Russian and US trade ministers agreed on Monday that a possible Indo-Russian trade war is possible.
Russian Trade Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Monday in the meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that Russia has no interest in being left behind in a trade war with the United States, according to a statement by his office.
Russia is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which was formed in 2002 after the Soviet Union’s collapse.
“We have a good basis for trade negotiations, and we have a great basis for a potential SCO-Russia trade war,” Shuvalo said.
“We are ready to negotiate with the US if it wants to join the SCO.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump after they spoke during the opening ceremony of the SCOC summit at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 21, 2017.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Zemlianichenko, who was in Beijing on the occasion, said that Russia would try to join a “larger regional trading bloc”.
The SCO is currently based in Singapore and includes China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.
Shuvalov’s statement comes amid a recent spate of tensions between Russia and the US, which has accused Moscow of meddling in the US election, as well as sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea.
“A possible SCO trade war could have significant implications for our bilateral relations and the development of our economy,” Shuvelacov said.
“I am not saying that there is any risk, but this would be a huge blow for the Russian economy, which is already suffering from the current economic recession.”
In the SCOP, there are two economic groups, the export sector and the import sector.
A possible SCOP-US war would have an impact on the export sectors,” he said.