According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Western countries are resorting to economic sanctions in order to halt the development of their rivals in the East. Siluanov made these remarks at the Znanie Federal Education Marathon, which is currently being held at the Russia International Exhibition and Forum in Moscow. He argued that the global redistribution of power is already underway, with new economies like China, Russia, and India emerging while the old economies of the West are gradually deflating.
Siluanov criticized the West for using their currencies as weapons to hold back other economies. He pointed out that these sanctions primarily harm Western countries’ own economies while the new and growing economies in the East become more powerful. Siluanov stated that these emerging economies want to influence global economic processes without having to obey the Western countries or the ‘golden billion’, referring to the Western dominant economies. He also highlighted that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) bloc is a viable alternative to the existing Western economic system.
Currently representing 37% of global GDP, the BRICS bloc is set to expand with the inclusion of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in January. In comparison, the G7, consisting of major Western economies, only accounts for 29.9% of global GDP. This demonstrates the increasing influence and economic power of the emerging economies.
Siluanov’s comments echo Russia’s repeated calls for a multilateral world order. President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of pursuing a “colonial approach” and bending international rules to its will. These calls have grown louder as Russia faces unprecedented economic sanctions from the West over its military operation in Ukraine.
Last year, the sanctions deprived Russia of the ability to conduct international transactions in dollars and euros and cut off its access to the Western banking system. However, the country has managed to largely recover from the economic downturn caused by these restrictions through redirecting trade to the East and increasing the use of national currencies in cross-border settlements.
In contrast, European countries have been grappling with soaring inflation, a cost-of-living crisis, and a downturn in industrial production. These problems have been exacerbated by the sanctions on Russia, which deprived the bloc of Russian energy supplies. Many Western politicians have called for an end to the sanctions, arguing that they have had unintended negative consequences.
In conclusion, Siluanov’s remarks shed light on the West’s use of economic sanctions to preserve the existing order and impede the progress of emerging economies in the East. The increasing power and influence of countries like China, Russia, and India, as well as the expansion of the BRICS bloc, highlight the shifting global dynamics. Meanwhile, the sanctions have had negative repercussions on Western economies, further fueling calls for their reconsideration.