Sanctions imposed on Russia open new opportunities for its neighbours, says a French expert

  16 March 2022    Read: 467
  Sanctions imposed on Russia open new opportunities for its neighbours, says a French expert

Although sanctions imposed against Russia are already affecting neighbouring countries, they are slightly different, said Maxime Gauin, an expert at the French Center for Eurasian Studies.

Speaking about the risks and opportunities that sanctions could create in the region, Maxim Gauin stated that Belarus has already been affected by sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia. "Therefore, Lukashenko has so far refrained from direct involvement in the war and has not sent its troops to help Russia”, the French historian highlighted.

Maxim Gauin noted that since gaining independence, Kazakhstan, a partner of Russia, has not only refused to intervene in Ukraine but also offered not to transport its gas from Russia. Instead, they transport gas from Azerbaijan repeating Azerbaijan's strategy.  Gauin stressed the growing need for Azerbaijani gas adding that Western countries will only appreciate it.

Also, the expert mentioned the increase in the value of the manat in international markets emphasizing that Azerbaijan makes full use of its sixth sense policy:

- The Azerbaijani government has reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sent medical aid to Ukraine, and instructed SOCAR to provide free fuel to ambulances at gas stations. Like everyone else, Baku, which has recently witnessed the incompetence of the Russian army (it observed Russian military equipment better than anyone in 2020), has recently taken a hard line on Khankendi and surrounding areas. Russia cannot do much at this time in response to Azerbaijan's firm statement.

Regarding Armenia, Maxim Gauin stated that it was Prime Minister Pashinyan himself who dragged his country closer to sanctions: "Armenia has decided to accept Russian companies trying to evade sanctions. However, Yerevan will only reap short-term benefits. Pashinyan understands that it is against Armenia to attract Russian companies.

"This was the key part of Pashinyan’s latest statement on signing a peace agreement with Azerbaijan. Armenia is pursuing its interests. On the other hand, the decline of Russian economic growth military increases the importance of signing peace deals with its Turkish neighbours", Gauin added.

Gauin also mentioned other effects of sanctions on Russia in the region saying that the suspension of air communication could have negative impacts on Azerbaijan and Turkey.

“However, at the same time, sanctions against Russia could create new opportunities for countries in the region. First of all, these countries will be able to make more independent decisions regarding their economic policies, exports, imports and investments. The only exception is the transportation of Kazakh gas. Russia will not be able to give options to ts neighbours that run counter to their interests", he concluded.

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