by Zamir Awan for the Saker blog
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is on his first overseas visit since the crisis began in February 2022. He is already in Washington and met with President Joe Biden at the White House. The visit amounts to a daring show of solidarity and backing with Ukraine’s most powerful ally and its largest foreign supplier of weapons, or the masterminds of the whole crisis.
Sitting next to Biden in the Oval Office, Zelensky spoke in English and expressed “all my appreciations, from my heart, from the heart of Ukrainians — all Ukrainians” for the U.S. designs. It seems he is committed to Washington’s plans. Biden told Zelensky that the Ukrainian people “inspire the world.” But at what cost? Is it worth it to keep happy the masters at such a huge cost???
Zelensky will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress later in the day in which he will again convince that Ukraine still needs more powerful weapons, according to Ukrainian politicians. As a matter of fact, he was not satisfied with the limited assistance and control over weapons. His desires are much higher and unlimited.
The U.S. announced a new aid package of $1.8 billion that includes a Patriot missile battery, the most advanced U.S. ground-based air defense system. The Patriot could help Ukraine defend against Russian missile and drone attacks that have targeted its energy infrastructure. In military circles, the Patriot is viewed as a security blanket, protection from incoming fire. But Russia has developed its own weapons much more advanced and Patriot cannot intercept them.
Zelensky’s trip came after U.S. lawmakers proposed $44 billion more in emergency aid to Ukraine, which would bring the total U.S. wartime assistance to more than $100 billion. But many Republican lawmakers are hostile to authorizing more money to Ukraine just as they are poised to take control of the House of Representatives in January. The US expenditures above Trillion Dollars in Afghanistan and a long war over two decades could not make them win the war. This meager amount is far behind making Ukraine win over Russia.
In a speech to defense officials yesterday, President Vladimir Putin agreed to an increase in the size of Russia’s armed forces. He said there would be “no limits in terms of financing” Russia’s campaign in Ukraine. Russia has spent 150 billion in its operation in Ukraine but gained economic benefits worth around 500 to 600 billion.
As a matter of fact, Russia has not planned for a full-scale war in Ukraine, its limited special military operation was on the same line as in 2014 in Crimea. Once the Russians achieved their limited targets and goals, might have returned back. It was the US plan to engage Russia for a longer period of time and bleed for a prolonged time. Despite Russian early warmings and declaring Ukraine as its Red Line, the US kept on instigating Russia to intervene in Ukraine providing the American an excuse to engage Russia for a prolonged time.
The US is not sincere with Ukraine nor in love. If the Americans love Ukraine, they might have provided unlimited weapons and advanced weapons to make Ukraine win. But, this is not their intention, not their goals. Actually, they are in hate with Russia and wanted to counter the revival of Russia through Ukraine and may keep them engaged for a prolonged time to make Russia suffer economically. The US put sanctions on Russia to harm it economically.
Sanctions proved counterproductive and the Russian economy has not suffered at all. Its trade has remained the same, but, the trading partners have changed, China, India, Pakistan, and many other countries are becoming bigger trading Partners with Russia. Pushing out from the SWIFT banking system has no impact on its financial transactions as China has compensated and provided them with alternates. It Oil and Gas export has not reduced, and India and China have been importing much more. Furthermore, the increase in Oil and Gas prices in the international market has become supported the Russian economy.
On the other hand, Europe has been victimized by the Ukraine war. The Fuel and Food prices have jumped much high. Few European countries are providing subsidies to their citizens but not all of the European countries are rich enough to extend subsidies to their citizens. As a result, many Europeans are suffering.
The public in Europe is turning against the Ukraine war and demanding the end of this war immediately. There are protests and agitations in some European capitals and slogans are heard against NATO and withdrawal from NATO. The current leaders in Europe are bound under the agreement to support NATO and Ukraine’s war. But, it is predicted that in the upcoming some of the political parties may come up with the idea to promise the public to end the war, end NATO support or exiting from NATO, etc., may win the general elections. It is pretty sure that public sentiments will dominate in the next elections and visionary politicians will make bold decisions.
There is an awareness in the public that blindly following the US is not the ultimate goal, but, must think about national interests. War in Europe is not desired, no one wants it and the public may reflect their anger at the time of voting. The next elections will be decisive and may change the fate of not only Europe but the whole world. Geopolitics might be changed completely. It is a matter of time only, public sentiments must be respected at all costs.
Europe has learned after so many wars in the past and reached the conclusion that war is not a solution nor is beneficial to anyone. Even the winner of the wars was also proved losers. Europe is committed to no wars and Ukraine’s war needs to end soon, the sooner the better. It is the American war against the Russians hate, and Europe has to pay a heavy cost.
Humankind deserves peace and peace must prevail globally.
Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: [email protected]).