper class Russians who travel abroad have developed a taste for “fish steaks packaged in clear plastic” and sold at their supermarket. If Russia doesn’t pursue a sustainable path to food sovereignty, it will drive over the same cliff the rest of the west is headed toward.

    • Susan Sunflower
      October 1, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      The effect would depend on how many “wealthy Russians traveling abroad” there are to affect the market … and how many regular poor folk there are happy to raise rabbits for Sunday dinners.

      Amazing how the American press scoffed at Maduro, perhaps forgetting that Guinea pigs are a staple in Peru and that rabbits (much like horsemeat) is eaten with gusto in much of the meat-eating world (whereas here in the meat-eating center of the world, the USA, definitely “special recipe ingredient”, more expensive than chicken.

      I think if Putin asked the majority of Russians to eat domestically raised rabbit … no problem. (Google says they are already raising and eating rabbits)

      • Nancy
        October 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm

        Meat–don’t eat it, period. All the grain grown can feed many more people, much more sustainably. And leave land for wildlife and to grow much more nourishing food: fruits and vegetables.

        • Skip Scott
          October 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

          Earlier this year in a comment thread on a global warming article, I posted that a good start for combatting excess CO2 would be to quit growing all that corn to feed cows, and plant a lot of CO2 absorbing trees instead. You’d get the triple benefit of less methane, less CO2, and a healthier human population. Another big advantage would be gotten if we raised more food locally and quit unnecessarily shipping it thousands of miles.

          • Nancy
            October 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm

            Excellent points. It’s dismaying that more people aren’t aware of these facts.

    • hatedbyu
      October 1, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      fish.

      don’t eat it. that simple. i have not eaten seafood in years. farmed fish are not the solution although if pressed i would say that farmed catfish are probably the most sustainable. but still, what are they really feeding them? even organic feed is still processed.

      i practice catch and release fly fishing. i keep maybe one or two a year just to remind myself how good it is. i can feel ok with this choice because the state stocks the stream with non-native trout. i never keep the native brook trout. what a mess……

      tight lines. ya’ll.

      • Stephanie
        October 3, 2017 at 6:42 pm

        Catch and release? Oh, no! How cruel! Injure a fish and then release it to die, just for the pleasure of it??I can understand catching only the number of fish that will be eaten and then going home or just enjoying the outdoors.
        BTW, scientific studies have shown that even fish feel pain.

        • Nancy
          October 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

          Of course they do. And when they’re caught to be eaten, they slowly suffocate while they they await their fate in the frying pan. Very cruel also.

          • Stephanie
            October 4, 2017 at 2:17 pm

            So you don’t see any difference between killing a creature for food and killing for pure pleasure?

            A fly fisherman catching a fish should then club the fish to kill it quicker. And take only what will be eaten.
            Catch and release requires that the barbed hook be taken out of the mouth, cheek, or wherever, so the fish experiences that pain more than once, and then, bleeding, is released to slowly die. If really unlucky, be caught again by a catch and release enthusiast.

    • Virginia
      October 2, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      One thing I was glad to see in the article is that Monsanto is “no where”! Talk about pollution! And did I read that the EU has banned Monsanto lobbying?

  18. Susan Sunflower
    October 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve been impressed by some recent news … now not current about the dozens of Russian children found in Baghdad orphanages claimed by their Russian extended families (their parents presumed to be dead ISIS partisans/fighters) …

    More recently, I ran into (apparently 2 year old) video on RT website of the opening of the new Moscow mosque … and enormous building, on a scale with the great landmarks of Moscow … scaffolding still up, but ready for occupancy for Eid … it’s one of the largest in Europe, capacity for 10,000 worshippers. (lucky they don’t live in New York and that (joke) Moscow has never experienced terrorism … (no, I don’t know who paid for it … but — see also some of the new-ish memorials I’ve seen coverage — this is also for-the-people for the future infrastructure (y’know the stuff the USA can’t afford or doesn’t “prioritize”)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqQcZwf-i4A

    Imagine a new mosque in New York City or Washington D.C. on the scale of the National Cathedral … I guess I’m still naïve … I was startled I’d never heard of it.

    • jo6pac
      October 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      SS somewhere on utube is the grand open with V. Putin showing up to help celebrate. That’s not something you would see in the new Amerika.

    • Myles Hagar
      October 2, 2017 at 8:57 am

      More recently a new Orthodox cathedral of similar proportions was opened beside former KGB secret police headquarters. Putin was also there as an openly practicing Orthodox Christian. There is a spiritual and moral revolution going on in Russia.

    • Dmitri
      October 2, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      That mosque’s opening happened a few days before Russia started military operation in Syria 2 years ago, and Putin personally attended it. You understand, Russia has a significant Muslim population, some 10 million or so. This was to demonstrate that Russia and its government has nothing against Islam and Muslims, but will fight against terrorists.

  19. Urio EJ
    October 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    It’s a matter of time when the Russian economy becomes one of the largest in the world

  20. October 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Gilbert Doctorow presents a rather heartening account of how the Russians are dealing with the Western embargo. I remember my own trip to St.Petersburg in April 2004. I speak no Russian but my wife had some basic Russian that helped us getting around; mostly reading cyrillic signs in the impressive subways.There were many contrasts at that time: no traffic cops, so the streets were filled with unwashed vehicles going every which way but the people were elegantly dressed and even though shop windows were rather bleak the stores themselves seemed well stocked. The city itself is filled with architectural wonders, many of which were being refurbished. We stayed in a rather run-down apartment near the Russian museum which overlooked a courtyard that was accessed through a carriage gate, indicating it must have been the residence of a wealthy aristocrat at one time. Nearby was a bliny stand where gangs of noisy youths gathered in the evening to drink beer. The sound of broken bottles could be heard in late evening, yet in the morning it was all cleaned up! Strolling the streets of St. Petersburg was a very pleasant experience. There are lovely foot bridges and the colorful houses are reflected in the waters. Some of the merchants spoke English and the outdoor tourist markets are a fun experience. Many of the merchants displayed a playful temperament displaying their wares and one could hear pozhalsta(please) echoing like a chorus while perusing the merchandise. On a bus trip to one of the many splendid palaces that surround the city our Russian guide recited Pushkin in a mesmerizing cadence for the entire trip. it is a place I would love to go back to but time and resources impose their limitations. I mention it here for those that do have the opportunity. We have always avoided hotels and I would imagine now that AIRB&B is all over that it would be the best option for those on a budget(and who isn’t, at least among our readers here).

    • Virginia
      October 2, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you, BobH, for sharing that view, …your view, for us all to see.

  21. exiled off mainstreet
    October 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Apparently, sanctions may “work” on targeted smaller countries, but if they go after major powers, autarky can probably work and, in the long run, a stronger competing economy as an alternative to the yankee dominated global power structure can spring up.

  22. mike k
    October 1, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Having a serial liar who cannot admit our real problems and our inadequate means of dealing with them, does not help a nation heading into unprecedented difficulties.
    Maybe we should ask Mr. Putin for some advice on effective leadership and how to get it?

    • October 1, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      If you want advice from President Putin it is not hard to find, he gives it readily.
      On youtube their is channel by Inessa S, which features clips of Russian t.v., mostly interviews of President Putin, with English subtitles. If one wishes to know more about the President’s thoughts on anything and everything, you can likely find it at Inessa S on youtube. President Putin has a sense of humor, he behaves like a human being. Our elected officials act like robots linked to a computer programed with certain platitudes to repeat over and over. Enjoy the following link
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLAK9vktCfQ

  23. Joe L.
    October 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I believe that we have to be reaching a tipping point where US sanctions will have no bite and ultimately backfire on the US – where it is possible to have sanctions, maybe UN imposed sanctions, against the US. At this point the US has put sanctions onto so many countries and interfered in the inner workings of countries that when an alternative to the US shows itself many countries will hopefully abandon the US. I believe we are seeing glimmers of this such as with European Countries joining China in the AIIB. Also, right now China is the world’s largest economy according to Purchasing Power Parity and I believe that within the next decade they will also be the world’s largest economy in nominal GDP. Where the US brings weapons and war the Chinese build bridges and provide jobs. I think that if the US continues to make the world its’ enemy that in the end it will be the one that is ostracized. I also hope that in my lifetime there will be consequences for the US, and our leaders (I am Canadian), who frivolously break international law and murder to steal resources from other countries (meanwhile also trying to protect hegemony) – the Hague? It should not be so easy to go to war and if government officials (and possibly the MSM) are caught in lies that resulted in war and death then those politicians should be held accountable – a life is a life and has the same value regardless of where a person is from. I do believe that we are seeing the end times of the American Empire, I only hope that it will not result in WW3.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 1, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Longtime no see JoeL, and good to read your comments once again. Actually you took the words right out of my mouth with your comment here, so good on you. I also believe the U.S. is sanctioning itself into a lonely world. Yes, the day may come when the UN or a group of nations will impose sanctions on the U.S.. This NWO with it’s global network of American military bases, is going to fail eventually and then there will be a hell to pay. My hope is that the U.S. won’t pursue something stupid, like a huge war, and that when that day comes for it’s comeuppance that good leaders in the U.S. will rise to the occasion, and turn this warring behemoth around.

      Again nice to read your comment JoeL. Joe

      • mike k
        October 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        So many who comment here and elsewhere omit any factoring in of rapid and devastating climate change in their calculations. There is a tendency to ignore the larger context in which all of this history is unfolding, and focus on the military, economic, or political plots which are ongoing. The unprecedented context in which all this is happening is the largest elephant in our crowded living room, and is being ignored to our extreme peril. Even our myopic military is not blind to the dire situation that is even now unfolding ecologically, and is making it’s own grim plans for the chaos that could now explode at any time.

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

          I agree mike, and I’m glad you brought up the 800 pound elephant in the room. We only have one earth, and we should do everything in our humanly power to overcome the destruction of our dear sweet planet. So good on you for reminding us of the crisis we are still in. Joe

      • Joe L.
        October 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

        Joe Tedesky… Yes, it has been awhile. Life’s been busy – building a deck, trying to find a new job etc. I just read this article and had to comment. For me whether Trump, Clinton, Obama, Bush etc. – they are all awful. Even our former Prime Minister Stephen Harper who took Canada into Syria which broke international law is awful. I just largely see the “war on terror” as a scam, as an excuse to invade countries, steal resources and force regime change. The fact is, historically, the US and Britain couldn’t care a less whether a country is “democratic” or not but what they do care about is whether or not a country bows to their interests. The US itself has trained 11 Latin American dictators at the School of the America’s in Fort Benning, Georgia and overthrew “democracies” installing them. I also watched a documentary from John Pilger where he goes onto explain that the US and Britain supported Suharto in Indonesia and Pol Pot in Cambodia while they were committing genocide. I just think that people need to wake up to the fact that their government and media manipulate them on a daily basis for their interests. I am just tired of being told whom I am to hate – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea etc. For instance with North Korea maybe people should try walking in its’ shoes. Imagine any country coming just outside our borders and doing war games mimicking invading our country. North Korea is also not blind to the fact that when countries give up their weapons that the US invades them. I don’t believe that North Korea wants war or is suicidal but I do believe they want to be left alone. Anyway, I know I am rambling but I do hope that we are moving into a better future (though climate change will also play a part so maybe the future is very uncertain).

        • Joe Tedesky
          October 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm

          Your frustration with the system is well understood. I’m also happy to hear you are okay. Also I’ll bet your really enjoying your new deck. Joe

          ps I miss people who use to post here. I know Bill Bodden died in a car accident, but I miss F.G., backwardsevolution, Joe Average, and probably a few others who’s names are not at this time in my head.. I just hope everyone is healthy and okay. Kind of get use to people here.

          • Joe L.
            October 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm

            Joe Tedesky… It is sad to hear that Bill Bodden died. Also, it is nice to see or hear from familiar people especially when they are like minded but sad when they are not there anymore. It is amazing that we can communicate across vast distances and I sometimes wonder what it would be like to actually sit down with a room full of people from this site or other like minded people and how we would converse. I think an actual conversation could prove much more fruitful than even the written thoughts on this site can convey. Anyway, it is still nice to meet people like yourself and many on this site.

            Cheers,
            Joe

        • Al Pinto
          October 2, 2017 at 7:49 pm

          @ Joe L…

          ” I just think that people need to wake up to the fact that their government and media manipulate them on a daily basis for their interests.”

          I seriously doubt that people will wake up…

          The last time people woke up in the US was during the Vietnam War. Notice that during that time the media had not been part of the government manipulations. Quite the opposite, the media actually woke the people up by bringing the war In to their living room. They had shown the atrocities committed by the US military and that was too much for people to take. They not only have protested against the war, they also hated and spit on the military personnel returning from ‘Nam…

          Fast forward to 2017, at the time when the US has engaged in number of wars in order to protect “our freedom”. What changed is that the MSM is fully cooperating with the government in preventing what has taken place with Vietnam. The media is more than happy to side with the government’s action and cheer on when new wars are starting. The media’s side-job is to ensure that military personnel is treated as heroes regardless what they have done, the media will not show it, even if the events in ‘Nam dwarfs to recent activities. Major sports, such as baseball, football, etc., lend a helping hand in this efforts by celebrating the veteran and active military people.. Even new TV shows with cowboys mentality reinforces this hero status. And please don’t take me wrong, I do respect our military people. I just don’t like all the “advertisement” for them, that intended not to repeat what has taken place in ‘Nam.

          It’s a bit longer than I wanted to be, but I don’t see any ways that the people in the US ever waking up again.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Here’s some encouraging reporting by Matt Taibbi…..

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-latest-fake-news-panic-appears-to-be-fake-news-w506396

      I’m to the belief that Rolling Stone isn’t part of the MSM fake news Cabal.

    • Brad Owen
      October 2, 2017 at 7:29 am

      Russia has found their version of FDR in Putin, and has discovered the magic of a Credit System for political economy (Something, ironically, invented over here, by Alexander Hamilton, resorted to in a BIG way, by Lincoln and FDR, abandoned here since FDR’s death, replaced by the Oligarchy’s method of Monetarism, enabling oligarchic control of society). The sanctions saved the Russians a lot of bad press for instituting Tariffs (IMPORTANT for developing one’s own agriculture and industry). WE could USE an embargo, in order to re-learn how 330 million people can gain their living from over 3 million square miles of choice real estate using the magic of FDR’s Credit System for political economy. The masters of American System Economics can be found on EIR and their Youtube presentations.

      • Al Pinto
        October 2, 2017 at 7:53 pm

        “Russia has found their version of FDR in Putin, and has discovered the magic of a Credit System for political economy…”

        The Russian FDR… I like that, thanks Brad….

    • SteveK9
      October 2, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      It’s the dollar that makes this possible. It is very convenient to have a stable world-wide currency. That is why reducing the importance of the dollar will be a long-term proposition. Russia and China and others clearly recognize this now, and are working to loosen the grip of the dollar on international finance, but it won’t be easy.

      By the way, the loss of criticality of the dollar will not be a bad thing for the US. We won’t be able to fund all these wars, and military spending, and can go back to being a more ‘normal’ country, with less emphasis on the war economy and more on advancing other areas of technology, as well as getting our social house (health-care, retirement, education) in order.

      • Joe L.
        October 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        SteveK9… I agree about loosening the grip of the US dollar. I think to do that then the US Petrodollar must fall or not be as predominant as it has been. It is already happening but slowly. Also, as far as normal for the US, I am not sure exactly what that is? I believe looking at US history, going back to 1776, the US has been at war something like 93% of its’ history. So as far as normal is concerned, war seems to be the normal for the US. So I do hope that the US does not go back to normal and instead follows a more peaceful path in relations to the rest of the world. I don’t want any country to dominate the rest of the world and hopefully we will see the end of superpowers who feel entitled to decide the way forward for the whole planet. Anyway, maybe I am in dreamland but I think for the US to change it will take the American people to realize what the Military Industrial Complex really is – and they are not there yet. Much of the western world is also not there yet – case in point the arguments that I have with my own mother. Anyway, here’s to a much more peaceful world.

        • Al Pinto
          October 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm

          Realizing what the “Military Industrial Complex really is” and doing something about it is two different things. Yes, we do know that the military industry has a chokehold of the US economy. But when your congressman increases the POTUS proposed military budget by $40B just to keep the military basis open in their states and around the world, we have a very long way to go…

  24. hatedbyu
    October 1, 2017 at 10:47 am

    the russians will come out of all this as possibly the world leaders in tech and other ventures. the russians are like the americans in that the they are a mix of all different ethnic peoples. large population. large land mass and many natural resources. but it’s the brain trust that will make them the leaders of the world. notice that the sanctions don’t affect the u.s. need, yes need, for russian propulsion rockets. why? best in the world. and actually developed in the soviet era. it’s their engineering style and natural aptitude for technical problems. and while similar to the american leadership in invention and innovation , the political climate there is more open to advancement instead of the u.s., where business is hamstrung by intellectual property wars, regulation and a politicization of research funding.
    they are the perfect trading partners for the united states. unfortunately, collusion. blerg.

  25. Michael Kenny
    October 1, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Let them eat fish! If the sanctions are having such a positive effect on the Russian economy, one assumes Mr Doctorow hopes that they will be maintained or even made more severe! On the other hand, if sanctions fail to remove Putin from Ukraine, then clearly, more robust measures will have to be envisaged. This is the conundrum that Putin’s American supporters face. To get sanctions lifted, they have to claim that they have failed, but if they have failed, then the US has to take tougher measures to remove Putin from Ukraine. If the US just capitulates to Putin in Ukraine, it destroys its credibility as the protector of European democracy and thereby strengthens the hated EU, making it the only game in town. Since the whole “point” of the Putin scam was to destroy the EU, Putin’s American supporters’ only choice is whether to shoot themselves in the left foot or in the right foot!

    • Alex
      October 3, 2017 at 12:52 am

      You are such a limited tool that any further response would be a waste of time. Just FYI “genius” we spent $10 of US GDP to generate a -$.50 effect on Russian economy. Henceforth, a bankrupt country – the US is trying to use military muscle whenever we could, because we simply do not have any money left to do otherwise.

  26. mike k
    October 1, 2017 at 10:02 am

    It is refreshing to get some positive news from Russia. In addition to the thrill of seeing another nation stand up to US bullying, I Have great respect for Russian culture and their contributions to a better world. The crude demonization of this wonderful people by US media only reflects on the degraded values that prevail in the US.

    • Paranam Kid
      October 1, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      I fully agree with that Mike.

    • Kelli
      October 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      I completely agree with your assessment too. I would love to see more written in the positive about Russia, not only its industry, but also its people and culture too.

      This article made my day!

    • Kozmo
      October 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      It’s ironic that US sanctions are only encouraging greater self-reliance and a rebirth of native industries in Russia — probably a net good rather than a punishment.

      • Skip Scott
        October 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        I can only hope that someday the USA is forced down a similar path.

        • Nancy
          October 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          We can dream can’t we?

Comments are closed.