Staunton, April 14 – Most analyses of the impact of sanctions in Russia have focused on the way they will affect either the country as a whole or various social groups such as the oligarchs. But Altay State University economist Vasily Privalov notes they have an important regional dimension and that Siberia is being hit harder than anywhere else.
In a comment to the Regnum news agency, Privalov points out that the US sanctions “will hit in the first instance residents of Siberia because the largest enterprises of Deripaska and Potanin are concentrated in Krasnoyarsk kray and Irkutsk oblast” (regnum.ru/news/economy/2404200.html).
Deripaska’s enterprises in these federal subjects alone employ “more than 170,000 people;” and if he is forced to cut back, they will suffer first and then those who support them in the economy of the regions. That is something, Privalov argues, Moscow should be thinking about in structuring its support for those hit by sanctions.
The Altay scholar does not say, but it is obvious that if the firms of the oligarchs in Siberia contract and shed workers, that will not only put the workers and their families in a difficult position, at least some of whom engage in protests but also land the regional governments in difficulties because they will have to scramble to support the unemployed.
Unfortunately, Privalov’s analysis does suggest, few in Moscow are thinking about the regional dimension of the impact of sanctions and thus the center may make decisions which are completely defensible for the country as a whole but which will have especially negative consequences for enormous regions like Siberia.