Sanctions have an expiration date of two years, declared Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in an interview with the Indian edition of The Hindu on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). According to him, during this time people are reluctant to cooperate.
“You have to understand that [перенаправление торговых и инвестиционных потоков] will not happen suddenly, including due to existing sanctions. You see, sanctions have an instant destructive effect, but at the same time they have a certain period of validity, a shelf life. I was under sanctions, so I understand how it works, ”the businessman emphasized. He noted that within two years, “people will be reluctant [сотрудничать с Россией]but in two years the way will be found and agreements will be reached.”
Deripaska expressed confidence that in the next 2.5 years Russia will find ways to work “with all major partners”, and in 10 years Russian exports will be well diversified.
The billionaire stated that the “new normal” that has come to Russia will radically change its economic reality. The country needs to create the same infrastructure that it built with Europe in 12 years, from 1991 to 2003, he believes: this includes, in particular, the creation of new logistics routes, infrastructure, customs procedures, trade agreements.
Speaking about the creation of trade routes, Deripaska stressed: “This is a long process.” Russia, he noted, needs to build transport corridors: through the Bosphorus and through Turkey to North Africa and the Middle East, through the Caspian Sea and Iran to India, and also through the Far East to Southeast Asia. Funding must come from both the government and the corporate sector, as well as from countries that would benefit from these new routes, including India, as it will drive prices down for key commodities, including oil and gas, in the long run, he stressed.
Both for Russia and India, the businessman said, it is important to have direct trade agreements and bilateral investment agreements. In order to solve problems with payments, it is necessary to create a full-fledged settlement ecosystem supported by currency swaps, as well as modern mechanisms such as digital currency and cryptocurrency, he says: this is another important factor allowing Russia to “turn to the East”.
Russia’s annual bilateral trade with the EU ranged from €750 billion to €1 trillion, Deripaska said: “We expect that in the next three years we will reach about $200 billion with China. It could even be $500 billion, depending on which economic Russia will be able to support growth. I believe that bilateral trade between Russia and India will reach $120-150 billion in the next decade, I have no doubt about it.”
Deripaska has repeatedly criticized the Russian special operation in Ukraine, his claims were related to the economic situation. At the beginning of March he declaredthat stands for “peace” and that Russia is facing the “crisis of 1998, multiplied by three.” In April he named conflict with “madness” and noted that it “needs to end now.”