The Future of Russia’s Neighbors

A lot has been made of the “reverse sanctions” imposed by the Putin government against Western, and specifically Western European, food products. The nation of Belarus has and continues to be a large supplier of agricultural products to Russia. In spite of many attempts, the Russian agricultural sector continues to lag behind even smaller former Soviet republics.

While one can hear many complaints from the government about banned food gaining entry to Russia via the Eurasian Customs nations such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, the complaining is in reality for show. Those products help keep the inflation of food costs from rising even more rapidly and keeping a ready supply on store shelves.

Moscow 10 June 2015 189 ed
These are carrots imported from Belarus and were purchased yesterday from a large Russian supermarket.

Not only are they very tasty, but are of very nice size. In fact, the quality and size strikes this writer as being even superior to many Western vegetables.

In traveling the Russian countryside, the main source of farm tractors are generally manufactured in Belarus. It is a somewhat backward country in many ways, but one with great agricultural potential in spite of its small size. Belarus, along with Kazakhstan, is one of the Eurasian Custom Union’s founding members.

What do you think about the future of Russia’s closest neighbors?