Richard Connolly
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Looking to the global economy
Russia’s role as a supplier of strategically important goods
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Russia’s ability to compete in the international economy is often underestimated. Russia’s potential to use economic instruments to assert its interests abroad is significant because its comparative advantage lies in the sale of strategically important goods. Consequently, Russia is one of the most important producers and exporters of hydrocarbons, and it has emerged as one of the leading exporters of armaments, nuclear power plants, and grain. Moscow has extended its economic and political influence well beyond traditional markets in Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The desire to expand exports of strategically important goods is a theme consistently articulated by Russian officials since 2000. Since 2010, Russia has expanded such exports beyond traditional markets in Europe and the former Soviet Union. This is matched by an expansion of goods exports more broadly, with Moscow cultivating new markets across the world. Russia has been relatively successful in effecting these plans, especially in Asia and the MENA region. The expansion of strategically important exports has involved the coordinated action of a number of ministries and state corporations, and the Ministries of Agriculture, Energy, and Defence. Russia’s economic presence across the globe has significantly grown. Progress has not always been smooth. The relatively slow build time for NPPs has prevented Rosatom from fulfilling its export potential. And the threat of US sanctions may hinder Moscow’s drive to expand arms sales further. But these obstacles have not prevented Russia from emerging as one of the world’s leading suppliers of strategically important goods.

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