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Western Sanctions Aim to Pressure Nations to Ditch Trade With Russia and Follow US-Diktat: Experts

© AP Photo / Charlie RiedelIn this April 24, 2015 file photo, pumpjacks work in a field near Lovington, N.M. The United States may have reclaimed the title of the world's biggest oil producer sooner than expected
In this April 24, 2015 file photo, pumpjacks work in a field near Lovington, N.M. The United States may have reclaimed the title of the world's biggest oil producer sooner than expected - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.02.2023
Bangladesh on Monday banned Russian vessels from entering the country's shipping lanes due to the looming threat of US sanctions.
A day after Bangladesh reportedly disallowed Russian ships from foraying into its waters, geopolitical experts say the US-led embargo will not stop Moscow from trading with Dhaka — or elsewhere in the South Asian region.
Sergio Rossi, professor of macroeconomics and monetary economics at Switzerland's University of Fribourg, said that while these restrictions will negatively affect both countries over the short run, insofar as their foreign trade suffers from a reduction in business volumes, this will not impede Russia in exporting its items to Bangladesh.
In this regard, Russia could seek China's assistance to overcome the barriers, Rossi suggests.
"This can occur via some foreign assistance, say through China, which may operate as a commercial intermediary, that is, transporting to Bangladesh those commodities that Russia sells to it," Rossi told Sputnik on Tuesday.
Rossi, however, acknowledged that the tri-partite association between Russia, China, and Bangladesh will not prevent the costs of imports to Dhaka from escalating, on top of slowing down the supply of goods.
"Such a triangular relationship, nevertheless, will increase the costs of Russian commodities imported into Bangladesh and may also slow down their supply. Both these factors will weigh more on Bangladesh than on Russia eventually," the Switzerland-based geopolitical expert added.
Rossi then pointed out that such port entry bans can be circumvented with the help of intermediate nations and through alternate transportation methods.
"The effectiveness of this kind of bans increases in line with the number of countries adopting them, but can be circumvented in so far as there will be some alternatives in regard to both transportation means and intermediate countries," Rossi said.
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Dr. Anuradha Chenoy, retired professor at the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at India's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), echoed views similar to those of Rossi.

"Port entry bans depend on the country concerned. Countries with political and economic strength like Turkiye, India, and Malaysia can leverage their ties with the US-EU to circumvent sanctions. But for weaker and isolated countries, this is harder," Chenoy said in an exclusive interaction with Sputnik.

Chenoy then noted that it was in the interest of the US to economically contain Russia, and so they would like to see Russia-Bangladesh ties take a hit. However, this could be temporary, depending on how Russia and Bangladesh hold up. It also depends on the independence of Bangladesh's strategic vision.
But the University of Fribourg professor stressed that the alternatives were certain to increase business and labor costs across markets, and also impact the job prospects of young professionals in Bangladesh.

US Trying Hard to Ensure Its Hegemony in South Asia

As a US delegation headed by State Department Counselor Derek Chollet is visiting Pakistan and Bangladesh this week, Rossi expects Washington to exert pressure on both Islamabad and Dhaka to reduce their cooperation with Russia, especially what concerns the energy sector.
Meanwhile, the retired JNU academician said that the US was doing all this as part of its strategy to create a ring of satellite states in the Global South. The purpose is to make these states make policy decisions according to the US diktat — be it economic or geostrategic.
Notably, Bangladesh is heavily dependent on Russian supplies for its massive Rooppur nuclear power project.
A majority of the material needed for the under-construction power plant comes from Russia. Recently, a Russian ship that was carrying equipment for the power plant was denied entry into Bangladesh. The vessel eventually made its way back to Russia without delivering the cargo to the South Asian country.
Sharing her views on the matter, Prof. Chenoy said that the move by Bangladesh to bar the entry of 69 Russian ships is a consequence of US-EU attempts to throttle the Russian economy and bring it to its knees as part of the US-EU geopolitical strategy of attaining hegemony on the Eurasian continent.
She added that the new set of sanctions targeting ports and Russian ships are aimed at disrupting Russian exports, ranging from fuel to commodities.

"The Rooppur nuclear energy plant is to provide energy to Bangladesh and is critical for their development. Russia is to provide the nuclear fuel needed for this. The US-EU would like to take over this contract for nuclear supplies at a higher price and receive payment in dollars," the New Delhi-based expert on Russia explained.

"The US-EU are pressuring smaller and weaker countries that are already indebted to join their stranglehold and comply with sanctions. Countries like Bangladesh are too weak to resist this US-EU pressure," she concluded.