The War between Russia and the United States
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
From the Pentagon Washington announced to the world new sanctions against Russia: one for August 22 and another that would come 90 days later if Moscow does not meet a set of conditions. Seeing that Russia has refrained from using its nuclear weapons against the United States, it is likely to use other forms of retaliation that could affect the entire world.
Russia could ban or restrict its imports of titanium, since it produces one third of the world supply for the aeronautical industry. Its VSMPO-AVISMA company provides 40% of the titanium components for Boeing and 60% for Airbus.
Industrial production of titanium began simultaneously in the United States and in Russia in 1950, but only Russia has been able to produce high quality titanium alloys. Being located between Europe and Asia, Russia could charge high tariffs for transit through its airspace on all cargo and passenger aircraft originating from the US, or it could cancel their flights over its territorial spaces. This would mean a major loss to the competition of other European and Asian airlines. Or they would have to fly around the biggest country in the world and incur major losses.
In addition to restricting titanium, Russia could ban imports of liquid natural gas (LNG) and other energy products since Russian oil and petrochemical exports to the United States amount to 8 billion dollars and are less than 5% of what Russia exports to the whole world. So if Russia cuts off the supply of energy to the US it would end its plan to be an energy exporter.
Although the diplomatic and trading relationship between Russia and the US has worsened significantly, there are still many US corporations that continue to work in Russia, such as, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Boeing, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Alcoa, General Electric, etc.
At the same time there are very few Russian companies established in the US, so Washington could not retaliate with similar measures, although, on the other hand, Russia would receive the benefit of domestic employment for its workers, who are many.
Another possible item Russia might use to counteract the sanctions imposed by the US and its UN supporters would be the RD-180 rocket engines that are crucial to the US space program because both NASA and the Pentagon use them to launch satellites into space, whereas the US has failed in its attempt to manufacture them.
The Atlas V rockets are powered by these engines, in addition to the fact that the US buys Russian RD-181 engines to power Antares rockets that launch Cygnus cargo ships to the NASA Space Station.
Addendum: However, all these possible strategies that Russia could use in its trade war against the United States would barely last for a few days or weeks because Russia totally lacks financial resources and very frugally manages to obtain food and basic materials to enable it to support its population living in poverty and the network of companies in the criminal economy that have been in control of Russia for several years.