Ukraine started off in 1992 with a foreign debt of $0 thanks to Russia’s commitment to take on the Soviet Union’s $100 billion in liabilities. Large scale corruption and years of misrule by successive Ukrainian governments resulted in Ukraine piling up tens of billions-worth of dollars in obligations to foreign creditors, including the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union. Kiev currently owes the IMF over $5 billion, with another $2.3 billion owed to the International Bank of Reconstruction of Development, and billions more to the United States, the European Union, Canada, Germany and Japan. No wonder that Kiev , caught in debt trap of the West, has moved towards the NATO in last three decades.
On the contrary, Russia started in 1992 with long queues of workers for free loaf of bread. For over three decades, Putin has rebuilt Russia. He balanced country’s resources between economic growth and military armament. Under him, Russian GDP has grown by over 6%. He has been meticulous in creating economic alignments with new merging economies of Brazil, India, South Africa and China which has a combined population of 3.23 billion people, or over 40 percent of the world population.
When Crimea happened in 2015, Russia was testing the waters. With Ukraine, Putin has announced that an alternate world order has arrived. Since 2011, the US sensing Russian emergence under Putin has imposed more than 100 sanctions on Russia, none proved effective to stop Putin’s Russia.
Over last couple of decades, Neo Nazism is gaining strength. West’s obsession with the colour of skin-based supremacy is pushing hate crimes against innocent Africans and Asians. Under the guise of democracy and human rights, Colour obsessed West has been destroying the culture and countries across different continents. In the current conflict, Western media falls flat on its face trying to explain why white Ukrainian refugees matter more than the ones created by NATO’s wars. The western propagandization behind blaming Russia as the aggressor while they ignore scores of victims of US imperialism exposes shallowness of free corporate media.
As we move into third decade of 21st century, Global Economy is changing in favour of developing countries while the US and its allies are striving to contain this rise by cutting the economic linkages. The society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a Belgium-based independent organisation that serves as an internal messaging system between over 11,000 banks and financial institutions in over 200 countries. Cutting Russia from Swift banking just like Iran is hailed in the West as the final nail in the coffin for Russian banks. However, Putin has again outwitted West.
In 2014, Russia had already initiated a switch to its alternative payment system called SPFS. According to the Central Bank of Russia’s website, at least 331 banks, both domestic and foreign, are listed as the SPFS system users. It will challenge SWIFT’s dominance in World’s financial market. The possibility of BRICS countries establishing an autonomous payments system in competition to SWIFT has been already in motion for some time. This move will boomerang on West and shall expedite creation of alternate banking system.
China-Russia ties are strengthening constantly during the last 10 years and more in every sector already. China first lifted the ban on wheat import from Russia and later incentivized the same. In return, Russia has entered into a long term oil and gas supplies deal with China. The package guarantees Russia’s long-term oil and gas supplies to the People’s Republic worth $117.5 billion. This will help meet China’s demands for energy to become World’s leader by 2040.
Militarily, Putin had to work the least. He inherited a strong military. USA’s brazenness in last three decades has helped him weave a counter hegemonic block that not only challenges the might of the NATO but shall be a multiple pain point for the group. Iran, China, North Korea and Russia present a formidable opposition to the American group of NATO nations. Russia now choose the military leverage of this partnership as NATO’s planned nuclear installation directly on the borders with Russia was crossing the red line for Putin to intervene.
As peace loving mild Indian, this poses great challenges for the World’s largest democracy. It shall do India good, if it contains to be non-aligned maintaining her balance with the West and the East. The challenge to India to take sides will emerge either when Putin goes deep into Europe or China plans to get deep into India. Such a situation is at least a decade away, alas we should be prepared for any such Chinese misadventure. India needs a strong leadership to continue to build her military might in this decade.
I feel sorry for Ukraine. West and EU have on the one hand, talking about peace and condemning the aggression of Russia and on the other hand are weaponizing the conflict even more, is, to say the least, bad judgement. In the new alignment, the bigger loser is the one whose shoulder West used for provoking Russia. The worst is, beside loud-mouth West media propaganda which added fuel to fire, they did nothing to prevent the war. Ukrainian president is the most naïve politician in these troubled times, and this has costed his country dear !!! For Zelensky , standing ovation by EU member countries matters more than lives of his fellow countrymen …