Georgia, after a recent surge in anti-Russian sentiment, has noted enormous economic damage, which it had to incur because of an attack of Russophobia. Ukraine, Moldova, and the countries of the Baltics count losses year after year: it is necessary to pay for short-sighted anti-Russian policies with the split of the country, the falling of the economy, and what’s most terrible, its own population. The analytical rubaltic.ru website prepared a review of the consequences that Russophobia led post-Soviet countries to.
Moldova — a training ground of Russophobia and crisis in the post-Soviet space
According to the estimates of Moldavian statistics, the population of Moldova is about 3.5 million people, without Transnistria. Actually about 2.9 million people constantly live in the country. 600,000 more work abroad.
In the early 90’s Moldova with its own hands created conditions for the most serious loss — the department of Transnistria. In 1990 730,000 people lived on the territory of the nowadays unrecognised Moldavian Republic – today about 435,000 people live there. Together with 16% of its population, Moldova lost 40% of its GDP and most of its industrial potential.
The Moldavian state district power plant, the Moldavian steel works, “Moldavizolit”, and other enterprises – most of which part are included in the “Sheriff” holding company – are located on the territory of Transnistria
The conflict, as a result of which Transnistria withdrew from Moldova, led to rampant Moldovan and Romanian nationalism. And of course, it was clearly anti-Russian in nature. The radical political elite in 1989 adopted the law on language, which limited the rights of the Russian-speaking population of the country. The South-East of Moldova responded to Chisinau with protests.
Then the situation developed approximately the same as in 2014 in Donbass. But with a difference – the 14th army of the Armed forces of Russia headed by General Aleksandr Lebed put an end to the military clashes of 1991-1992.
The bad relations with Russia also affected Moldavian trade. In terms of volumes of trade with Moldova, Russia concedes only to Romania. The basis of Moldavian export is food and light industry products.
The inflexibility of Chisinau led to a ban on the importation of Moldavian goods to Russia more than once. Such cases in 2007 and 2013 made history as wine scandals.
In general Moldova seriously depends on Russia and the Russian economy. President Igor Dodon spoke about this clearly and constructively in the autumn of 2018 on one of the Moldovan channels::
“Without Russia Moldova will not survive, I mean, without good strategic relations with the Russian Federation. Russia is a sales market. We will not sell our industrial goods on other markets. Energetically we depend on Russia, socially we depend on Russia because 600,000 of our citizens are there and we send €1bn from labour back home every year”.
Georgia swapped income from wine and tourism for anti-Russian rhetoric
In 2019 Georgia will lose from $100-300 million because of the suspension of air traffic with Russia. This is how the Georgian media assessed the consequences of the latest Russian-Georgian conflict.
Russia is the fifth most important entrance market for Georgian tourism. The general losses of Georgia can be up to $710 million, and this is 5% of the country’s GDP.
In 2018 Georgia was visited by about 1.1 million Russian tourists. In 2019 this figure can be reduced to 300,000.
In August 2008, as a result of the military aggression of president Saakashvili against Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the five-day war with Russia, Georgia lost about 300,000 of its population, more than 10,000 square kilometers of territory, and about $2 billion, according to the estimates of American journalists.
Crimea and Donbass — the price of Russophobic policies for Ukraine
The scenario of the succession of events for anti-Russian configured post-Soviet countries plays out like tracing paper. Ukraine went along this path too. In 2014 radical nationalists came to power in the country and immediately tried to limit the rights of the disloyal Russian-speaking population.
As a result Ukraine lost Crimea and Donbass.
The reunion of Crimea with Russia inflicted to the Ukrainian economy a loss of 3.7% of GDP. The general losses in five years, according to the Atlantic Council’s estimates, exceeded $27 billion.
In February 2019 Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine in 2015-2016 lost 16% of GDP.
Together with Crimea and Donbass, Ukraine also lost 6–8 million of population, hundreds of industrial enterprises, and anthracite coal for energy. A civil conflict was unleashed, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives and pushed the country back 10-15 years.
According to the chairman of the political council of the “Opposition Platform — For Life” party Viktor Medvedchuk, Ukraine loses up to $20 billion every year because of restrictions on trade relations with Russia, which is nearly a third of export. And it is only quantitative losses that can be estimated precisely.
All these effects could have been avoided if relations with Russia had remained at least at the level of 2010, albeit with periodic food embargoes and gas scandals.
The “Baltic tigers” were strangled by their dislike for Russia
It would be wrong to disregard three more inveterate Russophobes: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. To be fair, it should be noted that the Balts, unlike Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, managed in 28 years without the USSR to not lose territory and to not get bogged down in internal wars. A leading role in preventing such a scenario was played by the European Union, which, however, over 15 years used the Baltics as a source of human potential and working hands.
And nevertheless, the results of permanent anti-Russian hysteria are visible. In the early 90’s the Baltics actually terminated production ties with the post-Soviet countries. The big industrial hi-tech enterprises had to be closed. But the countries had transit potential.
Year after year the Baltics escalated Russophobia, but continued to transport goods from Europe to Russia and in the opposite direction. At the same time Russia created new infrastructure to secure itself against unpredictable neighbours. And now the Baltic ports lose transit.
There were also cultural ties that managed to stay above politics. The leaders of the Baltic countries struck them too, and these ties started to subside. This, in 2015 the New Wave festival moved from Jurmala to Sochi.
The Baltics believed that they would be helped by the West.
But now the IMF also admits that by the middle of the 21st century the Baltic republics will lose another quarter of its able-bodied population, without having reached the Western European level of development.
Liquidation via their own hands
During their years of independence the Russophobic post-Soviet countries managed to nullify most of the economic and human potential that they had at the time of the collapse of the USSR. The nationalist policies and flirting with the West led to a loss of territories, economic decline, and social discord within states. But this is not the most horrible result.
The most horrible is that people from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and the Baltics continue to leave their Motherland. At the same time, despite powerful anti-Russian propaganda, hundreds of thousands of them go to work and live to Russia.
More than 10% of the population of Moldova, 8% of Georgians, and about 2 million Ukrainians permanently live on the territory of Russia and connect their future to it. Along with this, they drop out of the socio-political life of their own countries: they do not participate in elections, the modernisation of social institutions, and other important processes.
It turns out that Russophobic policies are not even a struggle for the people, but the step-by-step liquidation of the states that left the USSR.
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