2017.09.11

Sanctions – USA vs. Russia?

In reality, the sanction-business is a USA-vs.-Europe thing.

Why would an island (continent) on the other side of the globe, prove to have so much interest in creating sanctions against a country (in effect, unions of trade) so far away from home turf?

You say Ukraine, or Crimea? Sure. Question then is, when did an ‘outsider’ interfere in domestic affairs of the US? Read: Cuba. Mexico. Or any other country where the intervention of the US was uninvited.

In my early days of project management and leadership trainings, it was common to train by play of the 2 islands. Two islands that where each other’s only neighbors, sitting in the middle of an ocean.

Thus, both have certain goods to trade, and can only survive if to trade with each other.

To cut the play short, the morale of the story is that if you are 2 persons, who’s survival depends on each other, you better play the game with open cards from the start. Any form of trickiness, as in hiding the true amounts or what you have in store, will sooner or later get you ‘shot in our own foot’.

Russia as a people are known to stick harder together, the tougher the outside force. A joke tellingly tells of the German group of soldiers on the frontier against Russia. The Russian troops are slowly advancing by foot on the open field. The Germans launch a coordinated strike of machine gunning over the field. The Russians dive down and land faces planted in the dirt.

The young German soldier, a machine gunner, ask his commanding officer, should they be retreating. Not yet, is the answer. After a while, the Germans launch a second strike. The Russians dive again. The young soldier asks again, should they retreat. Not yet, comes the answer.

There is a third machine gun strike by the Germans, after which the Russian soldiers, slowly rising from the field, wipes the dirt from their faces and in unison express “what the f*ck, something is not right here…”. Expression is clear to be read from their faces.

The young German soldier asks again, should they retreat. The answer comes – Yes. Run.

The Finnish economic paper Kauppalehti writes today that for the first time in history, wheat exports of Russia is the worlds’ largest this year, surpassing USA. And have doubled, since 2010.

Russia has invested heavily, with a plan to import less and domestically produce more themselves. This program was launched before the sanction came into force. Currently, the annual trend of self-sufficiency is rising by 10%. After the sanctions came into force, the import from EU has decreased by 40%.

No wonder the Russian minister of agriculture would like the sanctions to stay as they are, for a longer period.

As the arms exports are rising and comparable to the American, it really is also of no wonder that the Trump administration signed for increased sanctions on energy, financial funding as well as mining, railways and metal business.

Eventually you, in the 2-island scenario, yourself fall in the hole that you dug.

 


 

About the author

Martin R.C. Andersson started out as a mechanical engineer, slowly developing a soft spot for project management in which he worked 10 years.
Although having resigned from a corporate career within project management, the soft spot he keeps alive through a keen interest in room environment treatment. By control of sound and light, looking to tweak for that noise-free listening… which should be a norm.
Values silence, and now and then solitude.
Thinks Mindfulness is a ‘state of being’ when work really gets done.
When thoughts flow – without disruption – to reach either a creative state or finish what’s at hand.

When the outside world is tuned out, performance is tuned in.
Feels best when Minimalism, Functionalism and Art come together, crossing their paths.

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