By Patial RC
‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’: “All the world’s a family and all the men and women its members.” To reflect the true spirit of this aphorism from the Maha Upanishad, peace has to prevail on this earth but what is happening in the world is that it is increasingly becoming more conflicted and polarised. Then how can the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ be operationalized ? If the West genuinely wants peace and prosperity of the world, it must dismantle its war machinery of its arms manufacturing units which keep on producing weapons of mass destruction to be sold for such wars of profiteering.
The devastating war in Ukraine could have been avoided and never allowed to start only if the US, EU, NATO and above all Ukraine had reasoned the cause of Russian concerns to react with caution to resolve issues amicably. NATO has broken its commitments not to expand Eastwards and by doing so tension between the two super-powers triggered the present Russian retaliation. US-NATO’s support for Ukraine has been the cause that triggered the present Russian wrath. Such wars greatly benefit the Western military-industrial complex that thrives on these conflicts, supplying weapons to all such states in the world.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that US is working with Poland with a bolder plan to supply Ukraine with Russian made MiG-29 and Su-25 fighter jets to Ukraine’s pilots, from Poland, Slovakia and Romania. Wonder how realistic, feasible is the proposal and how serious is Poland! But if the plan goes ahead, it is another step nearer in plunging Poland into war as it would definitely draw the wrath of Russia. Logically Polish government transferring warplanes to Ukraine will be seen as a direct escalation of the war on behalf of US – NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin will definitely interpret this action as a direct interference in the conflict.
Poland in return, to supply of its MiG-29 fighter jets that can be used by Ukrainian Air Force has asked for F-16 fighter jets in exchange. Ukrainian air force requires Russian fighter aircraft because those are the models they have been trained on and are familiar with. The deal if through would see Ukraine take Poland’s 28 Russian made MiG-29 warplanes, which would in turn be replaced by a fresh set of F-16’s by US. The White House is now working out the final modalities of carrying out such a deal, including the crucial question of how the Ukrainians would physically be able to fly in the planes.
Poland is offering to send its MiG-29 fighter jets to an American base in Germany for NATO to decide what to do with them, as it grapples with public pressure from Ukraine to help combat Russia’s air superiority. Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Poland to discuss the next steps US and its allies should take to support Ukraine and will also visit Romania.
President Biden bans the import of Russian oil
President Biden yet in another step to escalate the war signed (09 March) an executive order to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the US. European allies were consulted, but US does not expect them to join. The US is able to take this step because of the strong domestic energy production and infrastructure. And we recognize that Not all of our Allies and partners are currently in a position to join us.
President Biden after signing said “Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin, he may be able to take a city, but he’ll never be able to hold the country… So we’re going to continue to support the brave Ukrainian people as they fight for their country.”
The sanctions have been imposed on the import of Russian natural gas and oil. Even Russia has said it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West goes ahead with a ban on Russian oil. It will be a catch 22 situation which can result to devastating results to Europe in particular and the world in general. However US knowing the implication and dependence of Europe and Germany’s opposition left out of this blanket ban saving cracks in NATO.
The EU gets about 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from Russia, and has no easy substitutes if supplies are disrupted. US has remained opposed on the supply of Russian gas to Europe for the fear that it will strengthen Russia’s economic and political influence over the region and it will be detrimental to the US efforts to sell its liquified natural gas to Europe. This is why the Biden administration opposes Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. It’s not just a pipeline; it’s a window into the future bringing Europe and Asia closer while leaving the US on the limb both politically and economically resulting in slowly losing the hold on NATO.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said a “rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market, causing prices to more than double to $300 a barrel”. Russia is threatening a tit-for-tat embargo – cutting off its gas exports if the West goes ahead with a ban on Russian oil. Russia is the world’s second largest gas producer and third largest oil exporter, and any move to impose sanctions on its energy industry would badly damage its own economy. Inflow of revenues to Russia will temporarily stop.
The conduct of the West not to recognize Russia’s security concerns has ultimately triggered the current war in Europe. It was foolish to assume that Russia would not retaliate and allow Ukraine to become US-NATO’s proxy to face Russia’s might. Thousands of civilians face an uncertain future because of war games played by the mighty resulting in massive collateral damage and death of the innocents. Sanctions have never been a fundamental and effective way to solve problems, but will only bring about great difficulties to the economy and livelihood of relevant countries and further aggravate confrontation. Western powers have to accept a major share of the responsibility for having failed to stop this avoidable war. Russia’s few friendly nations are trying to cool down Putin’s further escalation to the war but the Americans by their above actions are adding fuel to the fire and is making no efforts for negotiations to end the Ukraine war.