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US sanctions against Russia as weapon of economic warfare

September 03, 2015, 18:27 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, September 3. /TASS/. US sanctions against Russia are not just a tool of political pressure on Russia, but also a weapon of economic warfare, many Russian analysts say with certainty. It is not accidental that the industries that have been most successful in competing with their US counterparts on the world market are the hardest-hit.

Reports of ever more US sanctions against Russia have been pouring in with amazing regularity. On Wednesday, the United States declared sanctions against five Russian manufacturers within the defence-industrial complex. This time for reasons other than the situation in Ukraine. Washington accused them of violating US nuclear non-proliferation legislation. The arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the Instrument Engineering Design Bureau in Tula, the manufacturer of optical-electronic equipment Katod, aircraft corporation MiG and the military-industrial corporation NPO Mashinostroyeniya are suspected of selling military items on the prohibited list. Alongside Russian companies their counterparts in Iran, China, North Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Sudan and Turkey have come under restrictions.

On the same day the news arrived the US Department of Commerce specified the earlier adopted sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine to have spread them to the subsidiaries of Rosneft and a number of other companies.

The chairman of the council of experts at the research ideas support fund Eurasian Ideas’ Workshop, Grigory Trofimchyuk, says some very competitive enterprises have been selected. "It was done in order to put pressures on Russia on the international market of military hardware," the portal Aktualnyie Kommentarii (Topical Commentaries) quotes him as saying.

Trofimchyuk sees no chance sanctions may be lifted from Russia in the foreseeable future.

"This process will keep going on and on," he said.

All these sanctions are very serious and they are bound to last, the editor-in-chief of the Odnako.Eurasia portal, Semyon Uralov agrees. "It is enough to take a look at the companies the restrictions are targeted against," the Svobodnaya Pressa (Free Press) portal quotes him as saying. "There are very many names in arms manufacturing and machine-building. It’s a trading and economic war, launched with the aim to hamstring high value-added industries. Sanctions are just another name for the "good old" trading and economic wars and blockades, which have in fact never ceased since the trading and financial capital emerged in the 16th century."

"The defence industry cluster is well-expected target for sanctions. It represents one of the most capital-intensive industries of all," assistant professor at the presidential academy RANEPA, Kira Sazonova, told TASS.

Europe’s stance on the issue is more reserved. Its economic losses resulting from the introduction of Russia’s counter-sanctions are way above those of the United States, she said.

"France’s fiasco in the Mistral amphibious assault ships affair and the payment of a considerable compensation is a clear sign the Europeans sometimes have to pay dearly for the benevolent attitude of their overseas partners," Sazonova said.

"The US sanctions are a tool the United States has been using to press for its national interests, and its interests are both political and economic," says the director of the Centre of Political Studies, Sergey Markov. "The economic ones prevail. Therefore the sanctions are in the first place expected to oust Russian arms manufacturers from the world markets. This is the end aim. I suspect that US military-industrial complex tycoons have been using the available lobbying leverage to the full extent to ensure Russian competitors should be blacklisted whenever there is the slightest suspicion."

Markov agrees that the latest measures are a clear sign "no cancellation of sanctions against Russia is due."


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