Trade “anomalies” show the ineffectiveness of sanctions against Russia

British research company Euromonitor International has found trade “anomalies” in the CIS countries, which may indicate the likelihood of re-export of some European goods to Russia.

The export of goods from the EU countries to Russia in the period of March-November 2022, that is, after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, fell by 47% compared to the same period in 2021 (down to € 36.3 billion), and the export of European goods to Russia’s neighbouring countries (namely Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan) grew by 48% (up to €20.3 billion) in that same time period.

And specifically exports from the European Union to the neighbouring six countries of goods that fell under European restrictions on the supply to Russia increased by 95% (almost doubled), while their supplies to Russia decreased by 71%. According to estimates, the total export from the EU of sanctioned goods to Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in November 2022 was close to €1.5 billion, while a year earlier the monthly volume was only about €500 million.

Euromonitor experts suggest that much of the increased exports to Russia’s neighbours are redirected to Russia. This hypothesis agrees with the conclusions of the American non-governmental organization Silverado: a number of countries (including Turkey and some CIS countries) have become “transshipment points” for the import of household appliances and electronics to Russia.

This analysis shows that the sanctions do not work as expected, the experts conclude.