by Sakina Langove 29 August 2022
The war in Ukraine can be termed a multi-dimensional disaster. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has global implications and the responses of many countries are against Russia, while some are also blaming the west for being the real culprits of the Ukraine war. Whatever the blame game is, the war is impacting the entire world. Those who are engaged in the war and also those who are not interested in the crisis. This article aims to highlight the global responses to the Ukraine war, the social, political, and economic implications, and to suggest a way forward to end the war.
The Russian-Ukraine war has divided much of the world. Responses to the crisis are on three dimensions. First, countries that are against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Second, countries that are favoring Russia’s stance. And lastly, the neutral countries that are neither interesting in the war nor siding one or the other in the opposite of the same. The response of the US and its allies is against Russia. But they are not directly involved in confronting the Russian military rather they are providing military aid to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia to paralyze its economy to stop the war from further escalation. In response, the US President Joe Biden said that “this time we are sanctioning Russian banks by cutting off their assets”. In the meanwhile, most nations have denounced the war in Ukraine, whereas some have stood by Putin, either out rightly or tacitly. The countries on Russia’s side include Belarus, Iran, Syria Venezuela, and Cuba.
Furthermore, we often tend to see conflicts as two-sided, the left versus the right, the labor versus the management, and one country versus another. But what we often fail to see is the third side, which is not a party to the conflict, but is put under pressure to pick favorites. We have seen this in the UN General Assembly where most European nations took sides, but the Asian and the African nations did not. So, what does this neutrality tells us? It is not in the interest of Asian countries to take side in the supposedly occurring of World War III perceived by few around the globe. As it is well known that Geopolitics is all about interests, and for now, Asia’s interest is non-alignment.
In Asia, this piece is specifically focusing on the response of three nuclear powers, that is, China, India, and Pakistan. China has to pursue three goals simultaneously. Strategic partnership with Russia, minimizing the damage of sanctions from the EU and the US against Russia, and commitment to territorial integrity and non-interference. In maintaining a strategic partnership with Russia and China in the back door is supporting Russia for the only reason that it also needs support from Russia on the Taiwan issue. During the winter Olympics, China openly supported the Russian stance against NATO expansion. In the meanwhile, China declined to join the west’s sanctions against Russia, batting for normal trade cooperation with Russia. With the slogan “No limits friendship”, Beijing is helping Russia tide over sanctions by buying oil, gas, and wheat. On the other hand, to show the objectives of its foreign policy “commitment to territorial integrity and non-interference” Chinese officials and diplomats openly said that China is a peace-loving country and wants a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
However, in terms of India, which is a strategic partner of Russia as well as the US has given a neutral stance in this war. More recently, India appears to have gone against the US’s wishes because of its national interests. But simultaneously, it is also purchasing oil from Russia at discounted prices as India needs cheap energy. Moreover, Russian oil is not sanctioned commodity and consequently, Europe is also purchasing oil from Russia.
In this context, Pakistan, which is a developing country and wants to shift its position from geo-strategic to geo-economics has also given a neutral stance on the Ukraine war even though it was pressurized by the west to vote against Russia in the UN General Assembly resolution. Pakistan’s neutral stance is important because it is a developing country. It needs cheap energy and Russia is selling oil at the cheaper prices. Also, Pakistan imports wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Wheat imports from the two countries exceeded 2.1 MT over 2020-2021. After the war started, Pakistan also had food shortages because of the supply chain disruptions. In this regard, the country has to find alternative sources to fulfil its needs.
Keeping in view the global responses to the Russia-Ukraine war, it is pertinent to mention that there are several social, political, and economic implications of the Ukraine War. One of the political implications of the crisis is that it gives birth to Cold War 2.0, and the world will once again become the victims between two blocs and the rivalries will again be the same. Consequently, countries are increasing their defence budgets after the crisis. Because the crisis created a sense of security dilemma among the states and some have also applied for the NATO membership. Because of the economic crisis faced by the countries, there are a lot of protests and riots among the masses which creates political and economic instability, and governments are failing to counter their emerging domestic problems. China got an indication that even the west could not save Ukraine, and it would also not fight for Taiwan. This will ultimately boost the Chinese morale to invade Taiwan.
On social implications, this war has generated the greatest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. Many people lost their lives, jobs, and homes. Racism emerged as the Europeans preferred people with white colour and golden hair. It brought a refugee crisis into Europe, and those countries that were already hosting refugees from Syria and Afghanistan compelled them to go back to their countries trying to make space for Ukrainian refugees.
The economic implications of the Ukraine war are bleeding all of us. Oil prices are sharply increasing and it is completely affecting the entire world. Prices of food commodities are rising, because Russia and Ukraine are among the largest wheat exporters in the world. Inflation is at its peak, because of the supply chain disruption.
Furthermore, both the countries have certain demands before ending the war. Russia has been transparent about its demands. It has stated its four requirements for Ukraine to end the war: Fully demilitarization, which means that Ukraine should stop any kind of military action; Amend the constitution toward neutrality (which would prevent it from joining NATO); Recognize Crimea as Russian territory, and Recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states. Ukraine, however, is equally firm in its demands of Russia: it requires peace, immediate ceasefire, immediate withdrawal of all troops, and security guarantees from Russian invasion.
In order to ensure peace and stability in the region, it is important to look at how the war could end. For the war to end, first Ukraine must declare its neutral status with no membership in NATO and demilitarize the conflictual territories. Secondly, an agreement of no interference in domestic politics of Ukraine by the US and Russia needs to be agreed upon. Third, Ukraine must refrain from being the station of any other country’s military bases. Fourth, Crimea and Donbas, for the debated territories, there should be referendums under international supervision. And lastly, there should be negative security assurances to non-nuclear states.
To conclude All the set-ups of this war can prove that it is the preparation of new world order and also a threat to US hegemony. As the idea of isolating Russia and securing Europe might lead to the demolition of Europe and the US dominance, because if NATO did not stop its expansion, then Ukraine is not the end but the starting point for Russia.