The US and EU have given Russia a free ride on the western economic system, writes Prof. Peter Morici. Russian exports enjoy open access to western markets, while Moscow maintains barriers on imports. Russian enterprises invest freely in the West, while western investors are increasingly excluded and their property is far from safe.
Russia has shown its teeth in Georgia, and other adventures cannot be ruled out. European dependence on Russian gas and the absence of consensus within NATO make this a broad menace to regional security. Russia’s invasion of Georgia should compel the US and Europe to alter their policies of economic engagement to promote democracy.
It is high time the United States and EU reevaluate open commerce and dependence on Russian resources. Russian exports and investment should be welcome only to the extent U.S. and European investments are welcome in Russia. Europeans need to find alternatives to Russian natural gas. A new realism should guide US and European policy.