T he world has been witnessing the Russia-Ukraine conflict for the past two months now, and it is nowhere near its end. And there’s also fear now that this conflict can escalate further possibly even to weapons of mass destruction. Western countries, specifically the US, and NATO cannot supply Ukraine with arms forever. What will Ukraine do then? How it will face the mighty Russian military then?
The best possible end we see to this conflict is Ukraine packing up because it’s highly unlikely that Russia would put down its arms as Russia’s hard built reputation is at stake here and any stain on this reputation will affect Kremlins defence sales in a big way as the reliability and effectiveness of Russian weapons will then get into the question. This in turn can lead to big buyers such as India and Vietnam making a shift towards the West and perhaps losing these buyers is the last thing Russia wants in an already very oil-dependent economy.
The situation is different in Ukraine. Continuing this conflict will only make it harder for Ukraine to recover in the aftermath of this conflict. IMF has predicted the Ukrainian economy to have a negative 35 per cent growth this financial year. The sooner this war ends, the better it is for Ukraine, and Zelensky needs to understand this. There’s the undeniable and naturally understandable patriotic aspect that the Ukrainian people are full of right now and due to this emotion, they are nowhere near to discontinuing this war they are willingly and bravely laying down their lives for. However, it does not change the fact that ultimately no matter how hard they fight, they will simply just not be able to withstand Vladimir Putin’s Russia forever.
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This conflict hasn’t just impacted the economic growth in Ukraine and Russia but It has started to show effects worldwide. Europe has recorded inflation of 7 per cent, the export market is down, and oil prices are up. No country’s economy on the planet is in good shape right now.
Now we come to the question, Even if Ukraine wants to just put down its arms, how will it do so? The best and the most well-off way to do so is to just affirm that Ukraine, neither in the present nor in the future will seek to join NATO or any other European alliance again which may affect Russia’s security interest. But the next big question after that is, will Russia settle for that? And if not, one needs to mull over what Russia’s real goals in Europe are.
The author is a student at Sir Padampat Singhania, Kanpur. Views are personal