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Sanctions biting the West

Today the whole world is suffering the consequences of the ongoing Russo-Ukraine war since February 2022. It is worth noting that Russia had invaded Ukraine, angered by Ukraine's increasing ties with 'NATO', which not only caused huge loss of life and property in Ukraine, but has pushed the world into serious problems. Nobody is spared from rising oil prices, supply chain disruptions, food shortages and due to this, slowing down of growth and rising prices, all over the world. Economic sanctions were imposed by US and its allied European countries with the aim of teaching Russia a lesson. The US believed that the Russian economy would collapse due to these sanctions. But the Russian economy did not collapse, though, the impact of these sanctions is definitely being seen on the countries of the West. It’s important to understand that Russia is a major supplier of gas and crude oil to the world. Russia is the largest exporter of petroleum products and the second largest exporter of crude oil. USA and Europe banned Russia from their payment system 'SWIFT’, aiming to stop Russia selling its oil to the rest of the world. They thought that this would break Russia’s financial backbone. But Russia's strategy dashed their expectations and today USA, and more importantly its friendly European countries are going through a major economic crisis. Realizing that due to the rising oil prices in the world, all countries including Europe will take refuge in Russia in search of cheap oil, Russia started supplying its oil to India at cheap prices and in rupee terms on the one hand, with India increasing her oil imports from Russia by 50 times. On the other hand, it did not face any obstacle in oil payments from European countries, as European countries have increasingly become dependent on cheap oil from Russia, and they continued to buy oil from Russia, bypassing their own sanctions. In such a situation, the impact of these sanctions on the Russian economy was minimal. After that, perturbed with the continuation of economic sanctions by European countries, Russian President Putin decided to reduce the supply of oil to these countries. Germany, which was still unaffected by the economic crises of the European countries for the last few decades, is now in the grip of oil shortage due to Russia's strategy. This naturally had an impact on electricity generation in Germany. Not only has the cost of power generation increased there, the supply of electricity has also come under threat.  The German government is saying that this is an economic attack by Russian President Putin on Europe and that Putin's strategy is to engineer inflation in Europe, create energy insecurity and create division amongst loop the countries of Europe.

Today, when the US and European countries are providing economic and security aid to Ukraine against Russia and jointly carrying out economic sanctions by them, Russia's action can be understood as a natural retaliation. Europe should not forget that they themselves have been isolating Russia from the global financial network, imposing heavy taxes on Russian products as well as imposing various sanctions on Russian goods, trying to destroy the chain of oil exports; attacking Russia's banks and financial Institutions, businesses and government enterprises. So how can those countries expect any cooperation and assistance from the Russian President? All projections of America and Europe have failed and they are no longer able to bear the flames of Putin's vengeance. Perhaps America and Europe thought that the whole world would turn against Russia and they would succeed in their objective of teaching Putin a lesson. But all their guesses proved to be wrong and the effect of the actions of America and Europe was that today the whole world, including America and Europe, is plagued by inflation, food crisis, energy crisis and supply chain disruptions. It is true that the countries of the world including India believe that peace should soon be restored in the world, Russia should stop this war now. No doubt world’s sympathies are with the people of Ukraine. But at the same time the countries of the world are also apprehensive of economic sanctions being imposed by the countries of America and Europe. Even before this, when India carried out a nuclear explosion in Pokhran in 1998, America had imposed economic sanctions on India. Even after that, America has been threatening to impose economic sanctions on India on any small issue. 

Today, economic sanctions imposed on Russia have started affecting the whole world including America and Europe themselves; and these sanctions do not appear to have much effect on Russia. Russia is not only ridiculing these economic sanctions, the demand for their withdrawal by other countries of the world is also gaining momentum. Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has said that economic sanctions against Russia are not working and Brazil has started buying fertilizers from Russia keeping in mind the interests of its country, further deepening its economic ties with Russia. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also urged the US to withdraw their economic sanctions. US and European countries are not only tightening their sanctions but are also pressurizing other countries to become a part of them too. But India, Brazil and other countries are not only continuing their relations with Russia, but also deepening the same, ignoring US’s advice. What is needed today is that US and European countries understand the reality and find a solution to this problem through diplomatic efforts other than economic sanctions. Deep understanding between India and Russia and their relations can also be used to end this war.

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