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Vladimir Putin is no close to withdrawing troops from Ukraine

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Although Ukrainian intelligence were forecasting quick defeat of Russian forces in Ukraine once Kiev receive support from the United States and Western nation, it is now three months since the west launched its economic war against Russia, Russians and Putin, and it is not going according to expectation of Volodymyr Zelensky and his neo-Nazi cohorts. On contrary, things are going very badly.

Some analysts said, sanctions were imposed on President Vladimir Putin and several Russian individuals as alternative to getting involved militarily in the Russia-Ukraine war. It is learnt, one of President Joe Biden’s advisors suggested him for imposing harsher sanctions on Russia and Vladimir Putin stating such sanctions would “greatly weaken” Putin and “compel” him in withdrawing troops from Ukraine. But such predictions have already been proved wrong as nothing succeeded in either taming or defeating Vladimir Putin. Instead, while western nations were competing in imposing sanctions on Russia, military actions of the Russian side in Ukraine have been gradually intensifying. Military experts said: “There is, though, no immediate sign of Russia pulling out of Ukraine and that’s hardly surprising, because the sanctions have had the perverse effect of driving up the cost of Russia’s oil and gas exports, massively boosting its trade balance and financing its war effort. In the first four months of 2022, Vladimir Putin could boast a current account surplus of US$96bn (£76bn) – more than treble the figure for the same period of 2021.

It may be mentioned here that when the EU announced its partial ban on Russian oil exports earlier this week, the cost of crude oil on the global markets rose, providing the Kremlin with another financial windfall. Russia is finding no difficulty finding alternative markets for its energy, with exports of oil and gas to China in April up more than 50 percent year on year.

Experts said, despite the fact that the sanctions are not pain-free for Russia, Europe is only gradually weaning itself off its dependency on Russian energy, and so an immediate financial crisis for Putin has been averted. The rouble – courtesy of capital controls and a healthy trade surplus – is strong.

Meanwhile Kremlin has time to find alternative sources of spare parts and components from countries willing to circumvent western sanctions.

These concerns are entirely justified. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has given an added boost to already strong price pressures. The UK’s annual inflation rate stands at 9 percent – its highest in 40 years – petrol prices have hit a record high and the energy price cap is expected to increase by £700-800 a year in October.

Meanwhile, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, western economies face a period of slow or negative growth and rising inflation – a return to the stagflation of the 1970s. Central banks – including the Bank of England – feel they have to respond to near double-digit inflation by raising interest rates. Unemployment is set to rise. Other European countries face the same problems, if not more so, since most of them are more dependent on Russian gas than is the UK. Meaning, a massive unemployment as well as harsh economic crisis is going to engulf the European nations and Britain within the span of next several months. This may contribute in increase in rise of crimes and terrorist acts as desperate poor-class of the society may resort of criminal activities for meeting their basic needs. But the worst-ever challenges that the entire western world is going to face is “cruel hunger” as stated by the World Bank or an acute food shortage. In every multilateral organization – the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations – fears are growing of a humanitarian catastrophe. It should be mentioned here that, Russian and Ukraine is a significant player in global food production.

According to experts, the problems facing the world’s poorer countries are of a different order of magnitude. For some of them the issue is not stagflation, but starvation, as a result of wheat supplies from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports being blocked.

David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Program said: “Right now, Ukraine’s grain silos are full. At the same time, 44 million people around the world are marching towards starvation”.

Western nations are now putting blames on Vladimir Putin for “weaponizing” food, although the trouble was created by the US and western nations by imposing hurried sanctions on Russia.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka was the first country since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine to default on its debts, but experts say, “it unlikely to be the last. The world appears closer to a full-blown debt crisis than at any time since the 1990s”. It is also feared that due to economic crisis, western nations may soon turn incapable of buying luxury goods including high-end textile products, which will have serious impact on countries dependent on export of textile products and readymade garments. It is even feared that hundreds of textile and readymade garment factories may go bankrupt leaving hundreds and thousands of workers jobless.

Western sanctions on Russia has already fallen flat. If proof were needed that sanctions are not working, then Joe Biden’s latest decision to supply Ukraine with advanced rocket systems clearly proves it. Although it is anticipated that Ukraine will use HIMARS targeting Russian soldiers in Ukraine and even beyond the Ukraine-Russia border. If such things will happen, there certainly will be a bigger risk of the Russia-Ukraine war turning into the third world war.

Washington and its western allies want complete defeat of Vladimir Putin on the battlefield in Ukraine as the only option to ending the war, although such dreams of the western nations have already become a mission impossible. Under such situation, the only option that may resolve the entire issue is negotiated settlement. It is evidently proved that Vladimir Putin is not going to surrender unconditionally or as per whims of the western nations. Unless the western nations want to avoid the forthcoming consequences such as falling living standards in developed countries; famine, food riots and a debt crisis in the developing world, they need to push forward a deal with Kremlin forthwith. In this case, for Joe Biden and his western allies, the most important task would be to stop providing further military assistance to Volodymyr Zelensky and his neo-Nazi cohorts and give them strong message of sitting into negotiation table with Russia and solve the matter immediately.

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