Sanctions are worsening global economies

Author: Andrew Bakoraho 

What you need to know:

Historically what Russia is doing in Ukraine is exactly what US and its allies have repeatedly done freely and illegally...

Responding to the latest Russian- Ukraine conflict, the United States (US) and its traditional allies under North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) -the world’ largest military alliance, in addition to those of  2014, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russian oil supply and trade operations, and key businesses.

Economically devastating embargoes are perceived as viable alternatives to direct military confrontation with a nuclear armed Russia, accused of aggression.  Russia, one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of  crude oil,  oil products and natural gas, joins Iran and Venezuela, two other major worlds’ largest oil producers whose capacities are apparently curtailed by Western sanctions.

 Combined, Russia, Venezuela and Iran are reported to produce roughly 17.7 million (18 percent of total globe oil production) barrels daily – bpd in accordance to Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report 2020.

Limiting oil and its products from the three natural resource rich countries using sanctions is creating artificial shortages indirectly to advantage their rivals.

 US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran targeted a reduction of 4 percent of total globe oil. Anticipated to change the behaviours and policies of sanctioned countries, sanctions have achieved little but rather continuously causing more resistance and divisions across the globe leaving ordinary citizens to suffer more than leaders.

 Unlike the US and its allies, the world represented by Russia, France and China  that opposed the illegal and unauthorised invasion of Iraq in 2001 never put embargoes or blockades against  invading countries after consideration of effects of such restrictions on human sufferings.

 Barely four months, loudly pronounced restrictions on Russia and its people’s capacity to trade freely, have since affected free movement of goods and services under international trade thus triggering unprecedented scarcity - induced inflationary rates.

If sanctions on Russia succeed, Saudi Arabia and US will increase production to fill gaps leaving traditional trade partners of Russia to turn to other suppliers like it happened to Iran and Venezuela. Threatened by his own actions responsible for low energy supply - induced record high inflation and a looming economic recession in US, President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia in July to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman whom he declared a ‘pariah’ and stands accused by US of approving the murder of the former Washington journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Equally, dealing with unforeseen, entire European Union abandoned its earlier position to ban Russian gas that adds up to 40 percent of total bloc consumption. Hungry and Slovakia opposed EU proposed total ban of Russian oil with the rest of members promising to oil imports by two-thirds.

Experts, however, project this reduction will only aid back- door transactions as alternative for Russian oil in Europe is expensive.

Imposing sanctions on major world supplier of not only oil but also other critical farm or industrial range of inputs and food, during times when the world is grappling with shortages stemming from adverse effects of the Covid lockdowns, refugees crisis, climate change, increased debt and looming economic recessions, migrations driven by poverty and inequalities, then insecurity and famine in East of Asia which occurred after 20 years of US occupation , was such undoing that only points to indifference Western countries harbor against the rest of the world.

 Down playing effects of prevailing uncertainties, Western sanctimonies’ appear insensitive, cruel on humanity given that the ordinary citizens suffer most the burden of their actions compared to Leaders.

 Echoing opposition to unilateral use of sanctions, like other leaders of economic powers of India, Brazil, South Africa and entire Africa represented by AU Chairperson Macky Sall, Chinese leader Xi Jumping, while addressing Boao Forum for Asia 2022 in Hainan via a video link after one month of Russian-Ukraine conflict, opposed what he called use of wanton Sanctions and appealed for dialogue as only feasible means of solving international disputes.

Historically what Russia is doing in Ukraine is exactly what US and its allies have repeatedly done freely and illegally to other sovereign nations like the invasion of Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria, without anyone sanctioning them.  I am not in endorsing aggression against sovereignty but saying the persistent behaviour of Western expansionists reflected in colonialism equally became a precedent currently guiding the likes of Russia.

Mr Andrew Bakoraho is an advocate for equitable and progressive policies.