Letters on the issue of Russian foreign trade

Dear Comrade!

Look at what our indefatigable Oleg Torbasow has unearthed. What a cool thing it is to be an economist! I, who majored in English lit and Sanskrit, don't have many economic ideas beyond those of the yahoo character Sharikov (mutated by an evil reactionary professor from a dog) from the 1920s Mikhail Bulgakov novel "The Heart of the Dog", who said: "What the fuck do you mean, Engels, Kautsky, all that jazz? According to me, it's all very simple: take everything and divide it among everyone in equal shares!" (Vzyat' i vsyo podelit'!) So here are some of Oleg's calculations (translated from his email to me):

Generally speaking, these data are very approximate, as they don't take into account either the military pressure of the Ru$$ian Federation in Central Asia and the Caucasus or debts and the appetites generated by them (like in the case of Mongolia) or investments and the profits from them (as in the case of Vietnam). What I have here is just data on the share of Russia in the exports and imports of a number of countries, mainly for the year 1998.

So, the country most dependendent on Russia according to these indices is, of course, Belarus (exports 66%, imports 54%).

Of considerable proportions is the dependence on Russia in what concerns these countries' exports for Moldova (exports 53%, imports 22%), Georgia (exports 27%, imports 15%) and Cuba (exports 27%, imports from Russia are insignificant).

There are also a number of countries that are dependent rather heavily on imports from Russia: Ukraine (exports 20%, imports 48%), Kazakhstan (exports 29%, imports 39%), Mongolia (exports 12.1%, imports 30.6%), Kyrghyzstan (exports 16%, imports 24%), Lithuania (exports 17.4%, imports 20.4%) and Bulgaria (exports are insignificant, imports are 20%).

For a number of countries, it would be incorrect to speak of their "being dependent on Russia from the point of view of imports/exports," however, the trade links with Russia are still considerable for these countries: Tadjikistan (exports 16%, imports 9%), Uzbekistan (exports 15%, imports 16%), Latvia (exports 12%, imports 12%) and Estonia (exports 8.8%, imports 13.2%), Finland (exports 6%, imports 7%), Poland (exports 5.6%, imports 5.1%), DPRK (exports insignificant, imports 5%).

Moreover, Russia is known to have considerable trade relations with Iraq, Turkmenistan and Yugoslavia.

BTW, if you dig in this field, you might come up with a solid enough substantiation of the intermediate status of the Russian Federation. Note that Russia occupies an important position in the market of two scores of countries--for the most part, underdeveloped ones; on the other, its own market is dominated by developed countries: Germany and the u$ (along with Ukraine and Belarus).

What do you think?

Dar Zhutayev

That's excellent information to find! That will surely give you a better idea of who has to line up where too. It seems maybe new trade blocs are forming as we speak. Maybe Saudis have the guts to form one.

Belarus probably trades more with Moscow than New York trades with Arizona.