The paradoxical thing is that U.S. and European sanctions against Russia while intended to cripple the Russian economy have made the stronger.
Russia’s economy is performing strongly, according to recent forecasts from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The outcome defies earlier predictions by the United States and its European allies which held that Western sanctions would bring the Russian economy to its knees and force it to submissively “Cry Uncle”.
When the conflict in Ukraine escalated 16 months ago (after eight years of NATO-sponsored aggression using the Kiev Neo-Nazi regime), various Western politicians and pundits were relishing the prospect of the Russian economy collapsing from “Total War” launched against its international banking and trade.
Well, it didn’t turn out like that. Far from it. As the World Bank noted above, the Western sanctions have simply helped Russia boost alternative markets in China, India, and elsewhere around the globe. A principal earner for Russia is energy exports of oil and gas. Increased sales to Asia have maintained revenues despite the loss of European markets due to Western sanctions.
The paradoxical thing is that U.S. and European sanctions against Russia while intended to cripple the Russian economy have actually made the latter stronger.
Michael Hudson, an American global economics analyst, points out: “The sanctions have obliged Russia to become self-sufficient in food production, manufacturing production and consumer goods.”
Hudson also notes that the U.S. geopolitical strategy is to use sanctions in order to make its supposed European allies more dependent and subservient to Washington.
Another respected commentator, Glenn Diesen, a Norwegian geoeconomics professor, likened the use of Western sanctions to the self-destructive behavior of “self-harm”. The United States and European Union, he says, have “handed over a huge market to the rest of the world”.
Diesen also observes that 85 percent of the world’s population lives in countries that do not comply with Western sanctions against Russia. This global majority is more than ever creating new forms of trade and finance that obviate Western control. A major impetus for this positive development is the necessity bequeathed by Washington’s systematic abuse of power and privilege.
The repercussions are more far-reaching and profound than the inadvertent benefits accruing to Russia’s national economy. What the Western sanctions are also doing is accelerating the development of a multipolar world and the demise of the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency. The upshot of those two trends is the historic dwindling of American imperial power – albeit with outbursts of militarism and warmongering along the way down.
A significant illustration of the times a-changing was seen this week at the 25th summit of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Attending the four-day event were 17,000 delegates from some 130 nations. This year’s convocation witnessed large representations from Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The bustling event not only reflected Russia’s own economic strength but the fact that – far from being “isolated” and downtrodden – Russia is viewed by the rest of the world as an engine for growth and more prosperous multipolar relations.
Indeed, from the perspective of most nations, it looks like the United States and its Western allies are the ones who are isolated and anachronistic.
One of the attendees at SPIEF was American industrial analyst Douglas Andrew Littleton who commented: “Western sanctions against Russia have backfired.” And he added: “I’m happy that Russia has been able to bypass and skirt the sanctions in so many ways with their friends and allies.”
What’s going on here is not just merely the emergence of an alternative system, but an epochal political and perhaps moral paradigm shift. The globe wants more peaceful and mutual relations of cooperation and development. Most people on this Earth want endless warmongering, militarism and unilateral bullying by self-ordained powers to be put to an end. The planet is crying out for a world based on justice and peace.
What the world is realizing more than ever is that the unilateral use of economic sanctions by Washington is nothing but warfare and state terrorism by another, more palatable name. For decades, the U.S. has tried to use economic weapons to strangle and kill other nations. North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Iraq and many other countries come to mind where U.S. imperialism has imposed conditions of economic genocide.
The world is well aware of this fiendish legacy and has had enough of American barbarism wielded with the help of its Western lackeys in NATO and the European Union.
We should here make special mention of Syria, the Arab nation struggling to recover from 12 years of war that was inflicted upon it by Washington and its NATO partners for “regime change”. Today, Syria’s recovery is cruelly hampered by economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU. How despicable is that?
There is an unerring historical sense, however, that Washington, has finally met its nemesis. By racking up sanctions against Russia and dragooning its EU lackeys to follow suit, the United States has now unleashed a historic dynamic process of its own imperial collapse.
For decades, U.S. sanctions worked to a nefarious degree on isolated, smaller nations to indeed enforce vengeful hardship.
Not anymore. Russia’s vast natural wealth and economy are too big to contain. Militarily, too, Russia will not be pushed around. Indeed, it has pushed back in Ukraine against the West’s deceptive and pernicious proxy war.
Organically and consciously, the world economy and international relations have been transformed in recent years, especially with the rise of China and Eurasia generally.
Another key development is that the Western imperialist media monopoly has also been broken. Washington and its minions in the European political class are held in contempt as liars and charlatans, even by their own populations.
By unwisely attempting to trap the Russian bear, the West has only created a scenario of revolt by the rest of the world from the West’s exploitative control. Five centuries of European and American Western parasitism have run their course.
Russia’s economic strength is galvanizing the rest of the world to shake off the chains of Western domination and subjugation. The process of dumping the dollar is gathering momentum which self-harming sanctions are precipitating. Pillars and facades are crumbling in real time.
The theme for the SPIEF event this year was “Sovereign Development – the Basis for a Just World”.
As with many other empires in the annals of history that have collapsed, arrogance and hubris often precede the fall. The American and Western elite thought they had an eternal license to wreak havoc for their own selfish gain. Their economic plunder and weaponry are now turning on their own heads. And it’s long overdue.