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Thursday, 21 August 2014

On Threshold of New World System

Alexander DONETSKY
Strategic Culture Foundation

Europe was really shocked by the sanctions Russia introduced in retaliation to the punitive actions imposed by the European Union, the United States and some other states. It’s not only the psychological effect defined by Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet as, «Today only the United States and the European Union have a right to punish bad boys, and Russia does not have such a right». The real cause is gloomy outlook for many EU members as a result of Moscow’s reaction. 

At first Western media enthusiastically reported that the Russia’s leadership is going to make its people die of hunger. But these assessments happened to be as far from the truth as the dubious professionalism of their authors from the real skills required for serious analytical work. 

First, there are few products which have no analogues produced in other countries. Their absence is a problem for a narrow circle of people with unique tastes and needs, not general public. It’s not a big thing if there is no original Parma ham in Buryatia, it won’t spark hunger riots there. If Veuve Clicquot champagne is not seen on the shelves in Slavyansk-na-Kubani, it will hardly change drastically the life of local people. 

Second, markets are never empty. Russia-produced poultry will substitute for "Bush legs" (a prevailing term in the post-Soviet states that denotes chicken leg quarters from the United States), license produced or similar cheese from Kazakhstan and Belarus will fill the shops and markets of Russian provincial areas instead of the «public» cheese produced in the Netherlands and Italy. Kazakhstan and Belarus compete to increase dairy sales. Many people who like apples will know that Almaty, not Warsaw, is translated as «father of apples». 

Third, those who have joined the new economic association built together with Moscow and its would-be members will be grateful to Washington and Brussels for imposing sanctions on Russia. The countries allied with Moscow will get more profits at the expense of European farmers.

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