In this part of the world there is the misconception by many that because we are located thousands of miles from Russia and the Ukraine, we will be unaffected by events unfolding. This is far from the truth given the interdependence of the global economy and how unrest fueled by war and rumours of war will further disrupt supply chains and cause volatility in financial markets. Also important is how East West tensions may erase the gains achieved at détente since the Cold War period.
Whether we believe Putin is a warmonger given his paideia that the attempt by former Soviet Union States – now sovereign states – pose a threat to Mother Russia because of potential membership in NATO, fear of growing democracies on Russia’s border or how it may influence the totalitarian system practiced by Russia – these are not exhaustive concerns, these are legitimate concerns.
What we know if Newton’s third law is loosely applied – “for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction”. We have awakened to the news of EU and US in discussions to apply unprecedented sanctions on Russia. Russia is no stranger to suffering sanctions from the West. The annexation of Crimea by Russia is well documented. It is being reported Russia has accumulated 600 billions in reserves to mitigate economic sanctions. This will be a long fight with potential significant fallout for the global economy at the current rate of escalation.
So far the other other major economic power in the world has been reluctant to throw the bear to the wolves. Pundits have been opining that China has formed an alliance with Russia which maybe the comfort President of Russia Vladimir Putin needed to pursue his objectives by invading Ukraine.
What is amusing to the blogmaster is to listen to commentators using the sovereignty argument to criticize Putin. Others have invoked violation of UN Charters. Where were the same commentators when the USA and friendlies invaded Iraq on the pretext Saddam Hussein had amassed weapons of mass destruction (WMD)? The blogmaster is not intending to endorse policies of either side in the conflict only to respond to positions being taken based on ignorance.
In this part of the world we have to be concerned if military conflict continues to ramp up. In recent days Minister Kerri Symmonds alluded to an urgency for Barbados to increase local production of crude to 200 a barrels by ‘milking’ old wells. Bare in mind we continue to negotiate a pandemic and Barbados along with other economies in the region – defined as open economies – will buffet with the potential to capsize in a global economic storm.
In the world of geopolitics small islands in the Caribbean have no real voice or influence in the sphere of geopolitics. With the UN Security Council polarized the region must be very careful how we shape a position on the conflict. There is the saying when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.