G7's kamikaze-like export ban on Russia undermines prospect of peace
Published: Apr 24, 2023 09:35 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

The West seems to be at its wit's end regarding sanctions against Russia. It now even seeks a kamikaze-like ban on Russia to increase the suppression, depriving the world of a possible earlier end to the crises and war.

The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, warned on Sunday that if the G7 approves an export ban on Russia, Russia will respond by terminating the Black Sea Grain Initiative that allows Ukraine to ship its grains from its Black Sea ports.

On Friday, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that the G7 countries are considering "banning almost all exports to Russia," citing a Japanese government source. The proposal under discussion would "flip the existing sanctions regime around, with all exports banned unless exempted," according to Bloomberg.

As the leader of the West, the G7 sets the standards and norms for sanctions against Russia. Yet, the West has reached a point where it feels that it has exhausted all of its options, since the current approaches haven't worked. As an entirely destructive last strike, the near-total ban on exports to Russia is the G7's latest attempt to crush the Russian economy completely.

However, the G7's proposal is more about political posturing, because countries in the bloc would also suffer from the decision. Japan, for example, is heavily dependent on Russian energy and does not want to give up its shares in Russian energy companies, according to experts.

If the G7 countries do adopt an almost complete ban, Moscow will undoubtedly take tougher means to retaliate, which will have a massive impact on Western enterprises.

Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Moscow's countermeasures will also harm the Ukrainian economy, particularly the suspension of the Black Sea grain export deal.

In fact, if such a decision is made, the world will only see severer energy, food and economic crises. In that case, no one would be the winner - neither Russia, Ukraine, the G7 nor the US. It would only plunge humanity into more global conflicts and problems.

Besides, such a proposal is unlikely to gain broad support from the international community, including the EU countries. The vast majority of these countries have already participated in the sanctions against Russia, and due to that, they are facing various problems at home and internationally. Seeking a greater export ban at this time will certainly lead these European countries to more difficulties. 

However, it seems impossible for the G7 at the core of the West's collective hegemony to abandon its unhealthy obsession with crashing Russia down entirely. The G7 feels it's necessary to put forward such a policy to emphasize its determination to confront Russia, even if it means a lose-lose situation.

Reality proves that sanctions from the US-led Western countries are like spent arrows that have long lost their initial power. Now the G7 promotes creating a new momentum of sanctions, but it is afraid that the effect will be disappointing. Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, believes that if the US-led West has gone this far, it only shows that the bloc's policy of supporting Ukraine has gone bankrupt.

Washington is now deep in anxiety. It fears that Moscow will survive the West's sanctions and continue to develop. This will naturally threaten the West's collective hegemony, especially the US'. As the saying goes, a drowning man will clutch at a straw. With such anxiety, the US-led West is doing such a thing, but the straw it grabs is certainly too fragile.

The G7 will never ease its sanctions against Russia, not even slightly. Instead, it will upgrade its suppression of Russia through various means. But since the decline of US hegemony is imminent, the failure of the US and its core allies in the West will also be inevitable. Let time tell us who will be hurt the most from the G7's kamikaze-like ban.