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Home / World / The fight with the West isolated Russia. But that does not stop Putin.

The fight with the West isolated Russia. But that does not stop Putin.

"The war party has won within the Russian elite," said Yuliy A. Nisnevich, a political scientist. "There are people in the elites who want the confrontation to end – these are the people who want to spend or earn money abroad, but the war party, the people who bring their money to the country and live here, is Now widespread. "

Of course, Russia confesses its innocence on all fronts. It accuses the West of suffering from an advanced case of Russophobia, a long-standing disease that results from hibernation when Russia "falls on its knees".

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, said in a television interview Thursday, when the last vestiges of confidence in the West disappeared, even dropped below the level of the Cold War. "There were communication channels during the Cold War, and there was no obsession with Russophobia, which looks like a genocide through sanctions," Lavrov told the BBC.

From the perspective of Western countries, however, there is enough sentiment and they are beginning to act together to convey this message to the Kremlin. The economic sanctions imposed after the annexation of the Crimea in 201

4, which marked the beginning of worsening relations, have remained intact despite repeated predictions by the Kremlin that a member of the European Union or another veto would eventually oppose them.

More recently there has been the mass expulsion of some 150 Russian diplomats from Western nations following the chemical poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in March; sharp sanctions by the United States against several Russian oligarchs, politicians and businesses; and the bombing of Syria by the United States, France and Britain over the weekend.

"There's an upswing in dynamics like we've never seen before," said James Nixey, head of the Russian program in London's Think Tank Chatham House. However, he is not sure whether this will continue with countries such as Hungary following the Putin model, while the Baltic and Scandinavian countries remain much more cautious.

In Russia, the population can basically be divided into three groups, said Vladislav L. Inozemzew, a Russian scholar, currently at the Polish Institute for Advanced Studies in Warsaw

The circle around Putin and the majority of the population is certain that Russia is doing everything right, while the urban elite, including a majority of the business community, thinks that it has gone too far and needs to find a way to reset relations with the West, he said.

The second group is worried about the growing consolidation of the West, he said, while the Putin court and the majority "believe that Western unity will soon disappear."

You have a joker in President Trump. He was reluctant to criticize Russia, but his stance has been more volatile lately. On Sunday, Nikki R. Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, said that Washington would impose even more sanctions on Russia, but Mr. Trump rejected the idea on Monday.

There are people who believe in the Russians have something about Mr. Trump. This statement does not have much official publicity in Russia, where the attitude between humor and despair fluctuates.

If the value of the ruble fluctuated in relation to the dollar depending on the price of oil, then it now trumps over Trump Russia swinging makes it a joke

But economists are not laughing at the sanctions imposed by the US last week to have. The hardest hit was Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminum producers, who was on the sanctions list and saw its value collapse. Japan was just the newest country to announce that it would stop the company's purchases.

Last week, the Russian parliament accelerated a draft of proposed countermeasures ranging from the cessation of imports of medicine from the United States to the cutting off of titanium and uranium sales, to allow the patent theft of American intellectual property. A statement by a legislator, Pjotr ​​O. Tolstoy – a descendant of the writer – that the Russians would drink happily barked tree bark instead of American medicine, provoked widespread mockery.

In the social media, the idea of ​​imposition of counter-sanctions became known "bombing of Voronezh", a provincial Russian city, with the idea that such measures inevitably harm the Russians.

"We all see that the sanctions are intensifying," said Nikolaev, the economist, and the Russian response "could harm us."

Boeing, for example, buys about 35 percent of its titanium used in the 787 Dreamliner from VSMPO-Avisma, the state monopoly that controls titanium production. The company warned in a statement that such a measure could affect 20,000 employees and the economy as a whole.

The company's outcry over possible countermeasures was such that the Russian parliament had to postpone discussion of the measures by 15 May to allow for consultation

Ultimately, the path is clear, with the result that both the West and Russia push Russia's "deglobalization", said Evsey Gurvich, head of the Expert Economic Group, an independent analytical center. If the West shuns Russia, the country will retreat more and more to protect itself from further sanctions, he said.

This year, economic growth will be below the expected 2 percent, with expert forecasts ranging from 1.7 percent to no percent

The result, some experts say, is that the state is taking control of a larger segment of the economy by trying to protect jobs and industries from the effects of sanctions and to bring Russia back to the Soviet model. When a large company like Rusal is hit by sanctions and its revenues fall, there is less budgetary tax revenue that suffers social services such as medicine and education.

It is unclear that there will be domestic problems Mr Putin, however. Real incomes have fallen in recent years, but he still received overwhelming support in the presidential elections in March.

Nobody expects economic problems to change if Putin also deals with the West. The result is that the Kremlin elite, which wins the internal struggle, values ​​geopolitical goals far more than the country's economic development, experts said.

"When we say that we are not successful and quote economic numbers, they answer that they do not care about it," said Leonid Gozman, an economist.

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