On the negative consequences for Europe of companies leaving the Russian market
“Back in the spring, many foreign corporations raced to announce their withdrawal from Russia, believing that it was our country that would suffer from this more than others. But now we see how, one after another, production and jobs are being closed in Europe itself. And one of the key reasons is, of course, the severance of business ties with Russia.”
For some reason, “closing production after another” does not affect the level of employment in the EU countries. Here are the unemployment figures for some European countries:
On the level of inflation in Western countries
“Everyone knows, but I still repeat: in July, inflation in the US amounted to 8.5 percent. We now have it somewhere around 14 percent [percent], I'll talk about it later, but the trend, unlike Western economies, is on the decline. There - inflation is on the rise, here - on the decline. I think that according to the results of the year we will have somewhere around 12%, and, according to many of our experts, in the first quarter - by the second quarter of next year we will most likely reach the target indicators. Someone says that 5–6, and someone says that the level of 4% will be reached. Let's see. In any case, the trends in this sense are positive. What happens to our neighbors? In Germany - 7.9 today, in Belgium - 9.9, in Holland - 12, in Latvia - 20.8% inflation, in Lithuania - 21.1, in Estonia - 25.2. And an upward trend.
Putin is right that Russia is indeed experiencing a decrease in inflation: in March, according to the Central Bank, it reached 16.69% compared to March last year, and by early September, according to the Ministry of Economic Development, it amounted to 14.08%. Putin's forecast of 12% for the year looks very optimistic: the Ministry of Economic Development predicted a level of 13.4% in August, and the Central Bank expects inflation in the range of 12-15%. For comparison, the IMF predicts annual global inflation of 6.6% in developed countries and 9.5% in developing countries.
With the upward trend in inflation in Western countries, everything is not so simple. In the US, inflation rose sharply in 2021, apparently as a result of large-scale government measures to support the population during the pandemic, peaked at 9.1% (annualized) in June 2022 and began to decline.
A similar trend is observed in France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Greece. But there are also Western countries where inflation continues to grow: Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium. And it is most pronounced in the countries of Central Europe, which are economically more closely connected with Ukraine. But only in the Baltic countries inflation was higher than in Russia.
On the directions of export of Ukrainian grain
“We did it together with Turkey. Made. As a result, I report to you, dear colleagues: if we exclude Turkey as an intermediary country, then almost all grain exported from Ukraine is sent not to the developing and poorest countries, but to the EU countries. Under the UN World Food Programme, which is precisely about helping the most needy countries, only two ships were loaded - I emphasize - only two out of 87, and 60,000 tons of food out of two million tons were transported on them. This is only three percent that is sent to developing countries.”
Putin was also supported by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said at a press conference in Croatia:
“Unfortunately, the grain that comes in grain shipments goes to rich countries, not to poor ones. <…> As long as the sanctions against Russia continue, Mr. Putin is concerned about the fact that grain supplies are going to the countries that impose these sanctions.”
However, on August 29, the BBC published UN information on the transportation of Ukrainian grain.
Most of the ships with a cargo of Ukrainian grain went to Turkey; to whom it was resold by Turkish intermediaries is not reported. Other destinations include EU countries (Italy, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain, Greece), African countries (Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti), and Asian countries (China, South Korea, India, Iran, Lebanon) . In total, according to these data, about 50 ships with grain departed from the ports of Ukraine.
Where could Putin get information about 87 courts? Perhaps from the May message of the UNIAN agency:
“Stolen Ukrainian grain is transported abroad by 87 ships.
Igor Ostash, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Lebanon, announced this during a briefing at the media center "Ukraine".
“There is a criminal system that constantly transports stolen grain from Ukraine. It could be through Turkey, it could be directly to Syria, it could be to other countries in the Middle East. But this is such a criminal deal, in which, of course, the Russian occupation troops of Russia in Ukraine take part. Of course, Syrian, Russian, mostly ships, and not only,” Ostash said.
As a prominent Putin propagandist would say, “Coincidence? I don't think". But this grain was really hardly intended for the poorest countries.
About the cargo turnover of Russian ports
“An indicative fact is that despite attempts by external pressure, the total cargo turnover of Russian seaports practically did not decrease over the seven months of this year, it remained at the same level as a year earlier, it is somewhere around 482 million tons of cargo. Last year there were 483 — practically the same.”
Putin is elegantly manipulating the numbers here, masking the decline in cargo turnover during the war with the growth that took place before it began. Portal "Maritime news of Russia in July wrote :
“The cargo turnover of Russian seaports in June 2022 amounted to 69.33 million tons, which is 3% less than in May last year. This is reported by TASS with reference to the data of the Association of Sea Trade Ports of the Russian Federation.
In January and February of the current year, there was a positive dynamics of cargo transshipment in the ports of the Russian Federation year on year - 9% and 5%, respectively. In March, cargo turnover decreased by 9%, in April the rate of decline slowed down to 3%, in May - to 0.4%. In June, the decline accelerated again to -3% yoy. Transshipment dynamics month-on-month (June/May) also decreased by 3%.
On the losses of Russia during the war
“I think, I am sure: we have not lost anything and will not lose anything. In terms of acquisitions, I can say that the main acquisition is the strengthening of our sovereignty, and this is the inevitable result of what is happening now.
The Insider has already noted that Putin's "nothing" is the lives of 6,024 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. But even if we assume that, speaking at the economic forum, he had in mind only the economy, the interim results of the war are as follows: Russia's GDP in the II quarter decreased by 4% compared to the same period last year, the Central Bank predicts a decline in GDP by 4% by the end of the year. -6%, IMF - by 6%. And this is despite the fact that when calculating GDP, the production of military products is also taken into account, including those that were lost during hostilities, without bringing any benefit to the Russian economy.
In some sectors, the decline in production can be called catastrophic. Thus, the production of passenger cars in May fell in annual terms by 96.7%, in June - by 89%, and by the end of the year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade expects a decline by 50%. Apparently, this is the strengthening of sovereignty.