The war in Ukraine shattered the peacefulness of history and forced the world to evolve into political and geopolitical tensions. Some countries have even been forced to reconsider their foreign and security identity, as well as their role in international relations. Finland and Sweden, for example, are among the countries renouncing their historical and practical commitment to a policy of neutrality by joining NATO. Germany has abandoned conservatism and announced a new defense strategy that will inject 100 billion euros into its army. Switzerland has turned a blind eye to traditional neutrality and calls for more cooperation with NATO.
Austria, along with the two German-speaking countries, have joined the US-led international task force to support Ukraine. London is content with nothing but continuing the war and defeating Putin, and France seeks full cooperation with NATO. The United States and Great Britain immediately entered the war by sending weapons to Ukraine. Even the US Congress, despite disagreements between the Democratic and Republican parties over foreign policy, unanimously approved tens of billions in aid to Ukraine.
In other words, by reverting to the default settings, the West has turned to militarism by circumventing democracy. By sending advanced military equipment such as Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and stealth drones to Ukraine, they were able to delay the geopolitical changes that Russia was seeking to achieve.
In the midst of the war, Western companies, without the decision or mandate of the United Nations or the WTO, suspended their operations in Russia and deployed a punitive financial net, including crippling sanctions, and targeted defense and technology of the country, as well as the assets of the rich Russian oligarchs. In return, Moscow’s pressure on Europe intensified. Gazprom cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria and cut electricity supplies to Finland, which imported 10% of its electricity from Russia. The flow of gas from the North Pole to Germany and some European countries has stopped. Only one of the embargoed companies, Europol GAZ SA, is the investor and owner of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. This gas pipeline could supply 32.9 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
In addition to the political and geopolitical consequences of the war in Ukraine, there have been strong economic shocks that will intensify as Western sanctions against Russia continue. Global food supply problems and fluctuating food prices could undermine the political stability of some Asian and African countries as they sought to balance their simultaneous trade with the United States, China and Russia.
Asia accounts for almost 60% of the world’s population and 32% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Political tensions in the oil and gas sector and rising wheat and corn prices have caused many problems for Asian countries. Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, which depend on these imports, are facing severe shortages and are struggling with the impact of the shortages on their vital services such as transport, electricity and fuel. In Vietnam, some gas stations have been closed. The countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have strengthened their relations with Iran and Venezuela to provide alternative sources of oil. Rising commodity prices could improve the economies of Southeast Asian countries affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, leading to an increased risk of political and economic instability and the consequent growth in immigration and terrorism in these countries.
The world today is in a much more complicated economic situation. The Black Sea, on which the grain trade depends, has become a war zone. Russia, with 40 million tons, and Ukraine, with 18 million tons, are the largest grain exporters in the world, accounting for 20% of world corn, 30% of wheat and, above all, 80% of grain exports. sunflower oil in the world. Many poor countries depend on Russia and Ukraine, and other producers are unable to fully meet global needs in this area.
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and other South American countries cannot export more than they have planned. Food rationing for use by rich countries will affect food security and political stability issues in populous countries like Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia and Morocco that import grain especially wheat. They cannot find other ways to import and their populations are vulnerable to price fluctuations on international markets.
Currently, the United States, Britain and the European Union, as well as Japan and South Korea, fear that China will be bolder in Taiwan and elsewhere if Russia succeeds in violating sovereignty and changing territory of Ukraine without paying any price. Japan and Korea are concerned about China’s expansionist and territorial sovereignty and, as expected, have joined the American side against Russia. In the ASEAN bloc, only Myanmar supports Russia, while Singapore, which has long sought to balance China and the United States in the Indo-Pacific, has been forced to condemn Moscow.
Recent political and economic developments will lead the world either to unipolar US-led militarism or, if Putin’s position stabilizes, to the division of the world into several political and economic blocs and into regional security complexes, from so that the era of American monopoly will come to an end. The multipolar world will likely be continued through tools such as increased economic and defense autonomy and the formation of various regional and trans-regional unions to change the international economic and financial system through China and Russia and create a world based on a system composed of international organizations and rules outside of American domination.
It can be said that the American attempt to balance regional powers and Russia’s opposition to the unipolar structure of the international system paved the way for the war in Ukraine. Moscow sought to maintain its existence by invading Ukrainian territory. It should be noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine called into question the validity of all Russian-American nuclear and disarmament agreements. All initiatives and agreements in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other documents that have defused relations between the West and the East have practically lost their credibility and their executive capacity after the Ukrainian crisis. The parties in Moscow and Washington have made it clear that the new geopolitical situation must be accepted as soon as possible, even if it leads to World War III.
The war in Ukraine is now entering its fourth month, with no favorable end in sight. Europe must therefore understand that the Ukrainian crisis has directly targeted the security of the continent. For the first time since World War II, the geographic haemorrhage of continued traditional US-Russian rivalries has spread from the Middle East and East Asia to Europe; and its continuation will have irreparable consequences for the future of the European economy and security.
There is no doubt that as long as the United States considers that the restoration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine is only possible with the withdrawal of Russia, Europe will be at the forefront – guard against current and future threats, and its pursuit will ultimately lead to global disparities and the futility of international safeguards to protect Europe’s sovereignty. It is then that the United States, as a higher power, wants to maintain the status quo and strengthen the rules and structures that go in the direction of consolidating its leadership.