WASHINGTON, May 7 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – US companies are more dependent on Russia than vice versa, said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
“US and European corporations need Russia more than Russia needs them. Russia is a big country with a lot of resources, including, most obviously, energy,” Weisbrot told RIA Novosti on Tuesday, commenting on the White House's pressuring of US CEOs not to attend the SPIEF economic summit in St. Petersburg.
“China is also a major trading partner and potential source of investment. China this year will pass up the US to become the largest economy in the world, and in a decade it will be 60 percent larger,” he added.
On Tuesday, media reported the White House was urging the chief executives of America’s largest energy, financial and industrial enterprises to reconsider their participation in this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
Several top executives, however, have denied any reconsideration of their attendance in their comments to the press, Weisbrot said.
“It is clear that the CEOs of US corporations are not happy about the Obama administration's confrontational approach to Russia,” he said, adding that some believe that would make the US corporations lose to European and Asian companies.
“Although the government of Russia may be annoyed by US actions, ultimately, there is very little that the US government can do to punish Russia to behave in a manner it doesn't like,” Weisbrot said.
The US and the EU have already imposed sanctions against Russia after the formerly Ukrainian Crimea joined Russia in March.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week the G7 countries were ready to impose new sanctions on Russian authorities, if Moscow fails to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned that talking in the language of sanctions is "inappropriate and counterproductive" and warned its Western partners about the "boomerang effect" that sanctions would have.