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29 May, 2024 08:22

Moscow reacts to US trade embargo warning

Such a move would destroy established ties in the global economy, Russia’s ambassador to Washington has said
Moscow reacts to US trade embargo warning

A potential US trade embargo on Russia would not break the country’s economy, but would severely harm international commerce, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov has said.

Speaking at an event organized by the Brookings Institution in Washington on Tuesday, the White House deputy national security advisor for international economics, Daleep Singh, was asked if the US should “put tariffs on everything Russia exports” as part of sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.

"The history of [trade] embargoes is not a great one. But to the extent that Russia is transforming its economy entirely into a factory for the war machine, we’re going to get to the point where de facto that’s where we end up,” Singh, who has been described by some media outlets as ‘the architect of Russia sanctions,’ said.

Antonov responded to Singh in a Telegram post on Wednesday, insisting that “no embargo or sanctions will break the Russian economy.”

“It is impossible to force Russia to deviate from its principled path. We continue to build up our socio-economic and industrial potential,” he said, noting the country’s robust economic growth.

Despite Russia being the most sanctioned country in the world, GDP increased by 3.6% and was “higher than the global average” in 2023, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Central Bank said last month that it expects growth of between 2.5% and 3.5% this year.

US officials have “nothing to be proud of when issuing such statements” about an embargo, the ambassador stressed. “In essence, America is publicly signaling its readiness to completely destroy established global economic ties,” he added.

According to Antonov, developing economies and businesses of all sizes are “suffering” from the fragmentation caused by more than 4,500 restrictions imposed by Washington against individuals and companies around the globe since February 2022, when the Russian military operation in Ukraine started.

US sanctions “provoke Russia and other countries to retaliate, thereby further fueling the potential for conflict in global commerce” and aggregating the “already deplorable” state of relations between Moscow and Washington, he said.

On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that more than half of Western businesses that announced plans to leave Russia after the start of the Ukrainian conflict have remained in the country due to a rebound in consumer activity and “bureaucratic obstacles.” At least, 2,173 foreign companies continue to operate in Russia, while around 1,600 firms either exited the market altogether or reduced their operations, according to the paper.

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