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Putin says latest U.S. sanctions senseless

34 Comments
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

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Russian economy is actually growing. The sanctions are failing.

The only thing sanctions do is forbid American companies from doing business with Russia.

But Europe and China are more than happy to fill the void, and Russian companies are learning to do things in-house instead of relying on American suppliers.

Unilateral sanctions are a failed strategy.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Russian economy is actually growing.

The poster has little understanding of stats.

Yep, the economy is growing from the bottom reached in 2016 and in 2018 the GDP is $ 500 billion lower compared to 2012.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/263772/gross-domestic-product-gdp-in-russia/

The sanctions are failing.

They worked out fine, see 2016 in the stats above.

The only thing sanctions do is forbid American companies from doing business with Russia.

Wrong, American MNCs are still doing business in the Russian Federation. A few compatriots I know, working for a US MNC, were involved in the start-up of a new plant.

But Europe and China are more than happy to fill the void, and Russian companies are learning to do things in-house instead of relying on American suppliers.

The poster is bad informed as the EU is taking part in the sanction measurements implemented by Obama. The Germans are not going to lift those sanctions anytime soon and the rest of the EU follows. Only Italy thinks of lifting them but they need the EU for their domestic problems.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

U.S. economic sanctions against Russia are senseless, President Vladimir Putin said 

English translation: the sanctions, for the moment at least, are reducing Putin and his oligarchs chances of getting even richer, thereby limiting their abilities to further expand the Russia empire.

With Russia's oil and gas resources, with the world's leaders unable to shift economies away from dependence on oil and gas, with Trump pumping (so to speak) up the hydrocarbon businesses in the US while dragging the US down to its lowest point in modern history, Tsar Vlad and his oligarchs should soon see Russia's empire once again become dominant. GoTrumpers in the US and 'abroad': you got your way.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

From 2014-2016, the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, complicated by a drop in the price of oil, caused the microscopic Russian GDP to drop 40% over a two year period. The country's economy at it's best was smaller than Texas' (As a point of comparison the US GDP fall during the great depression was less than 10%).  

It's almost like Putin was desperate enough to interfere with America's electoral process and get his puppet installed..................

If the sanctions were not working, Putin would not be spending tens of millions of US Dollars trying to elect American politicians who might lift them. Russia needs to leave Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Syria alone, and act like a responsible country. That is the solution to the sanctions.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Russian economy is actually growing. The sanctions are failing.

Fancy you turning up on this thread too ;)

Inglad to hear that the Russian economy is growing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Putin noted that "it's not just the position of the U.S. president, but that of the so-called establishment, the ruling class in the broad sense of the word which matters."

Ah. "The ruling class," Putin says with no sense of irony. Apparently, he'd like to deal with Trump mano a mano without the checks of the Russian specialists who have informed and guided US policy over Russia during the entire post-war era, most often successfully.

One may wonder why he would wish for this.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Some people think that we should ignore Russian military involvement in Ukraine, the invasions and annexation of Crimea and the use of battlefield weapons and condoning the use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria for the sake of U.S. companies doing business in Russia and making money. Pure greed? This line of thinking seems extremely unbalanced. As peaceful nations, shouldn't we cooperate and help one another as nations for not doing what Russia's been doing? To turn a blind eye to Russia's invasions and annexation of Crimea is flat out wrong.

Get out of Crimea and then we'll talk. It's that simple.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Netgrump

The sanctions are failing.

They worked out fine, see 2016 in the stats above.

No, the sanctions failed completely. What was the purpose of these sanctions? Not just to change some statistics and to show how tough the U.S. is, but to change Russian policy. Did Russians give in? Not at all, and they show absolutely no inclinations to cede even an inch. That's why the conclusion: the sanctions did not achieve their intended goal, failed. Actually, the sanctions by eliminating Western competition on Russian markets even helped Russians to reform their economy. Years ago they had problems with agriculture sector, now Russia is the top world exporter of wheat. Obama is the best friend of Russian farmers.

Here is what Moody's think about the sanctions:

https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-Russias-sovereign-resilient-to-new-US-sanctions-some-Russian--PR_382533

It's April, but the August report is also favourable.

Many people fail to understand the fundamentals: Russia is a self-sufficient country (machinery, agriculture, energy, defence) that lives within its means. Compare Russian small national debt and the U.S. unsustainable national debt and have a good thought about which country's economic prospects are better.

@ CrazyJoe

Putin would not be spending tens of millions of US Dollars trying to elect American politicians who might lift them

You seem to have a deep insight of Putin's machinations. Contact Mueller, he'll be happy to hear your testimony.

@stormcrow

As peaceful nations, shouldn't we cooperate

Tell Iraqis and Libyans this wonderful fairytail about "peaceful nations". And do not forget to return Kosovo to Serbians.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Asakaze

I think you should look up the meaning of annexation and re-evaluate your point.

You're comparing apples to oranges.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@stormcrow

You're comparing apples to oranges

Exactly. Crimea: Russian territory since XVIII century peacefully returned where it belongs, to complete delight of the local populace. No shots fired, nobody killed. Kosovo: foreign military invasion, many thousands killed, local population expelled. Yes, two very different things. Want to re-evaluate your point about "peaceful nations"?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@Asakaze

In other words, according to what you're saying, Crimea was never a part of Ukraine and it always belonged to Russia, thus, Russia never invaded and annexed Crimea because Crimea and Russia have always been one. No international laws or prior agreements with Ukraine were broken by the Russian government. Is that about right?

If that is what you're really saying, I have a strong feeling that there are many people in Ukraine who would disagree with that line of thinking.

Furthermore, such a pro-Russian line of thinking would seem to imply that many of Russia's smaller eastern European neighbors must be shuddering about what could happen to them. Why else would they be looking westward instead of eastward?

As far as Kosovo goes, the U.S. never wanted to be there in the first place and only went in to prevent a smaller fire from becoming a major forest fire. Containment, not annexation, was the primary goal there.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Putin has his own pitchforks to dodge, as his government which is bleeding money has raised the retirement pension age past their average lifespan!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@stormcrow

Crimea was never a part of Ukraine and it always belonged to Russia

Crimea was part of Russia since mid-XVIII century. It was Ukrainian only since the breakup of the Soviet Union, less then thirty years. If Ukraine can leave the USSR why Crimea can not leave Ukraine?

I have a strong feeling that there are many people in Ukraine who would disagree with that line of thinking

And I have a strong feeling that a lot of Ukrainians were not happy with the West-orchestrated coup d'etat in 2014 that urged the Crimeans to leave.

smaller eastern European neighbors must be shuddering about what could happen to them. Why else would they be looking westward instead of eastward?

Money. EU 's subsidies and a fervent hope to have U.S.military bases, to get payments for that. Small East European countries (Bulgaria, Moldova, Baltic republics) with their destroyed economies and quickly dying out populace are of no interest to Russia. Putin could annex the whole Georgia in 2008 because the Georgian army simply run away, but preferred not to do it. What for?

the U.S. never wanted to be there in the first place

It does not matter what the U.S. wanted. What really matters is what was done, the result. And the result is clear: the first since 1945 change of national borders by brute military force, wuth horrible consequences.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

No, the sanctions failed completely. 

Asakaze, I'd argue that the sanctions are working incrementally by limiting the opportunities Putin's fellow oligarchs have to squirrel away their ill-gotten money overseas; without their support, Putin is in trouble. The evidence is the frustration bordering on fury he shows about precisely these sanctions: he doesn't care so much about sanctions on the economy in general but does strongly about those which inhibit oligarchs' free movement, personally and financially.

An ancillary benefit is the uncovering of non-Russians who also game the system, such as Manafort.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oops, sorry, "first since 1945 change of European borders" of course.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Laguna

sanctions are working incrementally by limiting the opportunities Putin's fellow oligarchs have to squirrel away

Basically you have a valid point. I'd add only one 'but": OK, sanctions worked here, what next? And the next will be very simple, these oligarchs will stop hide their money in the West because it is not safe, and reluctantly start to leave their money in Russia, financing its economy.

the frustration bordering on fury he shows about precisely these sanctions

That's new to me. Can you tell me where you saw Pitin's "frustration and fury"? I always thought he controls himself very well.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

stormcrow responding to Asakaze:

In other words, according to what you're saying, Crimea was never a part of Ukraine and it always belonged to Russia, ...

Asakaze was correct when (s)he said that the Crimea was Russian in the XVIII c.. Imperial Russia annexed the Crimea in the 18th c. (1783).

However, Asakaze was incorrect when (s)he said that the Crimea became Ukrainian only since the breakup of the USSR. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

Perhaps the Crimean Khanate should be restored under the Tatars? Not likely.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Asakaze, "what next?" is a question impossible to answer. The oligarchs leaving their money in Russia is undesirable to them due to its capricious system: the gains were ill-gotten, after all, so can be confiscated at will (and the possessor jailed). That's precisely the cause of the capital flight.

Maybe the Yuan?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Ike-in-Tokyo

Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954

I know that. I consider Crimea Ukrinian only from 1991 because Ukraine itself was not independent in 1954, it was a part of the USSR and then the change of status of Crimea had only superficial bureucratic significance.

@Laguna

The oligarchs leaving their money in Russia is undesirable to them due to its capricious system

Again, I can agree with you to some extent. The matter is the Western financial system also proved to be not reliable for the oligarchs, too responsive to "outside" pressure.

I think with all the new salvo of sanctions the U.S. will get very limited results in a short term, and extremely serious problems for itself in a long term. With all that propensity to use the dollar as a weapon the U.S. just urge other countries to shed the greenback and to create an independent financial system. Russia, China and others are already working on that. It's bewildering how frantically America is trying to bury the cornerstone of its might. And the debt bomb is ticking.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Russian Gold reserves are growing every year.

https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/gold-reserves

As a country, Russia is basically debt free and is in fact gaining in wealth every year and stashing in gold and domestic investment.

How is this possible if sanctions are "biting"?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Russia has one very serious ace up its sleeve that international economics organizations have said they should take advantage of to boost their economy even further

Just 12% government debt/gdp

Among the lowest in the world and much, much better than nearly every country in the West.

https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/government-debt-to-gdp

I'm not sure what Putin is waiting for in order to take advantage of that. Perhaps its really just China that would be the biggest buyer of Russian securities and Russia sees that as a risk?

Russian Gold reserves are growing every year.

True, but nobody beats American for gold reserves

1) U.S: 8,133.5 tonnes

2) Germany: 3,371 tonnes

"With the largest official holdings in the world, the U.S. lays claim to nearly as much gold as the next three countries combined. It also has the highest gold allocation as a percentage of its foreign reserves at over 75 percent."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Has anybody seen the Americans 8.133.5 tonnes of gold reserves, there has been no audit, and no-one is allowed to view it, and according to sources, it's poor quality and not of the gold standard.https://www.rt.com/business/414610-us-low-quality-gold/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ Asakase

No, the sanctions failed completely. What was the purpose of these sanctions? Not just to change some statistics and to show how tough the U.S. is, but to change Russian policy.

To change some statistics.... :)

The changed stastistics are the outcome and the proof that they worked at the time..

The sanctions were imposed because of Crimea which was part of Ukraine as you may know and other activities in the East of Ukraine.

Did Russians give in? Not at all, and they show absolutely no inclinations to cede even an inch. That's why the conclusion: the sanctions did not achieve their intended goal, failed.

Again, economically it worked ...

Ofcourse they don't give in, predictable with a person like Putin, but that doesn't mean that they don't like the sitiution as they are worried about the Nordstream pipeline to Germany for example...

Actually, the sanctions by eliminating Western competition on Russian markets even helped Russians to reform their economy. Years ago they had problems with agriculture sector, now Russia is the top world exporter of wheat. Obama is the best friend of Russian farmers.

That's a normal reaction on sanctions, tariff barriers and embargos. So as they are no 1 exporter of wheat now is good for them. Now Trump is the 'best friend' of Russian farmers...

The Soviet Union was almost self-sufficient so that's no news, you can make and grow a lot of stuff yourself but not everything.

As I stated above, many foreign firms are still active and for example processing, trading and shipping the increased Russian crop...

The billionaires around Putin may shrug their shoulders about a few billions more or less but the poor Babushkas can't buy their medicines and see their pensions under stress. On the streets of Moscow you see beggars everywhere.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1382120/50000-children-spend-Russian-winter-on-streets-of-Moscow.html

Just recently the Russian gov released the intention to raise the pension age from 55 to 63 for women and 57 to 65 for men. People are furious.

The other side of the medal:

In Europe the mantra is since then to become less dependent of Russian gas, so the investments in alternative sources are enormous. Global warming is the other driver.

In my homecountry it's the intention to remove gas from private houses.

Many people fail to understand the fundamentals: Russia is a self-sufficient country (machinery, agriculture, energy, defence) that lives within its means. Compare Russian small national debt and the U.S. unsustainable national debt and have a good thought about which country's economic prospects are better.

A self-sufficient country doesn't need export or import, redefine you 'fundamentals' ..

The article is not about debt and comparing Russia with the US is pretty rich. But anyway, explain why the US debt is 'unsustainable' ...I'm curious ....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Has anybody seen the Americans 8.133.5 tonnes of gold reserves, there has been no audit, and no-one is allowed to view it, and according to sources, it's poor quality and not of the gold standard.https://www.rt.com/business/414610-us-low-quality-gold/

From RT?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just recently the Russian gov released the intention to raise the pension age from 55 to 63 for women and 57 to 65 for men. People are furious.

I read about that. 67 in Australia and they reckon 70 by 2035.

There is no need to have retirement at 55 when please are living beyond 80.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no need to have retirement at 55 when please are living beyond 80.

Longevity in Russia is by no means on the level of the advanced countries.

When you ‘re 55 in Russia without work you’re looking forward to receive that little pension build up in a, as many see that, better past.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Netgrump

The changed stastistics are the outcome and the proof that they worked at the time..

You seriously believe the aim of the sanctions was to spoil Putin's mood during morning coffee and lower some figures in economy statistics? As I remember statements of U.S. politicians in 2014 the aim was to change Russia's political course, most of all to force Russia to evacuate Crimea. Did the sanctions reach this goal? So?

Again, economically it worked ...

How? Since 2014 Russia built the Crimean bridge, had a very succesful military campaign in Syria and a wonderful World Cup. Wow, these sanctions are realy biting!

but the poor Babushkas can't buy their medicines and see their pensions under stress

It's very nice of you to show compassion. But Russian babushkas are not the only ones who suffer:

https://www.valuewalk.com/2016/09/americans-lack-retirement-funds/

https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/12/pf/americans-lack-of-savings/index.html

Who is to blame for that? Again Putin's hackers?

A self-sufficient country doesn't need export or import, redefine you 'fundamentals'

All countries want to export, but only self-sufficient countries can live normally under any pressure the U.S. can pile on.

But anyway, explain why the US debt is 'unsustainable' ...I'm curious ....

When Obama took helm the U.S. debt was about 10 trillions, when Obama left it was 20 tril. Now it's 21. How America is going to repay its debt that is growing on a quicker and quicker pace? I'm curious...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Asakaze, I agree that the US has shot itself in the foot with Trump and the GOP's unfunded tax cuts. A few salient points, though:

American debt is all sovereign, even if owned by non-nationals. Just like Japanese debt, nothing prevents the country from simply monetizing it.

Currencies are never absolute; all is relative (look at Venezuela, where bananas are a better store of value than the Bolivar). The Yuan is at least a decade or few from becoming a reserve currency (not at least in part to political concerns); the Ruble, not even in sight.

I like the sanctions as much as I like Trump. A solution acceptable to all involved would be greatly welcomed. But continual wrongdoings cannot be met, uh ... unmet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A solution acceptable to all involved would be greatly welcomed. But continual wrongdoings cannot be met, uh ... unmet

Laguna, I really hope that Russia and the U.S. find some kind of compromise.

The problem is that since the end of the Cold War U.S. policymakers forgot the meaning of the word "compromise", there is no people like Kissinger who can understand that other countries also have their lawful interests that are not identical to the U.S. interests. And real "wrongdoings" should not be confused with empty accusations.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The world currencies that lost the most value so far this year:

"Brazilian real surpasses Russian ruble in depreciation rally"

https://www.mt5.com/forex_humor/image/37316

In the race to the bottom, there occurred some changes in the top 3 currencies. The Brazilian real confidently surpassed the Russian ruble and now occupies the honorable third place.

Turkey Lira -41.85%

Argentina Peso -37.78%

Brazil Real -14.81%

Russia Ruble -13.36%

Starting from the end of last year, the Turkish lira has been leading in terms of depreciation, a decline of 41.85% against the dollar. The Argentine peso took the second place by losing 37.78%, and the newcomer of the rally, the Brazilian real, fell by 14.81 percent. Earlier the third place belonged to the ruble that slid 13.36%.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Asakaze-san, I hope so, too. But Russia has crossed the red line too many times. On such regional issues where US and Russian interests coincide such as Syria and Iran, cooperation is possible, but a country whose leader assassinates rivals abroad, annexes portions of neighboring countries, and is essentially an autocracy does not deserve long-term commitment from the US. The administration following that of Trump will be relinquishing power to the next by the time Putin finally dies (which is the only way he'll relinquish power). In some cases, interim agreements are most suitable, and frankly, under the circumstances, that is all Russia can hope for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, yeah, Israel too - though they know they have no hinterland to retreat to, their history should have taught them to respect others a tad better, such as not snatching their land. But that is off-topic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Laguna

But Russia has crossed the red line too many times

Here it comes again. I don't want to start another lenghty discussion, so let me just stress two points. First, every time the U.S. wants to denounce Russia crossing red lines it should ask itself - didn't it cross even more red-red lines? Second, I'd like to repeat my idea from the previous post: real "wrongdoings" should not be confused with empty accusations.

is essentially an autocracy does not deserve long-term commitment

Oh, please!! Let's talk facts, not fancy smokescreen words. Do you really think Putin is more autocratic then, for example, Saudi king? When were the last elections in Saudi Arabia? But it does not prevent U.S. policymakers to lay a red carpet for every Saudi visiting Washington. Democratic Saudi Arabia deserves "long-term commitment"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You seriously believe the aim of the sanctions was to spoil Putin's mood during morning coffee and lower some figures in economy statistics? As I remember statements of U.S. politicians in 2014 the aim was to change Russia's political course, most of all to force Russia to evacuate Crimea. Did the sanctions reach this goal? So?

You're mixing all kind of things up..and in denial of the facts. You've no clue about economics :)

How? Since 2014 Russia built the Crimean bridge, had a very succesful military campaign in Syria and a wonderful World Cup. Wow, these sanctions are realy biting!

This is really amusing..

Another country who couldn't afford it organised the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Despotic leaders don't care about their population. Enlighten yourself about the size of the GDP, GDP per capita and PPP per capita of Russia.

Compared to EU countries Japan is for example in the league of Italy and France, countries with a significant amount of hidden poverty. On the Happiness Index they score even lower than several development countries.

Not sure what your issue is on this thread..the Americans? :)

All countries want to export, but only self-sufficient countries can live normally under any pressure the U.S. can pile on.

Define the word 'self-sufficient'... :)

When Obama took helm the U.S. debt was about 10 trillions, when Obama left it was 20 tril. Now it's 21. How America is going to repay its debt that is growing on a quicker and quicker pace? I'm curious...

Obama took over a Republican economic mess and was facing a crisis.

Laguna already explained something about the 'unsustainable' US debt in reference of the J debt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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