Published time: April 17, 2014 10:48
RIA Novosti / Alexey Maishev
Russian Communists are planning a mass campaign promoting a voluntary boycott of all American goods as proof that Russians cannot be intimidated by sanctions.
The head of the Communist Party’s legal department, Vladimir Solovyov said that his comrades intend to set an example in the campaign, at least in its first stages. He also promised that the politicians will find suitable replacements for all US products and share this information with anyone who wishes to join in.
“If our citizens stop buying their goods and our businessmen stop buying them, the Americans are going to lose our market. I would also not exclude that dollar circulation would stop, as there are replacements for it, like the euro,” Solovyov said in an interview with Izvestia daily. “It is really easy to find replacements for everything American with the market we currently have,” the top Communist functionary added.
Another top Communist, lower house MP Sergey Obukhov agreed with the idea, but said that a universal boycott might prove to be too complicated and suggested pinpoint action instead. It is important that specialists in statistics establish groups of goods the rejection of which by Russians would deal the heaviest blow to the US economy, the politician said.
Deputy chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Committee Valery Rashkin also supported the initiative, but said that the boycott should be strictly voluntary
“I myself hold that we should give priority to the goods that are produced in Russia. They are of high quality and they are cheap. But it is categorically unadvisable to ban everything else,” Rashkin told reporters.
According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, American exports to Russia amounted to $10.7 billion in 2012. Russia’s exports to the US in 2012 was $29.3 billion.
Earlier this month, a group of Russian MPs headed by a representative of the populist nationalist party LDPR suggested Russian oil and gas producers and traders stop using the US dollar as this, in their opinion, was sharing profits with the USA, and making Russia vulnerable to western sanctions.
The idea was welcomed and promoted, by the head of the major state-owned VTB bank, among others.
LDPR also drafted a bill restricting US dollar circulation in Russia, but it was soon withdrawn for rewriting.