By: Contribution to Syrializm
Since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine, which was called by Moscow as a “special military operation,” Western powers, led by the United States, pour in to provide all kinds of support to Kyiv.
Nevertheless, more importantly, it’s the significant number of sanctions imposed on Russia that encompassed everything.
Rumors circulate in Russia that President Vladimir Putin has set aside enough cash reserves for Russia to withstand any imposed ban for a maximum of three years, until signs of economic collapse begin to appear.
However, even if we assume this claim is true, if conditions persist for up to three years, considering the crises witnessed in Europe, the United States, with the waves of bankruptcy sweeping Western capitalist countries, and the United State debt ceiling crisis that might lead the land of Uncle Sam to not be able to pay its debts for the first time in history.
Besides the state of confusion in terms of companies releasing their employees due to economic crisis in some Western countries, while other Western countries face harsh shortage in work force in several working and business sectors.
It’s possible that all those countries would go bankrupt and collapse before Russia does.
Since last year, Russia has been subjected to an immense number of sanctions that have affected everything.
Since the beginning of 2023, the total number of imposed sanctions on Russia reached 13,596, including financial, export and import sectors, shipping and aviation, visa ban for Russian citizens, freezing bank accounts, sanctions on individuals, politicians, businessmen, and even sanctions in social, cultural, media, sports, and arts fields.
For example, as a sense of humor, the European Union imposed a ban on the import of Russian caviar.
Numerous media outlets, television, streaming and film production companies, and various entertainment business have been banned from broadcasting their productions in Russian cinemas or providing services to subscribers within the Russian Federation.
Many websites for example, whether they’re service providers of some kinds or sort of activates, and as soon as their system discover Russia IP address browsers, a sign or text appears saying that “Due to the Russia invasion of Ukraine we’re prohibiting Russian from accessing our Services/Website”.
Even the International Cat Federation—yes, you heard that correctly—the “International Cat Federation” has decided to prohibit the participation of “Russian cats” in competitions organized by the Federation!
Russian cats have been deprived of participating in international competitions because of Zelensky!
In short, Russia has been subjected to a complete ban, with the number of sanctions imposed on Russia surpassing all the sanctions imposed by the West, led by the United States, since this trend started against countries worldwide, such as Iraq of Saddam Hussein, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Iran etc…
Unfortunately, these sanctions haven’t had the desired impact on Russia as hoped by the imposing countries.
Since the imposition of numerous sanctions, Russia’s GDP has only lost 2.1% of its total GDP.
In 2021, Russia’s GDP reached $1.779 trillion, and in 2022, it amounted to $1.73 trillion.
Estimates indicate that in 2022, Russia’s GDP contracted by 2.1%, and the contraction may continue in the current year, 2023.
The expected worst-case scenario was a 2.5% decline in GDP according to the forecasts of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or a 0.2% decline according to the World Bank’s predictions.
Interestingly, the International Monetary Fund predicted a growth rate of approximately 0.7% for the Russian economy in 2023, and other international economic entities expected growth in the Russian economy in 2023.
Goldman Sachs forecasted a growth rate of -1.3%, the Central Bank of Russia forecasted a growth rate of -1.1%, Morgan Stanley predicted -0.6%, and JPMorgan predicted 1.0%.
Thus, the worst-case scenarios don’t exceed 2.5%.
After all this, let us provide clues that would help those who enjoy solving puzzles to solve the mystery of why the Russia and its economy hasn’t collapsed despite the immense number of imposed sanctions.
Russia has a population of 144 million in area of 17 million square kilometers.
It ranks 11th among the world’s largest economies, with the world’s debt to Russia amounting to $425.32 billion, and the debt-to-GDP ratio being 26.58%.
Russia possesses the world’s largest natural gas reserves, followed by Iran and then Qatar.
Russia is also the leading country in natural gas exports globally, followed by the United States and then Qatar.
According to the information, despite sanctions, Russia’s natural gas exports to Europe increased by approximately 7.5% between the months of March and April of last year.
Russia ranks third globally in oil production, with the United States leading, followed by Saudi Arabia, with Russian daily oil production around 10 million barrels.
Currently, according to oil market statistics, Russian oil exports have returned to their pre-February 2022 levels.
Russia ranks first globally in diamond reserves, and its diamond exports have increased after the war.
Russia is the third-largest wheat producer globally and the leading source worldwide.
According to a report by the US Department of Agriculture dated May 8, 2023, Russia’s exports of grains and grain oils are steadily increasing.
Russia ranks first in barley production, and its production of corn, Soybean and sunflower oil has also increased.
Regarding precious metal “GOLD”, Russia ranks third globally, after China and Australia.
Despite all the attempts by the European Union and the United States to impose and tighten sanctions to prevent Russian gold exports, Russia has managed to find other markets for gold exports, with China being at the forefront.
Russia ranks second globally in cobalt production and is the third-largest nickel producer, and the third-largest country in aluminum production, the fifth-largest producer of silver, and the seventh-largest producer of lead.
Russia ranks fourth globally in foreign currency reserves, with reserves of approximately $598 billion.
At the end of 2021, the exchange rate of the Russian ruble was approximately 74 rubles per US dollar.
The current exchange rate is around 79 rubles per US dollar.
Russia ranks fifth globally in the number of billionaires, behind the United States (735), China (495), India (169), and Germany (126).
According to Forbes estimates for 2023, there are 105 billionaires in Russia, while the total number of billionaires worldwide reached 2,640 individuals.
In conclusion, there is no mystery as to why Russia and its economy withstand sanctions.
A country with such abundant resources the world needs, cannot be erased from the map with a stroke of a pen by individuals suffering from signs of dementia and Alzheimer.
Let us hope that the economies of the countries that imposed sanctions on Russia will withstand.
Shall we call them the G7!