Without being a Putin apologist, there are other lenses through which to see Moscow’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine and even break off eastern provinces as “New Russia” than raw Russian aggression. But the United States and, more reluctantly, the EU have been steadily imposing more sanctions in retaliation. I suspect this only boosts Tsar Vald’s popularity…More
Category: Russia trade
Let’s stipulate that using even a few of the 8,500 nuclear weapons believed to be in Russia’s stockpile would ruin much more than the Amerikans’ bull market. But short of that, as Vladimir Putin masses troops on the border with Ukraine and digests the Crimea, how concerned should we be about Russia’s effect on the…More
The G-8, which just suspended Russia, was intended to be a forum for the world’s leading industrialized nations. Its origins were in the turbulent 1970s, the decade of oil shocks and stagflagion. The United States teamed up with Britain, Germany and France, then added Japan, Italy and Canada. In 1998, Russia formally joined and the…More
Rejoice trolls: I’m back. I spent my summer vacation in a beautiful place (downtown Seattle) working on my next mystery novel and writing the forward to an academic book. Now, to work. While I was gone, Russia became a member of the World Trade Organization. Northwest trade advocates are enthusiastic about the possibilities. In 2011, the Russian Federation was America’s No. 31 trade partner, at $8.3 billion. It was No. 28 for Washington with $445 million in exports, up from $260 million in 2005. Half of that is transportation equipment, i.e. jets.
This will almost certainly rise, especially if the United States repeals the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik amendment. Boeing could be a big winner. Still, as Business Week pointed out, Russia remains a tough place to do business. It ranked 120th in the World Bank’s list of ease of doing business.
Inconvenient for the boosters is the two-year prison sentences meted out against three members of the punk band Pussy Riot (can I write that in a family newspaper?) for a protest held on the steps of a church. It’s a forceful reminder that under Czar Vladimir Putin, Russia has a, let us say, casual approach to human rights.More