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US imported $6 billion from Russia as it forces others to quit doing business with Moscow

America keeps importing essential commodities from Russia while pressuring others not to do so

By Drago Bosnic | September 8, 2022

After Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO aggression in Europe, the US-led political West vowed to “isolate“ Russia and “cripple“ its economy. Yet, the Eurasian giant didn’t only weather the storm largely unscathed, but it even managed to profit while the sanctions boomerang started ravaging Western economies. Russia has been able to maintain its economic strength, powering through the sanctions and even establishing alternative payment systems with major global powers such as China and India. And yet, the US, as the leading Western power, the one which pushed its European and other vassals into an economic war with Russia, with devastating consequences for the EU and other economies, continues doing business with Moscow.

The US is currently importing over $1 billion per month in Russian wood, metals, food and other goods. More than 3,600 ships from Russia have arrived at American ports since February 24, according to statistics cited by the Associated Press. While that is nearly 50% less in shipments over the same period compared to last year, it still amounts to over $6 billion in imports. The sheer quantity of goods and commodities from Russia entering the US suggests the troubled Biden administration is directly involved in a failure to “isolate“ the Russian economy, as the US incumbent president promised in late February. Due to so-called “wind down“ periods that allow companies to complete previous deals, many of the products and commodities continue to be imported into the US long after the Biden administration imposed sanctions on those goods, including Russian oil and natural gas.

However, there are exceptions to this as well. The import of other crucial Russian commodities, such as fertilizer, came at the request of the Biden administration itself, which has urged US companies to make up for shortages. Although the US has ordered the seizure of luxury yachts owned by rich Russians with supposed “ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin“, the AP found that many companies from the US and EU are still importing millions of dollars in metal from a Russian firm that makes parts for VKS (Russian Aerospace Forces) fighter jets, highlighting yet another hypocritical discrepancy in Western sanctions campaign. And yet, Washington is trying to exert diplomatic pressure on others to stop doing business with Moscow. While many have followed the US diktat, others are not only keeping their economic ties with Russia, but are even expanding them. For instance, Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has doubled its oil imports from Russia this year. 

This hypocritical approach has made many other countries, including major global powers, such as India, frustrated, as they are being criticized for their ties with Russia, while the US gets to cherry pick which ties with Moscow it can keep in order to prevent disruptions to its economy. This has nearly nullified the US attempts to strengthen ties with India and get New Delhi into its fold, despite the fact that American troops are currently engaged in military exercises with their Indian counterparts. And yet, just like Turkey, New Delhi has similarly significantly increased energy imports from Russia, despite US pressure not to do so. In addition, the Indian rupee has become a major currency for the diamond trade, allowing buyers to bypass anti-Russian sanctions, pushing India even closer to Moscow in this regard.

Although the failed economic siege of Russia was also meant to diminish the Eurasian giant’s nearly unmatched military might (which only the US can compare to), it has so far been completely inconsequential. Worse yet, it even had an opposite effect, as Russia is now expanding and strengthening its military, including the increase in production of weapons such as the Su-57, which has proven itself in the special military operation against the Kiev-based Neo-Nazi junta. This resilience isn’t limited to the Russian military. With Russian energy exports far exceeding last year’s levels in recent months and the Russian ruble rallying against the US dollar, the Eurasian giant’s economy is also faring far better than those of the EU members.

Still, the question remains, what will the EU and other US vassals do when the winter comes? Will Washington send food, oil, gas and other essential commodities? How will the “moral highground“ of “sticking it to Putin“ help heat homes, feed hundreds of millions of hungry (and angry) citizens and power entire economies and countries? How will the EU and other governments explain to their voters that all this is “worth doing“ so that the “young, vibrant democracy in Kiev“ can survive the “unprovoked brutal Russian invasion“? 

And what will Europe look like in 2023 after it goes through a complete political unraveling? Whatever happens to Europe and other US vassals, one thing is certain – America will keep importing essential commodities from Russia while pressuring others not to do it. However, this isn’t necessarily bad, as it will be a perfect litmus test of sovereignty for many around the globe and an excellent indicator of who will get the privilege of joining the new multipolar world of sovereign nations.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

September 8, 2022 - Posted by | Economics, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | ,

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