“At the moment, the ratio between regional gains and losses and sanctions is very unfavorable for Russia”

The leaders of the 27 countries reached an agreement on Monday, May 30: This sixth package of European sanctions also includes the exclusion of three Russian banks from the rapid international financial system, including Sberbank, the country’s main institution, and provides for the expansion of the EU blacklist to sixty individuals. , including the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

Thomas Jomarthistorian and director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), answered questions from magazine readers Globalism Concerning the situation in Ukraine, one hundred days after the start of the Russian offensive, on February 24.

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A young man waves the Ukrainian flag over a destroyed Russian tank, the symbol of this war, during Kyiv Day celebrations, Sunday, May 29, 2022.

Lammer: Do we expect the return of the “Iron Curtain” as we knew it after World War II?

No, not in the same shape with a wall, but one should expect Russia to be permanently isolated on the European continent.

European citizen: Given the position of Putin’s Russia, when the latter is in power, wouldn’t Russia turn to North Korea on the side of the West with almost non-existent economic and diplomatic exchanges?

Russia is on the way to break away from the western side of globalization, which has other aspects. The comparison with North Korea is irrelevant given the country’s geography, diplomatic traditions, and economic footprint: Russia wants to continue exporting its resources.

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Sharpie: What real gains can Russia claim in this war, except for very limited territorial gains because it only certifies access to the closed sea which is actually effective?

At the moment, the ratio between territorial gains, losses and sanctions is very unfavorable for Russia, which is waging an outdated colonial war. His ambition is to cut off access to the Black Sea from Ukraine to reunite the ancient lands of the Russian Empire and thus pursue his imperial dreams.

Joe: High prices for most raw materials, as a direct result of the war in Ukraine, have as much impact on Russia as they do on Europe. Do Putin and Russia have a backbone strong enough to withstand the passage of time when discontent mounts in our two countries over purchasing power? Does attrition play?

As a monetary economy, Russia mechanically benefits from higher oil prices. In addition, it has been active within OPEC+ in dialogue with Saudi Arabia for several years. At the moment, the price hike is having its effect mainly on European economies by provoking the return of inflation. They must find alternatives to oil and, above all, gas from Russia. For the latter, the effects will appear after the summer, in particular, with a sharp reduction in investment capabilities.

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Alex: I wonder about the issues related to the Black Sea. Does it seem important to Russia for its access to the Mediterranean? But does Turkey not have the control and the power to prevent any Russian maneuvering?

The Black Sea is a strategic and sensitive space. Through it are connected Ukrainian and Syrian theaters. Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is the guarantor of the Montreux Convention (1936), which stipulates the conditions for the passage of warships through the Bosphorus. For Russia, control of the Black Sea has been a problem since Bulgaria and Romania entered NATO in its strategy to reach the Middle East. She wants to be seen as the dominant force on this sea.

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Lucas: What are the demographic and economic consequences of the complete capture of Donbass by Russia? What is the situation regarding Transnistria today?

The peculiarity of this war is the confrontation of two countries in a demographic crisis. Vladimir Putin has made demography a political goal of his successive mandates. The annexation of Crimea in 2014 added more than two million people to the population of the Russian Federation. In classic regional logic, Russia considers consolidating its power by annexing territory and adding population. Russian forces have been in Transnistria since 1991, weakening Moldova and threatening Romania. Odessa is about sixty kilometers away…Moscow could look for some form of regional contact.

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Julian: Can we know the goals (apart from state sovereignty) that NATO pursues in its eastward expansion after the disappearance of the Soviet Union?

After the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO had to find a new reason for its existence. It has established itself as the main political-military organization on the continent, while the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has focused on arms control. Its extension to the east cannot be understood without the expansion of the Soviet Union to the states joining the so-called structures “Euroatlantic” To leave the historical influence of Moscow. At the strategic level, it was a matter of taking positions in the Baltic and Black Seas in the logic of access to the Middle East. Let us not forget that the British-American intervention in Iraq, which Moscow, Paris and Berlin opposed, predates the 2004 expansion.

Demonstrators hold posters outside the European Union summit, in Brussels, Thursday, March 24, 2022. The European Union has maintained a rarely observed sense of unity with four rounds of unprecedented sanctions against Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, but the 27 leaders have faced division over the biggest issue over Release: energy.

Chad: Given the context, isn’t China winning on all levels, whatever one might say, with minimal destabilization in Europe and Russia from which they would have to throw out their hands, while positioning themselves as the dominant power in an increasingly polarized world opposed to the so-called With “the West”?

The war in Ukraine illustrates the hardness and limits of the Sino-Russian partnership. Even if he tried to appear “neutral” Diplomatically, Xi Jinping makes no secret of his closeness to Vladimir Putin. In the short term, China has no interest in seeing a global economy severely affected by the war in Ukraine. Certainly, this war indirectly strengthens the role of China and the United States, and leads to the loss of influence on the global scale of the European Union for Russia.

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Etiec53: Why are Western leaders so reluctant to deliver certain long-range weapons (HIMARS, MLRS, fighter jets, etc.)?

In this regard, a distinction must be made between deliveries made by the United States and those of European countries, which are constrained by their stock. This seems fundamental to me and goes back to the previous question about the current and future intentions of the US administration. Westerners want to stick to an indirect strategy of collective self-defense against Russian aggression.

Coco: The Swift chapter has been said to be an “economic nuclear weapon.” Since then, what has really happened on the Russian side?

Russia had prepared for the possibility of decoupling the SWIFT system with its own MIR system, which had spread to a few countries. The real problem is Russia’s access to the dollar, the cornerstone of sanctions. Will it be able to meet its dollar obligations in the coming months?

BBQRaf: The Russian invasion of Ukraine was justified, among other things, by the possibility of seeing it join NATO. What will be the Russian reaction to the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining?

This accession strengthens the cohesion between the EU and NATO on security issues. This is a strategic setback for Russia, which must reconsider the conditions of its presence in the Baltic Sea. This helps isolate it more.

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Fdm_7777: What are the expected consequences for the EU in the medium or long term of a European-Russian energy decoupling?

This is a major historical break. There has always been an energy background to strategic crises with Moscow: during the Cuba crisis, during the European missile crisis and today. Basically, after 1945, the United States always secured, at the naval level, energy supplies from the Middle East for Europeans and Japan. With this crisis, the east-west gas supply flow will be replaced, in part, by the west-to-east flow from. Thus, the transatlantic link is mechanically tightened.

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