世界の経済秩序に果たすロシアの役割は西側が考えていたより大きかった: ずくなしの冷や水



As sanctions fail and Russia advances, Western media changes its tune on Ukraine
Western media outlets, once cheerleaders for Kiev, are increasingly warning sanctions are failing and Ukraine needs to make peace
Even as the collective West continues to insist – against all observable reality – that the conflict in Ukraine is going well for Kiev, major media outlets are becoming increasingly uneasy with the situation on the economic front. More and more observers are admitting that the embargoes imposed by the US and its allies aren’t crushing the Russian economy, as originally intended, but rather their own.

Meanwhile, major publications have begun to report on the actual situation on the frontlines, rather than uncritically quoting myths like the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ or ‘Snake Island 13’ propagated by Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, as they did early on. There have even been hints, however timid, that the West should perhaps stop unconditionally supporting Kiev and promote a negotiated peace instead.

“Russia is winning the economic war,” the Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott declared on Thursday. “It is now three months since the west launched its economic war against Russia, and it is not going according to plan. On the contrary, things are going very badly indeed,” he wrote.

Elliott actually argues that the recent US announcement of sending rocket launchers to Ukraine is proof that sanctions are not working: “The hope is that modern military technology from the US will achieve what energy bans and the seizure of Russian assets have so far failed to do: force [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to withdraw his troops.”

In a May 30 essay, Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins also said that the embargo had failed to force a Russian withdrawal, but argued the EU should “stick to helping Ukraine’s war effort” instead, while withdrawing the sanctions because they are “self-defeating and senselessly cruel.”

As Jenkins points out, the sanctions have actually raised the price of Russian exports such as oil and grain – thus enriching, rather than impoverishing, Moscow while leaving Europeans short of gas and Africans running out of food.

Note that Jenkins is wrong about the supposed effectiveness of Western weapons, given that Russian and Donbass troops have won a series of victories over the past month – from Popasnaya to Liman. On May 26, the Washington Post of all places published a shockingly frank account of how one Ukrainian unit lost more than half its strength near Severodonetsk and retreated to the rear. Its commanders actually got arrested for treason after speaking to the US outlet.

This reality couldn’t be ignored by even the Telegraph’s defense editor, Con Coughlin, who’s become somewhat of a meme for prophesying Russian defeat on a weekly basis. He is now saying Moscow might pull off a “shock triumph” – albeit in service of his argument that Kiev needs even more weapons.

The collective West’s failure to break Russia was apparent even to The Economist, not exactly a publication sympathetic to Moscow. The newspaper reluctantly admitted a month ago that the Russian economy had bounced back from the initial sanctions shock. Meanwhile, it’s the West that has to deal with energy shortages, spiraling costs of living, and record inflation. It’s Americans, not Russians, who can’t find baby formula in stores and can’t afford gas.

Perhaps that’s why this “spring of discontent” with the Western sanctions policy hasn’t been confined to the European side of the Atlantic. On Tuesday, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Christopher Caldwell in which he criticized the Biden administration for “closing off avenues of negotiation and working to intensify the war” by sending more and more weapons to Kiev.

“The United States is trying to maintain the fiction that arming one’s allies is not the same thing as participating in combat,” Caldwell wrote, pointing out that this distinction is getting “more and more artificial” in the information age. A day later, the head of the US Cyber Command admitted to conducting offensive operations against Russia on Ukraine’s behalf.








欧米の集団がロシアを破滅させることに失敗したことは、モスクワに同情的な出版社とは言えないThe Economistにさえ明らかであった。同紙は1カ月前、ロシア経済が最初の制裁ショックから立ち直ったことをしぶしぶ認めた。一方、エネルギー不足、生活費の高騰、記録的なインフレに対処しなければならないのは、西側諸国である。粉ミルクが店頭になく、ガソリンが買えないのはロシア人ではなくアメリカ人である。



Fyodor Lukyanov: Russia’s role in the global economic order has turned out to be more significant than the West believed
Western sanctions against Russia are speeding up the end of globalization as we’ve known it. A new economic order awaits.
After weeks of intensive negotiations, the European Union has agreed on a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow. Its main element is the cessation, by the end of this year, of oil imports from Russia delivered to the bloc’s market by sea.

According to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, this will reduce Russian supplies to the EU by 90%, with the remaining 10% lined up for the chop in the future.

The percentage share is a debatable issue, but the assessment of the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, who announced the ban on two-thirds of Russian raw materials, looks more realistic. For Russia, the main thing so far is not quantity, but quality. Pipeline routes, unlike maritime routes, cannot be redirected elsewhere; a ban would have meant decommissioning the Druzhba pipeline and losing this delivery method. This did not happen due to the persistence of Hungary, which was secretly supported by several other countries.

As for tankers, the global oil market is unified, and until a global trade embargo is imposed against Russia (which is almost impossible), goods will be sent to other consumers, mainly those in Asia.

At the same time, the price per barrel continued to rise after the announcement of the new measures. So Russia, in terms of revenues, will continue to benefit in the near term, at least.

Even considering the discounts that customers from Asia will receive, they are always sensitive to the narrowing of their partner’s room for alternatives. However, the timeframe for the full implementation of even Brussels’ already agreed upon solution is still unknown.

Industry experts have unanimously agreed that there is no substitute for Russian oil in the EU at the moment, as the volumes available on the market are limited. So it cannot be ruled out that after the loud political declarations have faded from the headlines, there will be a very cautious and gradual implementation. In any case, the most interesting aspect of this story is not the tactical, but the strategic aspect.

Let’s assume that the EU does set a clear political goal of ending energy cooperation with Russia, and in the medium-term it will be possible to implement it. What would this mean for the world order?

The fragmentation process, which is already taking place, has worsened, and, in recent months, it has taken on an avalanche-like character. If the EU’s slogans come to pass (and the phase-out of hydrocarbons, including gas, was pledged long before the Ukraine crisis), the energy structure of Eurasia could be completely transformed. Since the 1960s, the geopolitical configuration of the continent has been based on increasingly extensive oil and gas cooperation between the (now former) USSR and Western Europe.

China, which was unfriendly to the Soviet Union and distant in every sense from Europe, remained a thing in itself for some time, but from the 1970s it began to open up to the world, first politically, then economically, focusing primarily on the US. After the end of the Cold War, these processes became organic elements of the global order, with the expectation that a world-wide system of economic interdependence would eventually emerge. Now, in fact, the opposite will happen.

The EU intends to make a purposeful effort to rid itself of Russian raw materials, although economically this is totally impractical and mostly unprofitable. The replacement should be its own resources (preferably renewable technologies) and other sources, most likely the US and the Middle East. Let’s put aside, for the moment, the question of the reliability and cost-effectiveness of alternatives, assuming that in case of firm political resolve, EU states will be prepared to pay more and bear additional risks.

The surplus Russian resources will go to Asian markets – oil immediately, gas in a couple of years – when this country has the necessary infrastructure in place. The Asian countries are completely satisfied with this situation, because now they will hold the advantage that Europe has had so far: The presence of a very large, stable, and relatively cheap source of raw materials. In addition, there is an opportunity to seek more favorable conditions, compared to the general world situation, especially in the near future, while Russia adapts to changing circumstances. If the described scheme becomes a reality, the departure from globalization will proceed at a faster pace.

In recent months, it has become clear that Russia’s role in the global economic order is much greater than is commonly thought.

The resources of Eurasia, most of which are either located in Russia or depend on its transport and logistics capabilities, have become an important pillar of development for the world’s leading players since the end of the twentieth century. How skillfully and far-sightedly Moscow itself has managed this role is a different question.

Nevertheless, it will remain relevant even after a possible “divorce” from Europe and “marriage” to Asia. However, a change in the political balance in Eurasia will affect the entire world order, and not in favor of those who were its chief beneficiaries until recently. In this regard, it will be most interesting to see if Western leaders will continue to encourage the process, or whether a possible political shift in the near future will lead to the emergence of forces who look at things from a different perspective.















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