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Russia produces a mere 3 percent of the global GDP. The US economy is 12 times bigger than Russia’s. Even the Indian economy is almost double that of Russia’s. The US, China, Japan, Germany, India, the UK, France, Brazil, Italy and Canada all produce bigger GDPs than Russia. Russia’s share in global exports stands at a paltry 2.5 percent. As far as the global economy is concerned, Russia is not a very important player.

Russia spends $62 billion a year on defence which is around 3 percent of global spending on defence. The US spends $778 billion a year on defence nearly 13 times more than Russia (US expenditure on defense amounts to 39 percent of the global total). The US, China and India all spend more on defense than does Russia. As far as the global expenditure on defence is concerned, Russia is only a minor player.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, less than one percent of our exports go to Russia. Pakistan’s exports to Russia include citrus ($60 million), non-knit men’s suits ($20 million) and leather apparel ($17 million). As far as imports into Pakistan are concerned, 0.9 percent of our imports come from Russia – cereals $287 million, vegetables $138 million and rubbers $29 million. Russia has little or no role for Pakistan’s economy.

As far as the IMF is concerned, Pakistan is into its 23rd programme. This year, Pakistan’s trade deficit is being projected to be $40 billion-and without the IMF this trade deficit is not sustainable. This year, Pakistan’s gross external financing need stands at around $30 billion. To be certain, without the IMF our external financing need cannot be met. At the IMF, Russia has 2.59 percent of the total votes. On the other side of the equation, the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK and Italy control more than 40 percent of the voting power. Obviously, Russia cannot help us at the IMF.

Yes, Russia is one of the 37 full members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) but Russia is not a member jurisdiction of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). Clearly, Russia cannot be of any help at the APG.

Pakistan’s external debt now stands at $130 billion, 8 percent of which is held by the Paris Club of which Russia is one of the 22 members. As of 30th of June 2021, public and publicly guaranteed debt outstanding to Russia stood at $68 million or a mere 0.05 percent of our total debt.

Yes, Russia exports $123 billion worth of crude petroleum, $17 billion worth of coal briquettes and $8 billion worth of wheat. The most common Russian export destinations are China ($58 billion), Netherlands ($42 billion), Belarus ($20 billion), Germany ($19 billion) and Italy ($17 billion). Countries in Western Europe import 25 percent of their oil and 40 percent of their gas from Russia. Yes, Russia has a political lever over countries of Western Europe.

From Russia with love. Our foreign policy is emotion-driven. Our foreign policy is hope-driven. Yes, Pakistan would have to pay a heavy cost for an emotion-driven foreign policy. We must have a national interest-driven foreign policy. We must have a data-driven foreign policy. Hope is neither a policy nor a plan.

Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com

Dr Farrukh Saleem, "Russia," The News. 2022-02-27.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Foreign policy , Political lever , Jurisdiction , Economy , Exports , Russia , France , Germany , FATF , GDPs , IMF