Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

ST HSIEH

May 16, 2022

There is no clear winner in any war, but there are plenty of losers including bystanders. Ukraine war is escalating because Putin has weaponized oil and gas in response to EU economic sanctions. So far EU has been supplying Ukraine with military equipment and humanity aids, EU without any real damages from the war. Now EU is no longer risk free from the Ukraine war. More significantly, EU is on the defense scrambling for oil and gas supply to keep their economy going. While Russia is seriously suffering from US led economic sanctions, EU’s risk of major economy slows down when Putin completely stops Russian oil and gas. Energy prices in Europe are already sky rocketing causing inflations.

However, some experts say they are skeptical if there would be a clear winner to the war and are unsure how much longer international support for Ukraine will last. The following issues are of concern:

  1. There is no clear definition when Ukraine war should end. The warring parties, Ukraine and Russia, are fighting on the ground day and night with heavy causalities. But neither Russia nor Ukraine has clearly delineated a condition for cease fire.
  2. US and EU have provided vast amount resources to Ukraine for keeping the war going. But they are not mediating with Russia on cease fire. US is in a good position because we are exporting LNG and oil so Russia sanctions on oil and gas export will not impact US economy at all. But how long can EU nations and people sustain Russian sanctions?
  3. Only when waring parties are hurting enough by the war then peace is possible. We pray for peace, but it will take time.
  4. War is easy to start but hard to end, sad.

NATO secretary general says Ukraine ‘can win this war’ with more international help — but some experts warn support could run out soon

Sarah Al-Arshani Sun, May 15, 2022, 12:20 PM

  • NATO’s secretary general said he believes international help could help Ukraine win the war.
  • However, experts say tough sanctions on Russian oil and gas will help “strangle” Russia.
  • That comes at a price to EU countries, which could turn their populations against Ukraine.

NATO’s secretary general said Russia’s setbacks indicate that Ukraine could win the war, but not without additional international help.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine is not going as Moscow had planned,” Jens Stoltenberg said by video link during a NATO meeting in Berlin on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. “They failed to take Kyiv. They are pulling back from around Kharkiv. Their major offensive in Donbas has stalled. Russia is not achieving its strategic objectives.”

“Ukraine can win this war,” he said.

However, some experts say they are skeptical if there would be a clear winner to the war and are unsure how much longer international support for Ukraine will last.

Robert English, an associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California, told Insider late last month that if the West continues to help Ukraine — whether through financial means or by imposing tougher sanctions — he expects support may eventually decrease due to economic strain as the war drags on.

According to English, if the West “really wants to strangle Russia,” and “really wants to cut off the money that’s financing this war” they have to stop buying oil and gas from the country — an effort that has thus far been minimal.

The G7 countries, which include Germany, a heavy dependent on Russian energy, recently vowed to phase out or ban imports of Russian oil.

These measures are likely to make living conditions difficult, even if just temporarily, in Western European countries that now need to find other energy sources.

“Even if Germany, Austria, Italy, and only a few other countries went into a deep recession, that will in turn trigger a broader recession all across the EU,” English said. “What’s notable to me is that the Europeans, the West has the power to cut off Russia’s war, but they can’t do it because it would hurt them too much.”

The cost that would be absorbed by Europeans may push them to regret their support of Ukraine, which could hinder political support from their governments.

“It’s not that a German leader or an Italian leader doesn’t think that their people could withstand six months of rationing or privations. They’re just afraid that they voted out in the meantime,” English said.

William Ruger, president of the American Institute for Economic Research, told Insider that it would be smart for both countries to negotiate an end to the war, and ultimately foresees one of two outcomes.

“One is that both sides believe that they will be better off negotiating at the table and finding a path forward that way than to continuing to fight. But, as long as one side believes that it has an advantage in remaining in the fight, and that it’s expected utility going forward will outmatch the costs, then we’ll continue to see a struggle,” Ruger said.

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