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Former UN staffer explains why sanctions on Moscow failed

Western attempts to derail the Russian economy by imposing thousands of sanctions, cutting it off from the SWIFT payment system, and pressurizing Western firms to leave, have all failed, Arjun Katoch, a former UN staffer and Indian army officer asserted in an interview with RT.

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According to Katoch, Russia was able to resist the measures since it spent a significant amount of time and effort preparing itself. “[It is] a remarkable feat of foresight,” he said. Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Bank of Russia, should get a “significant amount of credit” for preparing the Russian economy for the Western backlash over the conflict in Ukraine.

Katoch also said that Russia’s pivot towards the East, where it has increased its volume of trade with countries such as China and India, has helped soften the blow of sanctions to an extent. “They are re-establishing or establishing the North-South transit corridor” which he explained would lead to more economic engagement with the East, adding that the Russian economy was projected to grow in contrast to Europe where many economies have “stalled.”

In its latest World Economic Outlook published Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Russia’s economy would grow 3.2% in 2024, exceeding the forecast growth rates for the US, the UK, Germany, and France.

Regarding frontline developments in the Ukraine conflict, Katoch, who retired from the Indian Army as a colonel in 1991 and later headed the field coordination support section in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which was involved in global disaster response, claimed that Ukraine’s failure in its counteroffensive last year was “a matter of hubris.” He remarked that the “Ukrainian army did not have air supremacy, nor did it have supremacy in artillery,” and that it could not have broken through Russian lines with such deficits.

Last week, Katoch wrote in an article for The Print that the conflict “is a full spectrum economic, financial, and military US-led Western war on Russia that’s using Ukraine as a proxy.” Russia will win this war,” he argued. “The only question now is how far west will the Russian army go.”

Commenting on India-Russia ties and constant scrutiny form the West over New Delhi’s continuing engagement with Moscow, Katoch noted that New Delhi looks after its own interests. “And our interest is in maintaining historical ties with Russia,” he added, expressing India’s official stance. 

India has repeatedly stressed its resolve to maintain strong ties with Moscow despite Western objections, including criticism over India’s purchase of Russian oil. Last year, bilateral trade rose to an unprecedented $65 billion, mainly on the back of Indian imports of Russian coal and oil.

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