Counting the Cost

Can oil and China help Russia survive Western sanctions?

Western sanctions have shut Russia out of the global financial system. Can it rely on oil and gas? Will China help?

Massive Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine have excluded some of Russia’s banks from the SWIFT payment system and barred the central bank from accessing its huge dollar reserves.

But the country’s biggest earner – the oil and gas industry – has been spared.

Most of Europe relies on Russia for energy. China is also a sizable consumer. Moscow and Beijing share warm ties and Russia could move towards Chinese financial initiatives set up to rival the West.

We also look at the implications of the war for global food security. More than a quarter of wheat exports come from Russia and Ukraine and grain prices have skyrocketed.