World Economy

Sanctions Hurt US-RussiaTrade

Sanctions Hurt US-RussiaTrade Sanctions Hurt US-RussiaTrade

The trade turnover of the Russian Federation and the United States dropped by third in 2015 mostly due to current sanctions in mutual trade and economy, Russia’s trade representative in the US Alexander Stadnik told TASS.

"The main reason is the current conjuncture in a number of most important segments of the global trade and economy unfavorable to us as well as sanctions, which directly affect bilateral trade and economic ties," Stadnik said.

According to the trade representative, in 2015 the trade turnover between the two countries has already plunged by more than 30%, while by the end of the year "this will be a fully valid one third."

Whereas in 2014 the trade turnover between Russia and the US stood at around $25 billion (Russian export exceeded $9 billion while the US import was almost $16 billion), by the end of 2015 it will hardly breach $20 billion, Stadnik said.

In the January-October period, bilateral trade turnover stood at around $17.4 billion (a decrease of 30.5%)–Russian export equaled to around $8 billion while the US export to Russia was about $9.4 billion.

However, Russia also boosted its export to the US in a number of items, he added, as supplies of mineral, chemical and potash fertilizers skyrocketed by almost 140% in 2015 as well as export of machines, equipment and transport vehicles rose by 40% while fabric and footwear surged by 60%.

Sanctions Expanded

The US has expanded the list of sanctioned Russian individuals and organizations in relation to the Ukrainian conflict, US Treasury said in a statement last Tuesday.

According to the statement, tens of individuals and organizations are to be put on four separate lists. These sanctions targets are linked to such persons as Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg, Boris Rotenberg as well as Kalashnikov Concern and Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod JSC (also known as Baikal), all of whom have engaged in serious and sustained sanctions evasion, the statement said.

The leaders of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have been put on a separate list.

France Firms Complain

Some of the 1,200 French companies working in Russia have complained that sanctions have caused difficulties, while Russia's counter-sanctions hit France's economy, a French legislator said.

France must lift the sanctions against Russia as French agriculture has suffered greatly because of them, according to Guillaume Chevrollier, a legislator at the National Assembly of France.

Chevrollier was among the delegation of French deputies, headed by a member of the French National Assembly Committee on Foreign Affairs, co-chairman of the Franco-Russian dialogue association, Thierry Mariani, who on December 17 in Moscow met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

"The (Russian counter-sanctions) embargo has done considerable damage to French agriculture, particularly for the Mayenne. It affects the economy. The lifting of sanctions would be a breath of fresh air to France, its agriculture and the European economy," the deputy said in an interview with Ouest France.

According to Chevrollier, the sanctions have been damaging for France's employment and agriculture.

"There are 1,200 French companies located in Russia. Some have told us of their difficulties. The embargo destroyed jobs in France. We demand a debate in the National Assembly, on the lifting of economic sanctions against Russia. We impose European sanctions on the Russians and asked them to participate in the fight against the Islamic State: there is a contradiction that must be lifted," he added.

Groups of French farmers staged protests across the country during the past summer and fall, stating that the food ban imposed by Russia in response to western sanctions was one of the main reasons behind the agricultural crisis in Europe.

In August of 2014, Russia issued a one-year ban on the import of food from the EU, the United States and some other western countries in response to anti-Russian sanctions imposed against it over the Ukrainian crisis.

At that time, Russia was the EU's second-biggest market for food exports. The list of products includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.