Washington takes advantage of Ukrainian crisis to sustain its hegemony
Published: Mar 05, 2022 03:21 PM Updated: Mar 05, 2022 03:00 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

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Russia didn't initiate the current war in Ukraine. Russia is ending the 8-year war triggered by the pro-Western Ukrainian regime in 2014 when Donbass broke up refusing to accept the violation of the Ukrainian Constitution that is the coup-d'etat sponsored by Brussels and Washington. 

The aim of the West is as clear as a day - to encircle Russia with unfriendly regimes alongside its borders, strangle it with that military loop and force to stick in the geopolitical quagmire for decades. Being involved in continual counteractions with such regimes, Moscow would have less political, diplomatic, military and economic resources for acting on other directions, for example, in post-Soviet part of Eurasia, Arctic, the Middle East.

Nowadays we are witnessing a global geopolitical shift. The 500-year geopolitical period of the Western dominance is ending up with the rise of Asia. The geopolitical period of the Asian dominance in the world politics and economics will also last 500 years. Geopolitical theory calls it a long-term geopolitical shift and the geopolitical history of the world consists of such shifts embracing short geopolitical periods (about 25-50 years) and medium periods (about 100-200 years). 

If a country can't find positive foundation for its further existence within a short geopolitical period it inevitably starts degrading because of the inner problems. That's what Ukraine is facing now. Positioning itself as anti-Russia, the Ukrainian state couldn't find any positive sense for development and thriving. Hatred towards Russia can be profitable with the West but it's a fragile foundation for a country.

In the case of Ukraine, we can see the overlapping of the short geopolitical period of the Ukrainian statehood with the 500-year-long global reconfiguration period. It makes the Ukrainian crisis even more acute. 

Washington tries to take advantage of the Ukrainian crisis. Washington's strategy is to oust Russia from the access to warm seas such as the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Baltic Sea and impede the political and economic communication between Russia and the world. Ousting Russia from the seas would mean that for the time being the Anglo-Saxons continue to be the only power able to control the world's oceans. They will preserve this position as long as they can deter Russia and China away from the main ocean routes accessible from the seas like the South China Sea. 

We shouldn't look at the war in Ukraine as an isolated event. Instead of that we should see it as an integral and predictable part of the Washington's global strategy towards the world hegemony.

That's the reason the US is fanning the fire of the conflict by applying both political and economic tools. These sanctions will severely damage the world economy. In our interdependent world there are no economic wars without repercussions for everyone. To put it clearly, the economic war unleashed by the US is a threat to all countries that trade with Russia. The list of the countries is long and consists not only of the Western states. 

It's clear what the US wants to accomplish with these sanctions. But there is no point for other countries to follow US' path. These countries will not benefit anything by following the US and they shouldn't sacrifice their economic interests to Washington's desire to be the world's boss. 

Trade diversions against China is another of Washington's dreams. Western experts continually put forth different kinds of tactics on how to split up the unity of Russia and China. One expert even said that if it happened it would be a great geopolitical gift for Washington. Sober thinking suggests there will not be such a gift and Washington understands this very well. 

Having no other ways to hinder the rise of China and the development of Russia, the US use war where they can (Ukraine) and sanctions where they can't provoke a war. The first American sanctions were imposed on Russia long before the Ukrainian conflict. The current war is just a pretext for a new portion of sanctions. It's highly probable that more and more sanctions will be continually imposed on Russia.

Misusing sanctions as the US does hinders the world development. As consumption is high in the West, its economy is intertwined with the economies and relies on the production of many countries. Shutting the door for trade flows will have devastating effect across the world, especially in poorer nations.  

That's the reason why so many countries don't support the US sanctions against Russia. Some of them have remained neutral and are refusing to diminish trade relations with Russia. 

Even in Europe not all states are supporting the sanctions. Hungary is painstakingly trying to avoid participating in this bedlam. There is pro-Russian sentiment among people of Slovakia, Montenegro and Bulgaria, but the governments of Slovakia and Bulgaria joined the sanctions under Washington's pressure. 

In Africa, South African and Egypt refused to support the American sanctions. Other states are keeping distance from this question. Among the Arabic and Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran took a pro-Russian stance. Turkey also does less against Russia than the US hopes it should do. The reason is that Turkey doesn't want to be encircled by NATO countries as it will hinder Ankara to reach more geopolitical sovereignty. Turkey now is an inconvenient ally for the US. It's an example of how the great geopolitical shift is evolving in alienation of US allies from the US. 

Among the post-Soviet republics, the American sanctions didn't get much support. Only three ex-USSR republics joined the sanctions - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Their mutual economic potential is too low to inflict a serious damage to the Russian economy. Even pro-Western government of Georgia and Moldova refused to support the sanctions. All other ex-USSR countries prefer to continue their trade with Russia. They understand that the US won't compensate them the economic damage which could be caused if they join the sanctions.

More and more governments understand that nowadays a deep cooperation with Washington is getting less and less profitable. Washington never guarantees its allies reliable support. The examples are ample - Iraq, Afghanistan and of course Ukraine. We remember how the American troops fled from Afghanistan leaving in the lurch their Afghan stalwarts. Now we see the US and NATO refusing to directly support their Kiev stalwarts. The NATO governments say their soldiers won't fight for Ukraine. The media say the General Secretary of NATO Jens Stoltenberg forbade Poland to send to Ukraine old Soviet airplanes because it would mean that NATO is meddling in the conflict. 

But before the Russian military operation, NATO eloquently promised Ukraine strong support pushing its government towards the confrontation with Moscow. Now NATO is giving portioned support to Kiev. Why? Because the goal is not to give Ukraine as much arms as it is necessary to defeat Russia but to make the conflict everlasting and never-ending wound between the Russians and the Ukrainians who historically are the same folk. 

The US is now an overstretched empire. They are losing control over the ground where they used to be the boss. The American military experts confess the American army isn't able to wage several wars on different battlefields. That's why they need their allies to fight for their geopolitical interests. That is the case of Ukraine. 

This fight is useless because the forthcoming 500-year lasting geopolitical period is inevitable. It doesn't depend on who wins the war in Ukraine - Russia or pro-NATO Ukrainian authorities. It depends on geopolitical logics and firm geopolitical laws. These laws let us predict the end of the unipolar world where everything was decided by one country. The world system is changing and this change is unstoppable. 

The author is a Ukrainian expert on Central and Eastern European countries. He lives in Russia now.