Is Russia’s economy cripling under Western Concern?

by Subhechcha Ganguly

As a result of Western sanctions placed on Russia as a result of the ongoing crisis with Ukraine, Russia has provided India a list of over 500 products for possible delivery, including raw materials for the paper industry, metallurgical goods, and aviation and train equipment. The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade put forth demands weeks before Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s trip to Moscow, which would begin on November 7. While India didn’t respond right away to the requests, Jaishankar had stated during the visit that India needed to increase exports to Russia in order to balance the bilateral trade, which is currently skewed in favour of Russia. This is because the nation is currently India’s top supplier of military hardware.

According to sources, more discussion is needed before the proposed product specs and volumes can be agreed upon. Additionally, Russia’s outreach does not just focus on India. The roughly 14-page list of products from Russia includes about 200 metallurgy items as well as vehicle engine parts, aeroplane and helicopter parts, raw materials for the paper industry, and raw materials for the aerospace industry, all of which are in severe demand due to the sanctions.

Even though a government source in India claimed the request was exceptional in light of the circumstances, India is eager to rebalance trade and reduce its widening trade imbalance with Russia. The PM Modi-led Indian government has not yet publicly criticised Moscow for its involvement in the war in Ukraine, choosing instead to expand its purchases of Russian oil, which has partially protected it from the effects of the sanctions. India’s imports from Russia increased by over five times, from $6 billion in the same period last year to $29 billion between February 24 and November 20. Meanwhile, exports decreased from $2.4 billion to $1.9 billion.

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