Interview of the General Director of the Russian center of strategic assessment and forecasts Sergey Grinyaev news Agency ArmInfo.
The confrontation between Russia and the West in Ukraine is getting worse day by day. And, apparently, the West in its sanctions against Moscow has been applying the really tough measures even against its own companies operating in Russia that have led to flight of capital and technologies from Russia. Consider the possible impact of sanctions on the Russian economy in the future.
The question itself contains an ambiguity situation that urgently needs to change. The question clearly is "the confrontation between Russia and the West"... Tragic, but Russia again, as in August 2008, alone fight with the Western world, full of immoral practices of modern civilization. For the purpose of unity of struggle was created the Eurasian Union, as the transformation of a sluggish and sleepy CIS. Unfortunately, as in the case of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whose independence and are slow to recognize our allies, Russia today is fighting for the common bright future. Again there are no allies nearby. Only the Minsk, a few months later, expressed the desire to act as an intermediary in negotiations between Kiev and people's republics. The other voice again not heard.
Now on the subject matter. Yes, indeed, Western sanctions are unpleasant for the Russian economy. The main problem is that the last decades under the influence of liberal circles in the Russian leadership, we too paid much attention to integration into the global world. In fact, today, and reap the fruits of this policy. In other conditions of Russia and previously the Soviet Union, the sanctions would not worry – the level of our economy allows to provide its own needs more than two-thirds. However, we are not in the other conditions, and in those that exist now. And now we have quite a serious addiction, primarily on foreign technology. This was discussed more than a year, it is impossible to develop the economy without machinery, without its own electronics and many other industries, which today are almost completely replaced by imported products. Take, even, civil aviation, which for our country, stretching over nine time zones is vital today in the grip of the “Boeing” and “Arbuzov”. Is the West to impose a ban on imports of spare parts for the aircraft and the consequences can be far from painless. But Russia has its own advanced and highly reliable “Elah” and “Tupolev”. Today they are forgotten in favor of “generous” businessmen from Boeing and Airbus, but their production may be restored, and for us will be much more effective and in demand “screwdriver” Assembly of the Western automotive scrap. Of course, the problem is also that even the most important, the defense industry was dependent on foreign products. A significant proportion of large companies loans taken from Western banks and they most likely will require their early repayment. This is extremely bad, but it was expected. Although, as in many other cases, the situation was exactly the same as in the Russian proverb “while the thunder does not clap – a peasant will not cross”. Wait – the thunder struck and the pigs are flying already. It's time to take action. We have faced similar conditions in the acute phase of the global financial crisis. And then clearly realized that without a private and powerful national economy we will not be able to ensure its own security. It was then that was born the project of the Customs Union. Realizing that this project would hurt its power monopoly, the West is now seeking to strangle Russia in the grip of economic sanctions. But the West is already far not the same, he softened under the yoke of the global crisis, it is not monolithic, not unified in their decisions and ultimate ineffectiveness taken a destructive step. Let's see how today turns Europe: France wriggles, trying to save a contract for the supply of Mistral, fearing losses and social consequences of breach of contract; Poland has already pointed to a possible sharp drop in the GDP of the country, and demands from Brussels compensation for their "loyalty" against Russia; the Brussels trying to authorize only the Russian oil industry, while avoiding sanctions against the gas industry, not to leave the EU without Russian gas in autumn and winter 2014/15. After the "second package" of sanctions on European equities on the exchange fell by 15%... So against whom sanctions? The fact that the West is not the only one on the planet that there is an East, South America, now you know almost everything. It is likely that Russia will continue to reroute its hydrocarbon feedstock from Europe to Asia and other regions of the planet, minimising deliveries to Europe. Guess the experience of Minsk in the procurement of oil in Venezuela would be for Brussels to be very useful – buy gas "for three seas" will bring the European economy to the level of developing countries.
Whether targeted sanctions of the West against Russia affect the formation of the Customs and the Eurasian Union, given that other CIS countries -potential participants, for example the same Armenia, closely connected with Russia's economic ties? Will it lead to international isolation of Russia to the “desertion” of its integration projects?
Everything will depend on members and potential members of the Customs Union. Whether they will be ready together with Russia to overcome the difficulties? Or "severinova" go over to the enemy? I will say one thing, the idea of the Eurasian Union today is as relevant as ever. The economic growth of Asian countries, primarily China and India, requires expanding economic connectivity of this region with the rest of the world. Most effectively and safely such connection can be laid through the continental "silk road" from China through the Crimea and the black sea Straits to Africa, and via Minsk to the Western Europe and the Northern sea route from China to Europe and the USA. These transport corridors will ensure the viability of the Eurasian financial centre. And here every member of the Union must determine its "place in line". Actually, I believe that the current sanctions are extremely positive for the whole project of the Eurasian Union. Better today, at an early stage of its implementation, while Russia has not yet shouldered the burden of supporting the economies of the partners to determine who is on whose side. If we flee, we flee now and not later. The most striking example here is Ukraine – this country for many years tried to sit on two chairs, handing out promises to everyone and getting support, both from Moscow and from Brussels. But it does not happen, and the collapse of this strategy today is clear and obvious.
There is an opinion that very soon the Crimea to turn to Russia once the endowment black hole like Chechnya, which vbuhivayut billions of Russian taxpayers. Is this not, in Your opinion, too high a price for the “return of Crimea to their harbour?”
In any case. Crimea is a huge potential. As I said above, it is through the Crimea will be one of the "sleeves" of the Great silk way, which then proceed through the black sea Straits in the Mediterranean and in Africa, which is so interesting today China. With the return of the Crimea Russia has at its disposal, in fact, another inland sea – to exert any serious counteraction on the Black sea hardly anyone can. Yes, the first time will be difficult. And Crimea, and Russia will have to "outgrow" the concatenation phase. But again, this is very promising for Russia and the whole Eurasian Union. Let me emphasize that today, even Chechnya I wouldn't call it a "black hole". Gradually, it is difficult, but the situation is changing for the better. And certainly it bears no relationship to the situation and prospects of the Crimea.
Whether Russia has a real problem, the exclusion from G-8?
No. "Eight," for Russia, since its creation was only a symbol of engagement in the world of Western civilization. Russia was not admitted to the important issues of decision making and allocation of Finance within the framework of this structure. Despite the emergence of the G8, the format remained the G7 +1 . Yes, of course, any area is a positive tool for dialogue, but if this tool becomes an instrument of pressure, then it should not hesitate to say goodbye. I think that after a while Russia will be restored вG8 at the invitation of the leaders of the G7 (although then we will have to think twice and to accept their invitation), because without Russia is impossible today to speak about the formation of an effective policy of managing a modern global world. Also I believe that Russia will strengthen its influence within the G20 and other international institutions that will be much more effective than pompous but useless G8.
Many experts see a link between the escalation of the conflict in South-Eastern Ukraine and the worsening situation on the contact line between Azerbaijani and Karabakh troops. Seen any connection between these two geopolitical areas in the party of Russia and the West, in Your opinion?
Yes, I tend to agree with the opinion of those experts who linked the exacerbation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and deteriorating security situation in other parts of the world. That we should expect just such a development of events, we have also stated repeatedly. In order to counter the negative developments, we must speak with one voice on the most pressing geopolitical issues: Armenia to actively promote the Russian policy in Syria, Transcaucasia and in the South-East of Ukraine, and Moscow actively to promote the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
Together we have completely different capabilities to resist Western pressure, than if we stay alone in front of this clever and resourceful opponent.
Interviewed By David Stepanyan
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