“Not One Step Back!”: How Will Putin’s Latest Grandmaster Step Affect the Global Economy

NEW – May 4, 2022

From the first lines of the decree of the President of Russia “On the application of retaliatory special economic measures in connection with the unfriendly actions of some foreign states and international organisations” No. 252 of 13:00 on May 3, 2022, one gets the feeling that somewhere one has already read something very familiar. But only towards the end of the text does it become clear what and where.

Of course, this is the famous order “On measures to strengthen discipline and order in the Red Army and prohibit unauthorised withdrawal from combat positions” No. 227 of July 28, 1942, known as “Not one step back!”. The order, without which neither the Battle of Stalingrad nor the Great Patriotic War as a whole could have been won, and there would not have been the Victory of 1945.

However, now we have a completely different kind of war, during which Russia repels hybrid aggression from the collective West, and therefore the decree is not about military, but primarily about financial and economic discipline, but the main meaning is the same: now — “Not one step back!”, not a drop, not a crumb of domestic resources to our enemies.

And this, in case anyone has not realised, is not just a step into the mobilisation economy — it is also the actual restoration of the state monopoly on foreign trade (since March, data on it has already been closed). The reasons for this decision are set out in the motivating part of the decree: anti-Russian actions of the United States and its affiliated countries, as well as international organisations.

Of course, one can object to this: and what, in fact, are the measures of influence and punishment provided for those who violate the prohibitions imposed by this decree? They will want to violate it after all: no one has canceled the economic benefits. Moreover, it’s possible to also trade and perform relevant financial transactions through third countries — for example, through China.

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Where in the presidential decree is the economic “SMERSH”, where are the economic “penal battalions” and other security measures in relation to violators of the imposed restrictions? And how does the implementation of Putin’s “Not one step back!” generally appear to be implemented by the institutions of power that are appointed responsible for law enforcement, i.e. the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia?

"Not a step back!": how Putin's next grand master step will affect the global economy

After all, their leaders, Elvira Nabiullina and Anton Siluanov, have always been considered systemic liberal Westerners, always followed the demands of the IMF, WTO and other international organisations, for this they received the maximum “credit of trust” there. And Russia’s external public debt, and the freezing of almost half of domestic gold reserves abroad – are they not involved in this?

The questions are quite reasonable, and only time can give an accurate answer to them. But the style of Putin’s “political judo” is to never reduce the degree of freedom of their actions. Therefore, we can assume with almost 100% confidence that measures to ensure the decree will be formed gradually, based on the actual practice of its implementation.

This is a decree “on growth”, which should be followed by a whole package of regulatory legal acts, including federal laws and, possibly, international treaties – documents of a higher level, but requiring a longer “production cycle” for preparation, adoption and entry into force. In the case of a presidential decree, everything happens “here and now”.

As for the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank specifically — they are called upon by this decree to correct the mistakes they made (if they were mistakes at all), that is, they themselves act as a financial and economic “penal battalion” and “SMERSH” in one person. The previously created “safety margin” fully allows such a combination. As is said, “they will be angrier.”

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But perhaps the most important point is the reaction of those countries and international structures against which restrictions on trade and financial transactions with Russia are imposed. They are faced with a choice: either bring the confrontation to the maximum possible level, or, finally, “slow down”.

In any case, it will be their choice. However, the new packages of “infernal sanctions”, whether it be the 6th or the 146th, will look pathetic against the background of Decree No. 252. If the collective West decides to raise the stakes further, then the only non-military response on its part may be the confiscation of all Russian assets in its jurisdiction.

Of course, this will be a complete “loss of face” around the world, not to mention the retaliatory confiscation of all Western assets in Russia and the situation in Ukraine — in military terms, everything there became clear from the first week of the special operation that destroyed eight years of efforts by the United States and its allies to create a Ukrainian army.

Thus, military operations were conducted and are still being conducted not with the aim of finishing off the “neo-Banderist regime” in Kiev, but with the aim of obtaining guarantees of Russia’s national security from the Western curators of this regime – guarantees that are not only military-political, but also financial-economic, in fact – the rejection of the unipolar Pax Americana world that has existed since the late 1980s.

"Not a step back!": how Putin's next grand master step will affect the global economy

That is, from everything that is the essence of the collective West, from more than five centuries of global domination, which began with the colonial conquests of the 16th century, which in the history written by Western scientists is “beautifully” called the era of Great geographical discoveries, from the usual opportunity to use the resources of the whole world through violence and lies.

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It is clear that Washington, London, and other “decision-making centres” intend to ignore the obvious for as long as possible, trying with all their might to prolong the agony of the Kiev regime and use it to cause as much damage as possible to Russia, which is no longer particularly hidden — in full accordance with the well-known strategy.”If I can’t eat it, I’ll just bite it off.”

In response, Russia demonstrates an equally well-known strategy: “Something will be eaten, but who will supply it?”. And after Putin’s decree, even with a “bite”, the collective West faces new, increasingly complex and constantly growing problems – just look at what is happening now around world oil production (OPEC+) or gas supplies to Europe.

In this regard, decree No. 252 signed yesterday is another grandmaster “quiet move” of the Russian president, some of the reasons and possible consequences of which are described here as “hot on the heels”.

Aleksandr Maslov

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