Russia will ‘never return to the West’ – business ombudsman

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The country is intent on expanding cooperation with the Global East and South instead, Boris Titov insists

Russia is firmly focused on reorienting trade and business cooperation toward the Global East and South and away from the West, Presidential Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov told RIA Novosti in an interview published on Monday.

According to the official, the country’s pivot away from the West is not a political decision nor something “done out of spite or malice,” but a course chosen for purely economic reasons.

It’s just that the West is already a closed chapter. It is, if you like, a thing of the past for humanity. The future is the East, the so-called global South,” Titov stated, adding that it is unlikely that Russia would pursue economic cooperation with Western countries in the future.

You know, even if we imagine that Washington and Brussels lifted all sanctions placed on Russia [in connection with the Ukraine conflict] tomorrow and reached out to us again, we would never turn to the West again. There will be no return. And not only because their actions toward Russia were unacceptable,” he said.

Eastern countries are developing dynamically, they possess powerful human capital resources and are the place where the latest technologies are developed, Titov explained.

And this is where our friends are, those who want not just to be friends, but to develop trade and economic relations with Moscow,” he concluded.

Russia has been steadily expanding ties with countries in the Global East and South in recent years, and this process has greatly picked up speed and scope due to the conflict in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions against Moscow. Russia rerouted the bulk of its energy exports to Asia last year, becoming the top supplier of oil to both China and India.

Statistics from the Finance Ministry show that 60% of the country’s exports are now going to Asia. At the same time, Russia’s trade with ‘unfriendly’ countries, or those that support sanctions, plunged threefold since 2021, and is on course for a further decline.

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