The hegemonic war between Russia and the United States and NATO has four dimensions: a shooting war in Ukraine, in which Ukraine provided Western ground troops and became a victim; the highly skilled propaganda war waged by Ukrainian President Zelensky and the western mainstream media; political-diplomatic wars at the United Nations and around the world, and the Western economic war against Russia.
Recalling the EU Summit on 30./31. On May 10 in Brussels, the sharper economic sanctions that Selenski has repeatedly demanded became the focus of the argument. Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán had prevented a complete oil embargo against Russia, as demanded by Poland and other countries and Ursula von der Leyen had planned it. Orbán previously stressed: “First we need solutions and then sanctions.” In the end there was an embargo on shipping Russian oil by ships, while the oil pipeline “Drushba”, which dates back to the socialist era and to which Hungary is located, was continued to be delivered. Vice-Chancellor Habeck called Orbán’s actions “evil” because he represented Hungary’s interests while “politics must be pursued in the interests of higher interests”. German media mostly commented that this caters only to “Putin”.
In fact, one nationalist (Orbán) still has a score to settle with the other nationalist (Zelensky). Since 2014, not only Russians but also Hungarians in Transcarpathia have been affected by the restrictive Ukrainian language and regional policies. In Hungary, for example, it was reported that the Ukrainian website “Mirotvorec”, which is considered a far-right extremist and is said to be linked to the SBU of Ukraine’s domestic secret service, maintains a death list of “enemies of Ukraine” in which tens of thousands of people are registered, with dates of birth, addresses and passport number. Among those from Hungary were Orbán, Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó, European Union Commissioners Olivér Várhelyi and László Brenzovics, President of the Hungarian Cultural Association in Transcarpathia, and a number of others who worked in the offices and institutions there. Many of the latter saw a particular reason for leaving Ukraine after the war began: they were afraid for their lives and limbs.
Since early March 2022, President Zelensky and Ukraine’s ambassador in Budapest, Ljubov Nepop, have publicly criticized the Hungarian government for its cautious tactics and, in particular, for the ban on supplying Western arms to Ukraine via Hungarian territory, shortly after the parliamentary elections ( more detail flyer 8/2022) Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjártó summoned the Ukrainian ambassador and informed him that it was time for the Ukrainian leaders to stop “insulting” Hungary and accept their policy of neutrality. By doing so, the government demonstrates a level of national self-respect that is currently not shown by other EU and NATO countries towards Kyiv.
Comments about the Brussels oil compromise are contradictory. So write a newspaper Irish Independent: “A partial oil embargo is better than nothing.” Daily News on the other hand, said: “Better no embargo than such.” On the other hand, everyone seems to agree that the sanctions policy and now also the oil embargo are “limiting the financing of Putin’s war machine”. Economists working for the Greens also believe that stopping imports of fossil fuels will severely limit Russia’s ability to continue the war. Economist Paul Steinhardt, on the other hand, emphasized in the magazine that this is not technically true macroscope under the heading “Green economy war fantasy”. The reduction in foreign exchange earnings means that Russian companies that export oil and gas will have less income in foreign currency. However, the Russian state pays domestically in rubles, which it can print itself, both for its civil servants, including soldiers and officers, and for weapons it buys from Russian companies.
Incidentally, Russia also produces fuel for its own tanks and planes; weapons systems of the Russian armed forces are also produced exclusively in that country. And the extent to which bottlenecks caused by microchips no longer supplied by the West causes restrictions that China cannot compensate for remains a purely Western conjecture.
However, basic assumptions about the impact of acts of economic warfare are also geopolitically wrong. China, India and other southern countries are ready to buy additional Russian oil and gas. This is especially evident in the case of India, which is already buying, also as Russian oil has become cheaper on world markets due to Western sanctions policies. In May 2022, India received 24 million barrels of Russian crude, up from 7.2 million barrels in April and 3 million barrels in March. India’s supply of around 28 million barrels is estimated for June 2022. Nor can the laws of capitalism be fooled by the US and EU. Between February 24 and May 26, India’s total imports of goods from Russia rose to $6.4 billion, compared with $1.99 billion in the same period last year.
Indian Specialist Chris Ogden of the University of St. Andrews wrote that relations between India and Russia and the Soviet Union had a long tradition dating back to the 1950s. Above all, however, India’s foreign policy assumes that it is about a “post-hegemonic, post-Western, multi-polar future” in which various major powers struggle for influence. India’s policies run counter to the West’s strategic assumption that the country will become a “natural part of the pro-democracy bloc” and is an example of a “clear shift in the global balance of power to the detriment of Western powers”.
A major German newspaper recently printed a world map where Ukraine and Russia are shown in dark, sanctioned countries in red and “the whole world” in yellow. Only the United States, Canada and the European Union as well as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand on the eastern edge of the world map are in red, the rest of the world is in yellow, i.e. the entire “Global South”.
This also has direct foreign policy ramifications. When the UN General Assembly voted on March 2, 2022 to condemn the Russian invasion, 141 countries voted yes, five voted no and 35 abstained, including China, India, Pakistan and South Africa. However, when the UN General Assembly voted a few weeks later on April 7 to remove Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, only 93 countries voted yes, while 24 voted against and 58 abstained. Southern statesmen made no secret of their stance on the Ukraine war. “This is no longer a problem between NATO and Russia or between Ukraine and Russia, this is a problem for the world,” Argentine President Alberto Fernández said in a joint appearance with Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the press in Berlin on 11 May 2022 and decided. issued state sanctions against Russia. At a joint press conference on the occasion of Scholz’s official visit to Pretoria on 24 May 2022, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, openly refused to call the Russian invasion of Ukraine a war, and he criticized Western sanctions policies: countries that are observers or not part of the conflict will suffer the sanctions imposed on Russia.”
Indian writer and essayist Pankaj Mishra points out: “The ancient Cold War paradigm – democracy versus autocracy, as US President Joe Biden put it – is misleading. This gives the impression that there are only these two power blocks. Actually, this world is very interconnected. By punishing Russia, you are inadvertently punishing many other and poorer countries.” And he asked bluntly, “Have you thought this through to the end?”
For the southern world it is again the “white people’s war” in the north.
Erhard Crome’s contribution adapted from the latest edition “Leaflets – biweekly publications for politics, art and business“. The full edition can be seen on the website www.das-blaettchen.de can be viewed for free. However, non-commercial projects also have costs. Therefore, solidarity subscription helps to get PDF (Click here) or in eBook format (Click here) editorial team in solving this question.
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