What does Russia trade, and with whom?
Curious about specifically what kinds of trade sanctions (as opposed to financial sanctions, which I covered in more depth here) might cause most harm to Russia? In other words, what does Russia most rely on from overseas, whether in terms of imports sucked into the country, and exports sent out. Here are some clues.
First, here’s what Russia exports. In each of these charts, by the way, you can see more detail if you hover your mouse over the graphic itself. Notice anything particularly glaringly dominant?
And below is where the exports go. In short: oil/gas, and Netherlands/Germany/China are by far and away the most important nodes in Russia’s trade relationship (goods trade, that is) with the rest of the world.
the main products the country imports. Here, the main import is cars, but note that the picture is far less dominated by one specific product than with its exports, which are primarily fossil-fuel-related.
And here is where those imports come from:
You might find the charts above of particular use when contemplating why particular countries are so reluctant (or indeed so open) to impose sanctions on Russia. The graphics are from this brilliant MIT project. Well worth perusing when you have an idle moment.