Russian Economy Overtakes Germany, UK and France Despite Western Sanctions
© Sputnik . Alexey SuhorukovThe 200 and 2000 ruble banknotes.
© Sputnik . Alexey Suhorukov
The conflict in Ukraine and US-led sanctions on Russia have wreaked havoc on European economies. Dr Jack Rasmus, professor of economics and politics at St Mary's College in California, said that was Washington's plan all along.
Russia's economy has overtaken Germany's thanks to US efforts to provoke a recession in Europe, says an economist.
The World Bank reported last week that by the end of 2022, Russia's wealth in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms exceeded $5 trillion for the first time — putting it ahead of Western Europe's three biggest economies France, financial giant the UK and industrial powerhouse Germany.
PPP takes into account the varying cost of goods and services between different countries, not just raw gross domestic product (GDP).
Dr Jack Rasmus told Sputnik that what Russia's rise "really represents is that Europe is slowing down its economy, particularly Germany."
"A lot of that has to do with global forces that were set in motion by the US driving Russia out of the Western European economy, providing cheaper energy," Rasmus said. "And now they're paying more: they — Germany and Europe — pay more for US goods, particularly energy. And that's taking its toll. It's slowing the economy down."
4 August 2023, 17:10
US President Joe Biden claimed in March 2022 that the "ruble is rubble" as a result of Western sanctions — just before the Russian currency surged to its strongest exchange rate against the US Dollar in years.
That September, the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were sabotaged, an act that award-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed was carried out by the Biden administration.
The academic argued that Russia's economic growth did not mean the US had failed in its strategic objectives for the Ukraine conflict.
"The US is actually obtaining its objectives, which are to drive Russia totally not just in energy out of Western Europe, so that the US economy and capitalism can enter that vacuum and make Europe more economically dependent on the US," Rasmus said. "That's an objective of this war, to make Europe dependent economically on the US, which allows the US to manipulate it in many ways."
"If you look at Europe, it's sliding into being an economic vassal of the United States," he noted. "I think that was an objective. And politically, Europe has no foreign policy now. NATO is driving Europe's foreign policy."
But Washington's long-term goal remains to engineer regime-change in Moscow and balkanize Russia.
"That's been a Neocon wet dream since 1999 to pretty much debilitate, break up Russia and get all the resources," Rasmus said. "And face it, the Neocons have been running US policy here since the late nineties, since Bill Clinton couldn't keep his zipper closed."
"What they want, ultimately, is to dismember Russia and to go to war with China," he added. "It's crazy, and it's World War Three, and you've got demented old leaders in the US who are just putty in the hands of the Neocons."
For more in-depth analysis of top news stories, tune in to our Sputnik Radio show The Critical Hour.