11:21 GMT30 March 2020
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    With Western businesses already feeling the pinch of the anti-Russian sanctions, Moscow could make their impact even more painful by inviting Asian companies to fill the void left by their Western colleagues.

    Speaking at the Russia Arms Expo RAE-2015 in Nizhny Tagil Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that, regardless of the situation in eastern Ukraine, the US and the EU would keep toughening their sanctions against Moscow.

    Sanctions are a two-way road though and any US or EU sanctions against Russian companies will inevitably backfire, said Nikolai Kaveshnikov, who heads the European integration department at Moscow’s Institute of International Relations.

    Andrei Suzdaltsev, a senior researcher at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, fully concurred, adding that Asian companies were already moving in to replace their Western competitors forced to roll up their business activities in Russia.

    This “asymmetrical answer” could prove very painful to the Western firms because with the Asian companies taking root in Russia there would be no way for them to move back in.

    In the event of additional western sanctions introduced against Russia Moscow could retaliate by curbing the transit of western goods across its territory.

    “We should think about transport logistics here… Russia is a huge country, too big to move around,” he warned.


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