Thursday, February 23, 2023

Ukraine: Who Is Winning And Losing In The Economic War

 22 February 2023

One year ago today, to provide a legal framework for Russian military support to Donetsk and Luhansk which would take the form of a military incursion into Ukrainian territory on February 24, the Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed executive orders to recognize the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lunhansk People's Republic as independent countries

Putin told Russia's national assembly, The Duma, he considered it necessary to take a long overdue decision and to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, and asked  the Assembly of the Russian Federation to support this decision and then ratify the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance with both republics. These two documents will be prepared and signed shortly afterwards.

On Tuesday, February 22, 2022 the Federal Assembly held an extraordinary session and did as Putin had asked: thus kicking off the war that has ravaged Ukraine for the past year.

Russia's recognition of Donetsk and Lughansk was sufficient reason for the U.S. and EU to implement their long planned economic sanctions against Russia:

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy announced that The European Union had agreed new sanctions on Russia that would blacklist more politicians, lawmakers and officials, ban EU investors from trading in Russian state bonds, and target imports and exports with separatist entities.

“This package of sanctions that has been approved by unanimity by the member states will hurt Russia, and it will hurt a lot,” Borrell told a news conference alongside France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at a meeting in Paris.

The package of sanctions included freezing any assets they have in the EU and banning them from traveling to the bloc.

U.S. sanctions on Russia were applied in a coordinated manner.

Germany also halted the approval for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Two days later Russian troops crossed the border and the shooting war began. But it was this day another war began, the economic war that, unless nuclear conflict breaks out and we must all fervently hope that does not happen, will determine eventually the true victors in the war between east and west for global dominance. For that is the true reason behind the proxy war the unfortunate citizens of Ukraine find themselves caught up in now. 

 Throughout the twelve months of the war official narratives in the liberal democracies have pinned the blame for starting the war squarely on Russia, with one frequently repeated item of misinformation being that the Russian invasion was prompted by fear of Ukraine being admitted to NATO membership. It is true that Russia had concerns about its own security when U.S. Presidents have often talked about smashing the Russian threat to peace and democracy (for which you should read getting their greedy hands on Russia's natural resources,) On the other side the anti - war contingent have argued that had Russia been given an undertaking that Ukraine would not be recruited to NATO war could have been avoided. I confess that early in the war I took this line also.

Nothing has changed for me except that I now understand more fully the motivation of the western power, and I think Putin and his associate in the Kremlin always have. Why would Moscow have ceded its claims on Donetsk, Lughansk and Crimea for a worthless  promise from Ukraine and NATO  that Ukraine would not enter NATO?After all NATO recruited Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Hungary after it had promised (bit not committed itself to a binding treaty,) not to recruit former Warsaw pact nations following the break up of The Soviet Union.

Ukraine never needed to join NATO. The USA and the European military powers had trained and equipped Ukraine's armed forces for eight years without Ukraine being in being in NATO, as has now been admitted by NATO's General Secretary. So while Ukraine was already a de facto member of NATO what would have been the point of a worthless agreement that Ukraine wouldn't enter NATO? Are we to assume that Putin and his team were that dumb?

It's totally ridiculous to suggest that Russia would have cancelled the 'Special Military Operation' on such an agreement. It would have left Russia precisely where it was before the war started, with essentially zero implementation of 2013 Minsk that Kiev would cease and desist from the persecution of ethnic Russians within Ukraine's borders, or that the Ukraine regime, installed by the US /EU engineered coup in 2014, would be anything but a puppet of the US and NATO. Would the Russian government have abandoned its habitual paranoia about the security of its borders knowing Ukraine would continue to receive western military aid, pursuant to a plan to eventually attack eastern Ukraine and Russia, the biowarfare labs in Ukraine would continue. 

It is clear now that the primary purpose of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not to secure Donbass, and not to get a worthless promise from Ukraine and NATO that Ukraine wouldn't formally be part of NATO. Nor was it primarily to "de-militarize and de-Nazify Ukraine." Those latter two goals were merely preconditions for achieving the real goal of the SMO: the overthrow of the Ukraine regime,  by whatever "legal" or "illegal" means, to be followed by the establishment of a Russian Federation states in eastern Ukraine.

This is the only way Russian security interests as outlined in the December treaty proposals can be at least partially achieved. Everything else is just irrelevant. The only "negotiations" the Russians were ever interested in was Ukraine's unconditional surrender, followed by the dismantling of the Ukrainian regime, and the implementation of the Russian program. 

The NATO allies had been urging the neo - Nazi nutters it installed in Kiev to continue provoking Russia as they had since the 2014 coup, knowing that Russia must eventually respond to protect Russian minorities in eastern Ukraine as they had to protect ethnic Russians by annexing Crimea. Unfortunately NATO miscalculated the resilience of the Russian economy, sanctions failed, the entire world did not rally in support of Ukraine, in fact China, India, Iran and most of South East Asia, The Middle East, Africa and South America are their openly supporting Russia or quietly aiding Putins war effort by continuing to trade with Russian organisations.

The Rouble is strong on currency exchange markets and while Europe suffers economically from the loss of gas, oil, minerals and grain imports, the Russians have had no problem finding alternative buyers for their produce.

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