Russia won't feel threatened by the sanctions imposed on its banking sector as India, Russia and China explored—connecting their financial messaging systems to bypass the SWIFT international money transfer network.
The recent ongoing Russia- Ukraine conflict is one of the failures of the West. The fallacies preached by the First world is foiled. The relevance of the West and its international organisations like NATO, UNO et al., accompanied by the legacy of the World War and Cold war eras, are being questioned today. Their incompetence in preventing many such conflicts in recent times shows the dissatisfaction of the international community.
These institutions act like loudmouths, hollow and toothless in resolving real-time disputes and situations. There is zilch initiative or action on the ground.
Economy- centre point
Traditionally in International Relations, the principle of deterrence has been seen through the lens of military power, retaliation, and nuclear power. However, the biggest deterrence today is the economy. One cannot afford to completely isolate a country that has reasonably good economic relations with multiple countries, i.e., Russia in this case.
The big headlines floating these days state how the West has imposed economic sanctions against Russia to show solidarity towards Ukraine. Let's dig up a little further to expose the West's double standards.
Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, and after sweeping sanctions were levelled against Vladimir Putin's regime, Europe's appetite for Russian gas shows no sign of diminishing. Oil and gas have so far been exempted from Western sanctions on Russia. The European Union relies on Russia for about 40% of its gas. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, relies on Russia for more than half its gas.
Europe uses gas to make key ingredients for fertiliser, like ammonium nitrate and urea. Therefore, disruption to gas supplies also impacts the continent's ability to grow crops and feed its population. Few banks of Russia are chucked out of SWIFT, a selective and ineffective move.
Ironically, in 2019, Russia, India and China already explored—connecting their financial messaging systems to bypass the SWIFT international money transfer network. Thus, Russia won't feel threatened by the sanctions imposed on its banking sector.
The US sanctions and penalties announced so far appear to spare Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also, US President Joe Biden said the sanctions were "tailored" not to disrupt global oil and natural gas markets. "Our sanctions package is specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue," Biden said in his White House address on the first day of the invasion. How convenient!
Since there are many economic vested interests, why would they disrupt the supply chain and deliberately make a loss despite a country losing its sovereignty to a despot? This is indeed capitalism in times of war. This faux pas has given Putin a long rope to be a step closer to his imperial goals. These namesake sanctions have instead protected Russia's biggest asset: energy export.
Dragging India in the distant Russia- Ukraine conflict
In the past couple of days, the Indian authorities have been compelled and literally dragged to become a part of this mess. The Indian government has abstained from the procedure vote on Ukraine at the UN Security Council. Why would India want to take sides in a conflict in Eastern Europe, that too at the cost of damaging ties with Russia?
Imagine that India gets on board with the Biden administration in Ukraine. The actual war may never happen, but consider the consequences for India. For one, India would come to be seen as a client state of the US, and ties with Russia would be permanently damaged. How does it help for India to ruin our relationship with our number one weapons supplier? We already have a hostile Pakistan and an aggressive China to contend with. Add in grumpy Russia, and the disaster is complete.
Who would gain from this? China, of course. The close relationship between Moscow and New Delhi has always been a stumbling block for the Chinese. As it is, if there are US sanctions on Russia, it will only make Russia get closer to China for their economic needs.
Who else would gain? American defence contractors, who would very much like to replace Russia as our weapons supplier. However, keep in mind that the American military establishment is much larger than its Russian counterpart. As a big buyer of Russian weapons, India has significant leverage over the Russian establishment. With America, we would have much less bargaining power.
Indian elites and elites of Indian origin, especially those affiliated with foreign think tanks or those who profit from foreign media, can no longer be trusted completely.
These individuals manage to inject themselves freely into domestic and foreign policy matters. They want India to give up the mutual benefits vis a vis Russia. Can they say the same for the West? No, they cannot, as their bread and butter are dependent on the West owned institutions.
This is Biden's war. Nobody wants it, not Germany, not India, not even Ukraine. Wars cost money. When the government stops spending on them, the defence contractors in Washington lose out. The US military budget is a staggering $700 billion, bigger than the next seven or eight countries combined. Hence, lobbies in Washington like to keep wars going on forever. Now the Biden administration is in dire straits, with the President's approval down to a measly 33% in some polls. The disenchantment with the President is visible across all sections of people. With mid-term elections only nine months away, it is time to press the panic button.
With several paradigm shifts in the discourse of International relations where the nation-states are much more politically aware, technology is accessible, and the age of innocence is long gone, absolute hegemony is a far fetched dream. Several dedicated and region-specific aspirations and multipolar groups in International relations are flourishing due to the disappointment felt by the under-represented nations in the institutions which are nothing but puppets of the West.
Juxtaposing, there is also a trend of toppling the existing governance model and establishing the tyrannical and despotic rule. The world order is departing from the Eurocentric lens of dealing in the global context.
This is a 'toolkit' prepared by the West to prevent the world from overlooking the Global North and reclaim its monopoly, which it is losing out pretty swiftly to the strong regional powers.