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Sanctions a test of strength: Russian official


IANS New Delhi
US sanctions on Russia have been a "test of strength" for its industry, but have also led to new approaches in business, the CEO of Russia's Rostec Corporation, Sergey Chemezov, has said.
A number of sanctions, primarily pushed by the US, were imposed on Russia after it annexed the Crimea, which was a part of Ukraine, and for military incursions in Ukraine in 2014. The sanctions were also approved by the European Union (EU) and certain other countries and international organisations.
"The issue of working under sanctions for us is a kind of test of strength. I will not hide that the introduction of American sanctions affected our interaction with foreign partners," Chemezov, who is also the Chairman of Rosoboronexport, told IANS.
"Certain markets and opportunities have been closed to us. To say that we did not notice the imposition of sanctions would be dishonest. On the other hand, sanctions have served as a signal for the formation of new approaches to doing business, which we did not think about earlier," he said.
The sanctions led to collapse of the Russian rouble and resulted in a financial crisis -- and also caused economic damage to a number of EU countries.
Chemezov said the Russians felt the sanctions were an attempt to limit the country's competitive advantages and drive it from the markets.
"By and large, it's no secret to anyone that Russian technology is more reliable than American, and we usually offer a more favourable price. It's hard to compete with us honestly," he said.
"Sanctions are a typical example of unfair competition when American and European competitors use these tools to force us out of the international market," he said.
However, Russia has worked on reorienting its markets and focused on South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
"First we were closed by the markets of North America, Australia and the European Union. We reoriented to other markets, entered into new agreements and strengthened our positions in South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America," he said.
"The revenue of our enterprises has only grown. But now the US is trying to punish our partners. In fact, anyone who buys weapons from us can have problems working with the Americans. Is this a civilised approach to doing business," he questioned.
Talking about the Rostec Corporation, which comprises over 700 organisations and is celebrating its 10th anniversary, Chemezov said when the group was formed, around a third of the enterprises were in a pre-crisis and crisis stage and 28 were bankrupt.
He said in the beginning, the volume of exports was about $6 billion, which over the last 10 years has doubled to over $12 billion.
He also said that Rosoboronexport at present has orders worth more than $40 billion.
(Anjali Ojha can be contacted at

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 12:04 PM IST

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