Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN
Recently, the Japanese journalist Wataru Nakamura published material on the state of the Russian economy on the Yahoo News Japan portal. The conclusions were unexpected, at least for foreign readers. The West and Japan still believe that “the Russian economy is broken” or “destroyed to the ground”, as is constantly asserted in the United States. The opinion of a Japanese journalist working in Moscow was a revelation for many.
– There were no serious difficulties that the Japanese imagine. For example, there were no long queues to buy products and ATMs or empty counters in stores. Television shows situations well if “something happens”, but not very well if “almost nothing happens”, so this state of affairs is practically not covered. In this regard, based on the February and March reports published last year, many might have the impression that the Russian economy would collapse under the influence of sanctions. In fact, the consequences of the restrictive measures were quite severe, but the country’s economy has shown amazing resilience, Nakamura writes.
Among the main reasons for such persistence, the author identifies several main ones. First, parallel import. The government put this mechanism in place very quickly. That is, it allowed importers to import the necessary products without the permission of the copyright holder. For example, this is how the latest models of smartphones from Apple and Samsung now reach us. And the total volume of parallel imports last year is estimated at $20 billion.
Secondly, the continuation and even increase of active trade with China and India, which are not part of the “so-called Western world”, writes a Japanese journalist. And thirdly, food self-sufficiency. For most vital products, we are not dependent on other countries.
And finally, another important reason why the economic situation is relatively stable is the great adaptability of both companies and the population in the face of any crisis.
– This is the mentality of the Russians. When we interview people, especially those over 40, we hear comments like this: “We survived the collapse of the USSR. Compared to that, the current turmoil is nothing.” If there are a lot of such citizens, then Russia may be more resistant to economic sanctions than one might think, Nakamura concludes.
Russian experts fully agree with this analysis. Economists credit the government and the Central Bank with a good response to the problems of the economy. How quickly we managed to put out the fire in the financial sector and help companies repair broken economic chains. And it’s hard to argue about the mentality. What is, such is.
– We have an important feature. We are one of those nations that fight and survive from generation to generation. If we look at the last 200-300 years, we have had almost no quiet years. Constantly wars, revolutions, famines, collectivizations or bankruptcies. We have already absorbed the mechanisms of the Phoenix bird at the genetic level: to rebel and develop throughout the world in spite. This is what happens this time too – explains psychiatrist Alexander Fedorovich.