The perversity of war: Russia's billion-dollar export surplus
“War is the father of all things”, as Greek philosopher Heraclitus said more than 2,500 years ago. From a distance, that may be true. But when we look at the images of death, suffering, and destruction in Ukraine, Heraclitus’s hypothesis seems stale and cynical. Because while not all destruction is creative, all destruction is potentially deadly.

A look at Germany's current trade balance also shows how perverse the impact of war can be. German exports to the empire of Russian President Vladimir Putin have plummeted since his attack on Ukraine – partly because the sanctions imposed by Western countries prohibit the export of certain goods, partly because many companies (including and especially in the plastics industry) no longer want to do business with Russia and its murderous regime, and partly for the very pragmatic reason that there are no longer any financing guarantees for exports to Russia. That’s good!

The stream of commodities in the opposite direction has also slowed: less and less gas and oil are flowing to Germany from Russia. The quantity of imported raw materials dropped by more than a quarter in March 2022 compared to the same month last year. And yet Putin and his oligarchs have raked in more money from the petrochemical industry than ever before. As prices for raw materials exploded worldwide – fuelled by unscrupulous speculators from both East and West – Russia’s export surplus with Germany also shot up to a record EUR 3.4 bn in March.

Thirty-four hundred million euros – in just a single month! From a humanitarian point of view, this is perverse. And from the perspective of a national economy, it is unacceptable. It is high time for Germany to make a vigorous attempt at becoming independent of Russian raw material supplies. And it is high time that the CEOs of German blue-chip companies listed on the DAX stock exchange stop branding a possible embargo against Russian gas as the certain downfall of Western civilisation. Because that is wrong – and disgraceful, especially because it plays right into the hands of the Russian dictator.

Christian Preiser
Kunststoff Information
19.05.2022 Plasteurope.com [250286-0]
Published on 19.05.2022

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