The 21st annual in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum kicked off on Thursday. The three-day event gathered a large number of businessmen, investors, officials and politicians from around the world.
On the sidelines of the forum, a Sputnik correspondent talked to prominent US investor Jim Rogers on a range of issues, including sanctions, Russia’s economy and the current US-Russia sanctions.
Being asked about Western sanctions and their effect on the Russian economy, Rogers underscored that this effect has been positive in some of Russia’s economic sectors.
According to Rogers, sanctions were a "foolish mistake" by the American leadership.
"It’s not the first time that history has changed by some foolish bureaucratic mistakes. America is shooting itself in the foot, making agriculture in Russia boom. It is also pushing the Russians and the Chinese together. So there are many unintended consequences that are good for Russia and bad for America," Rogers told Sputnik.
Commenting on the atmosphere of the current forum, Rogers pointed out that there is increased interest in what is going in the United States under new President Donald Trump.
According to him, the main reasons are the current turbulence in the US and tensions between Washington and Moscow.
"It is the gigantic craze in America right now about the Russians. The Russians and the election. The Russians and the Trumps. The Russians and everything. Most of it is absurd. The Russians did not change the election and they do not control Mr. Trump," Rogers said.
He also noted that Washington is to blame for the ongoing downturn in US-Russia ties.
Speaking further, Rogers also commented on the future of relations between the US and China under President Trump. According to him, the Trump administration is still uncertain about its policy towards Beijing.
"Mr. Trump promised that he was going to impose 45-percent tariffs on China on the first day of office. It is five months later and he hasn’t done it. I’m not sure Mr. Trump knows what he wants to do and what he will do," the investor said.
At the same time, Rogers underscored that after Trump decided to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal the Asian region has turned to China.
"America has withdrawn to a large extent from Asia. That gives the Chinese fantastic opening which they’re jumping in and fulfilling, just like with Russia. America imposed sanctions. That will push the Chinese and the Russians together. This is hurting America, it’s not helping America by any stretch," the investor concluded.
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