Starting from August 1st, Russia has introduced a significant increase in “recycling fees” for the import of used cars.  Although the stated reason for this increase is ‘to foster domestic automobile production,’  Andriy Glenko, an international political scholar, was asked about the true intentions behind this move. He said, ‘Perhaps it is as it appears on the surface, Russia is planning to distance itself from the “liberal west” for an extended period. In other words, it is aiming for isolationism/protectionism. Not only in the used car import automotive industry but since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, western car manufacturers have withdrawn, and there is little expectation that they will return. This “fee” increase could be seen as an attempt to foster their domestic car industry.’

If Russia does indeed enter a state of isolationism/protectionism, it is possible that the export of used cars from Japan to Russia may not return to it’s pre-war levels again (while Putin is at the helm at least).