The Russian government has officially approved a list of more than 30 “friendly” and neutral countries, as the sanctions war with the West continues to rage.
The names on the list, which also includes friendly banks and brokers, will be granted access to trade on the Russian foreign exchange market and the derivatives market. The order, which holds significance in the world of international finance, was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and is now publicly available on the government’s official website.
The list comprises a diverse range of nations, encompassing both traditional allies and countries with a neutral stance towards Russia as well as those that have eschewed the international sanctions regime and are actively acting as middle men to allow Russia to buy sanctioned goods on the international markets.
Among the countries included are former Soviet republics such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which have always been in Moscow’s orbit as they remain economically dependent on Russia.
African nations also feature prominently, including Algeria, Morocco and South Africa. The Kremlin has been building on good relations that are a Soviet legacy and Russia’s lack of a colonial past. African nations are looking to Moscow to supply them with metal, minerals, grains, oil, nuclear technology and arms.
At the second Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg at the end of July even more countries attended than at the first in 2019, despite heavy US pressure to stay away.
Russia has made great inroads into building up support amongst the Africans, while Western efforts to do the same are in disarray, especially those of France, which is being pushed out of one country after the other thanks to its lingering colonial attitude.
Russia has also successfully expanded its influence in Asia, South America and the Middle East as part of its BRICS+ project, as well as tightening relations with the world’s other major oil producers.
The BRICS+ now control some two thirds of global oil production and intra-BRICS trade is flourishing as Russia replaces its former trade partners with those from the Global South. Prominent BRICS countries such as India and China are also on the list as well, as the new members of the BRICS+ club.
Russia’s friendly and neutral countries list is as follows:
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa