Western sanctions have had a significant impact on Russia’s economy, leading the country to undergo a major restructuring and shift its focus towards rapidly developing markets in Asia, according to Kremlin adviser Maksim Oreshkin. Speaking at the Moscow Financial Forum, Oreshkin highlighted that this strategic realignment has allowed Russia’s recovery to become more sustainable and has enabled the country to achieve its objectives in various areas, including defense, security, technology, and education.
Oreshkin emphasized that the past year and a half has witnessed a significant structural reform in the Russian economy, redirecting it from the “sick part of the global economy” to the healthier regions. While acknowledging that these changes have been at times painful, Oreshkin also noted that without the sanctions and the subsequent shifts in focus, Russia would now be grappling with the crises faced by Western countries instead of benefiting from collaborations with fast-growing economies like India and China.
Russia’s official statistics from Rosstat reveal that the country’s gross domestic product contracted by 2.1% last year due to the severe economic restrictions imposed by Western states. However, the Finance Ministry anticipates that the economy will rebound and grow by 2.5% by the end of 2023.
Over the past year, Russia has been gradually strengthening its trade ties with partners in Asia, Africa, and South America. The country has become the largest oil supplier to India and China and is currently the top provider of gold to the UAE. President Vladimir Putin recently declared that the Russian economy has fully recovered from last year’s downturn, with GDP reaching pre-sanctions levels.
Oreshkin pointed out that staying in the past would have meant being caught up in discussions about Germany’s recession and the US’s financial sector instability. Instead, Russia has prioritized the positive growth rates of China’s economy, which accelerated by 6.5% in the second quarter, and India’s economy, which grew by 7.8%.
The reorientation towards the Asian market has brought about various challenges for Russia, including the need to restructure logistics systems and create new payment mechanisms. However, Oreshkin believes that these changes have been instrumental in Russia’s economic recovery and have paved the way for long-term sustainability.
The expansion into Asian markets also fits into Russia’s broader ambition to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on Western markets. By forging stronger trade relationships in Asia, Africa, and South America, Russia aims to establish a more balanced and resilient economy that is less vulnerable to external geopolitical developments.
In conclusion, Western sanctions have indeed forced Russia to undergo significant economic restructuring. However, these changes have allowed the country to pivot towards rapidly developing markets in Asia, leading to a more sustainable recovery and the ability to achieve key objectives across various sectors. While challenges remain, Russia’s reorientation has positioned it to benefit from collaborations with dynamic economies like India and China, and to foster greater global economic resilience.