A Bank of Finland report on Russian foreign trade found, “Overall, our analysis implies that the war and sanctions will take an increasing toll on the Russian economy in the months ahead. The latest forecasts foresee a total decline of Russian GDP [gross domestic product] of roughly 10% in 2022 and 2023.”

Russian companies and consumers have found out the hard way just how vital and beneficial imports can be. “Western governments have made it compulsory for a range of domestic industries to seek licenses before selling to Russia, and they are rarely granted,” reports The Economist. “The restrictions go well beyond ‘dual-use’ products—those with both military and commercial applications, like drones and lasers—to cover advanced kit such as chips, computers, software and energy equipment. They also target low-tech goods, such as chemicals and commodities . . . That is bad news for the country’s manufacturing sector, which needs imported inputs.”

The Economist paints a bleak future for a Russia with fewer imports and high-skilled workers: “So long as America and its allies maintain their sanctions, Russia’s industrial backbone, intellectual brawn and international links will fade, and its future will be one of sagging productivity, little innovation and structural inflation. Economists were wrong to predict an instant crash. What Russia is getting, instead, is a one-way ticket to nowhere.”