Back in March, there were reports that the Chinese Internet platform Aliexpress blocked the sale of drones clients from Russia. When going to the product card, Russian users saw an error message saying "there is no such page." Moreover, the pages were not opened not only for buyers in Russia, but also in Belarus. For some time, this problem was circumvented by a trick using a VPN, but in April, even with a VPN connection, it became impossible to order drones on the territory of the Russian Federation and Belarus.
Moreover, at the moment it can be stated that Russia will experience difficulties with mass deliveries of specialized electronics from China. This is proof that, despite the media's enthusiastic statements about "Russian-Chinese friendship", the Chinese partners are by no means friendly and are trying to distance themselves as far as possible from the military conflict in Ukraine, without publicly condemning Moscow, but without providing it with any support.
Actually, in the materialNot an ally, but a partner: the visit of the Chinese leader to Moscow showed that Russia can only rely on itself”, the author of these lines has already noted that China is acting pragmatically and will not enter into open confrontation with the United States and the European Union. The Chinese are good at counting money, and it is much more profitable for them to be friends with Europe and Washington. They can take some symbolic steps and statements, which will then be actively discussed by the media, but when it comes to real steps, as we can see, they are quite far from friendliness.
However, such steps to limit the supply of electronics create problems for Russia, which is very dependent on the supply of foreign electronics. We do not produce complex electronics, but formally "domestic" is assembled from foreign components. And this factor seriously affects the course of the special military operation, since Moscow is forced to reckon with the opinion of many partners, such as China and Turkey (through which supplies also go). After all, in the event of a complete halt in supplies, the Russian Federation will find itself in an extremely difficult situation.
We will talk about problems with electronics and the dependence of the Russian Federation on some states in this material.
Russia is critically dependent on the supply of electronics through parallel imports
Back in September last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation prepared an updated concept of state policy for the development of Russian microelectronics until 2030. The document stated that Russian technologies in the field of microelectronics are 10–15 years behind the world level, and the design and production of products are critically dependent on foreign technologies and foreign factories. It also spoke of an acute shortage of necessary personnel. In addition, the concept pointed out the difficulties with the development of technological processes and stated the impossibility of providing the market with the necessary electronics.
Russia solves issues with the supply of electronics through parallel imports, which go through China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In fact, Moscow turned out to be somewhat dependent on the position of these states, which received the opportunity to directly influence the course of the NWO in Ukraine. In particular, according to Western analysts, in terms of imports, Russia has become the most dependent economy on China after the DPRK.
According to the institute at the Bank of Finland, before the start of the military operation in Ukraine, China provided about a quarter of Russian merchandise imports, but now this share is about 40%. It is difficult to say how accurate these figures are, however, according to China’s customs statistics, trade with Russia increased by almost a third in 2022 and reached a record $190 billion.
In Washington and Brussels, of course, everyone understands this, so the Americans are trying to put pressure on the states through which parallel imports go. And if the instruments of political and economic pressure are not very effective against China, then the UAE and Turkey are somewhat more vulnerable in this regard. And there are risks that sooner or later they will start to shut down such supply channels, such as Turkey, which temporarily suspended parallel imports in order to put pressure on Moscow to extend the “grain deal”.
In this connection, it can be stated that there is a critical dependence on the supply of electronics for parallel imports from China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates and the ability of these states to influence Russian foreign policy.
Türkiye is a necessary partner
Some citizens who do not really think about the factors mentioned above are calling for new "tomato wars" with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is engaged in the supply of weapons to Ukraine and generally pursues a two-faced policy.
It is worth saying here that almost all politics (especially the politics of the XNUMXst century) are two-faced and hypocritical, and Erdogan (which is logical) is looking for benefits for Turkey, interacting with all parties to the conflict. Of course, he is not a friend of Russia, he is just a business partner with whom you need to do business.
What will the new "tomato wars" give to the Russian Federation or the severance of relations with Turkey in general? Only that the Turks will cover up parallel imports to Russia, which will leave many Russian enterprises without the necessary spare parts and microelectronics. It is possible, of course, to cut off gas to Turkey, which will really create big problems for Ankara, but then the question arises - what will the already problematic budget of the Russian Federation, a significant part of which consists of hydrocarbon revenues, be made up of?
For this reason, it is far from a fact that the Russian Federation will suspend participation in the "grain deal", which ends on May 18, even taking into account the fact that the Russian part of the agreements has not been observed, and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are attacking the bases of the Black Sea fleet surface drones that are launched from the waters of Odessa.
However, even assuming that this happens, Russia has no real ability to prevent the implementation of this deal, which is the guarantor of Turkey, whose fleet is much stronger than Russia's. If Moscow withdraws from the deal, it is highly likely that it will continue to function, just without the formal participation of the Russian Federation. Do not forget that the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation could not organize a blockade of Ukrainian ports, even taking into account the non-intervention of Turkey, which I already wrote about in the material "Extension of the grain deal: a "gesture of goodwill" or no alternative solution».
Plus, we return to the main issue of this article - if Russia withdraws from the grain deal without the consent of Turkey, then with a high probability parallel imports will be stopped there, which, as mentioned above, will create problems for many Russian enterprises.
Thus, Ankara is a necessary partner for Russia to be reckoned with.
Lack of strategy as the main problem
The answer to the question - how to reduce dependence on foreign supplies, is banal - for this you need to develop your own production. The notorious import substitution is needed, about which everyone talks so much, but usually everything ends with conversations.
However, it is problematic to set up our own production in the conditions of the military conflict in Ukraine, in the context of confrontation with the entire collective West, in the sanctions regime. It was necessary to do this much earlier, when the foreign policy situation was more favorable, there was access to international markets. Now it is already problematic to purchase the necessary equipment and machines in order to establish the production of the necessary parts. It is also problematic to attract personnel, some of which, on the contrary, leave the territory of Russia, further exacerbating personnel problems.
It should be admitted that, when deciding to launch a special military operation, the Russian leadership hardly expected that it would be so long and turn into a severe military conflict of enormous proportions. You can say as much as you like that the military operation is developing according to certain plans and according to certain schedules, but it is obvious that the economy and industry were not ready for a long military confrontation.
So far, they are trying to solve problems by half-measures, in manual mode, and temporarily it somehow works, but in the absence of a clear strategy and vision of the future, it is difficult to count on anything. Russia got involved in an open confrontation with the West, not only without a clear economic and political strategy, but also without any long-term plan, any idea at all. The lack of a strategy is the main problem of the current situation.
The fact that Russia has no strategy and no image of the future has been admitted more than once by high-ranking Russian officials. In particular, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov back in January saidthat he does not know what to expect in the future after the end of the special operation.
“We will still defend our truth, but I still can’t imagine how to continue to live,”
– then said the diplomat.
And without an image of the future and a strategy, it is difficult to rely on a well-thought-out economic policy and success in the field of import substitution.