Although economists agree on little, they do know that there is not one modern example of a successful economy cut off from globalization. The old import-substitution models are thoroughly discredited. The success stories of the past half century – China, the Four Tigers, India, and Brazil – have succeeded by opening, not closing their economies. Well, Putin has assured his people that Russia is unique, but I doubt it can grow on its own reverting to old Soviet planned economy tricks. One of Russia’s most prominent economists put it this way: “It is a pure fantasy that something good can come of isolation.” Other sensible Russian economists, including the former dean of Russia’s top economics school, are already calculating the immense damage that sanctions will impose.
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