“Asia Times”: Russia will emerge stronger from their sanctioned hour

11:01 01.07.2022 •

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum-2022 (SPIEF 2022) saw thousands of participants, energized, and re-establishing old relationships and constructing new contacts, writes “Asia Times”. The event ran from June 15-18.

Despite relatively low attendance numbers partly due to the ongoing sanctions and the hangover from the Covid-19 pandemic, SPIEF 2022 saw thousands of participants, energized, and re-establishing old relationships and constructing new contacts, article says.

The breakout sessions and discussions were also well populated, and no vacant seats were to be found where the key topics were Asian issues and Western investments. In not so many words, the accumulative sentiment was this: The companies present exhibited a desire to serve and protect their commercial interests and conduct business as usual.

Addressing the attendees, Putin said in a 73-minute speech that history had proved the resilience of Russia and the country would weather Western sanctions aimed at harming it economically.

Within the modern 50,000-square-meter convention and exhibition complex that is even equipped with helicopter pads, running concurrently was the SPIEF Investment and Business Expo, where three massive halls witnessed busy dialogues over B2B solutions and demonstrations of cutting-age technology.

Several corporate and government organizations cleverly rode on the publicity of SPIEF-2022, choosing to announce over the PA system at the exhibition halls signing ceremonies of deals and contracts done and dusted before the forum itself.

The buzz created from all these activities certainly gave pause to the efficacy of sanctions. Contrary to reports by some international media, “unfriendly” and Western counterparts were in attendance. The atmosphere among all parties, regardless of their political inclinations, was not hostile and tense as reported by some but relaxed and friendly.

If Russians choose to heed their president’s call to pull up their bootstraps, it is not inconceivable that the country will emerge stronger from their sanctioned hour.