Russia's Trade Nears Prewar Levels As It Defies G7 Sanctions

  • Russia’s three largest ports, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Novorossiisk, are seeing trade volumes approach pre-Ukraine war levels.
  • Moscow has rerouted Western goods through third countries like Turkey and Kazakhstan, projecting an economic growth of over 2% this year.
  • While government military spending boosted household incomes, it led to a depreciated ruble and a spike in inflation, prompting the Russian Central Bank to significantly increase interest rates.

Russia Trade

Trade at Russia’s three largest ports has been surging and is approaching prewar levels despite sweeping sanctions by the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies, according to a new report.

“Activity in Russia’s ports is surprisingly high. For the first time since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, the volume of goods unloaded at Russia’s three largest container ports, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Novorossiisk, is approaching the levels seen at the outbreak of the war,” the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany wrote in a report published on September 7.


The United States and its allies imposed harsh economic sanctions on Russia after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, banning high-tech exports needed for industrial production and cutting off many of its banks from Western financial markets.

Many economists expected a steep contraction in Russian economic activity now that it was isolated from the West.