Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
The Ukrainian cities fell one after another, dispelling the West’s hopes of quickly defeating Russia by striking its economy, weakening it and removing it from the ranks of the great powers.US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin thus revealed his country’s wishes and goals during the first weeks of the war. Russian President Vladimir Putin seems not in a hurry to end the battle in Ukraine. The West seems determined – by providing Kyiv with a continuous flow of weapons regardless of the Russian military superiority and success on the battlefield – to prevent Ukraine from signing a treaty that satisfies Russia. The US and the EU insist on hurting Russia, but they feel the pain due to the thirst for energy, the increased oil prices that range between 108 and 120 dollars per barrel, and the failure of Ukraine to protect Donbass.
In addition, Russia sees how the US and Europe are economically affected by the sanctions imposed on Russia. Moscow is watching how the West is draining itself financially and militarily because of the continuous and costly direct support for Kyiv. The European population are the first victims of inflation that will not be tolerated for long. Moreover, the European Union’s decision to reduce dependence on Russian energy will damage the EU industries to the level of permanent collapse, especially those associated with aluminium, glass, chemical and heating industries.
Such a collapse would have dire consequences on the European economy and herald inevitable social unrest after the summer. Russia has reduced shipments through Nord Stream One pipeline by 60%, and the whole pipeline is due to be shut down this month for maintenance. Moscow said it needs turbine maintenance, while Germany has raised doubts that Nord Stream will resume pumping after that. It is difficult to understand the European approach, which imposes harsh sanctions on Russia, supplies Ukraine with weapons, and still expects the Russian gas to flow to the old continent until EU leaders find other alternatives at their own comfort. But the biggest problem lies in the following question: Will one of the superpowers accept losing, and how will the loser react?
President Joe Biden visited Europe to meet with the wealthy G7 countries in Germany, with clear goals to ensure that they stand firm and cooperate with the US to maintain solidarity in unified stances against Russia, no matter how painful the cost would be. The US persuaded Britain, Canada and Japan to join it by imposing sanctions on issuing Russian gold, of which Britain imports 90% of the total Russian export. Moscow sells more than 19 billion dollars annually in gold, which comes second to only energy exports.
The US has been unsuccessful thus far in persuading more than two-thirds of the world nations to join the West in imposing sanctions on Russia or on countries that maintain a relationship with Moscow (i.e. Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America). Indeed, only 16% of the world’s population has sanctioned Moscow. Consequently, these Western measures indicate the US’s determination and hope to win over Russia or at least cripple its economy.
As long as Washington uses unilateral and non-UN sanctions on Moscow, this means two points: first, the US is convinced that Russia will not be defeated by military means and that only the use of nuclear military force – that no nation wants to resort to because of the mass destruction it causes – can affect the results of war in Ukraine. Second, economic sanctions are the only Western way to impose soft defeat on Russia in the hope of subjugating it or pushing it into an internal economic upheaval that changes the regime in Moscow. For several reasons, quoted below, the US cannot build on this assumption.
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher.