Following the breakup of the Soviet Union over three decades ago, the Russian market looked promising to Washington businesses. What was once seen as a way to stabilize U.S. and Russian relations is no longer.
Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, made trade increasingly difficult in the years since his nation was made an independent state. With his invasion of Ukraine, the likelihood of our state’s businesses continuing economic ties with Russia look bleaker still.
In 2013, Russia had imported nearly $12.7 million of Washington’s premium apples and $10.3 million of our pears. When Russia invaded Crimea and annexed it from Ukraine the following year, sales declined. In response to sanctions imposed by the U.S., Putin struck back with sanctions of their own, including a ban on many of our agricultural products, such as our fruit. In the years since 2015, not a single Washington apple has been sold inside of Russia.
With the recent sanctions by the U.S. government against Russia in response to their attack on Ukraine, many private companies have stopped conducting business with Russia nor inside its borders, including Boeing. No longer will Boeing purchase titanium from Russia, nor will it provide airplane parts, maintenance, or support services to Russian airlines.