New Delhi: The United States and other European countries are more interested in fighting Russia symbolically. When it comes to the crux of issues, they simply look the other way and formulate their strategies based on their own interest.
So, the US’ sanctions’ against Russia do not talk about gas and Uranium. Europe is no different in double standards.
As a result, on the ground, the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues unabated and even after a month and more, there is no change in the real-time situation.
In 2014 after Russia attacked Crimea, Moscow was expelled from G-8. Vladimir Putin remained indifferent, and in 2022, Ukraine was attacked. The western response is again symbolic.
Expelling Russia from UNHRC, well, there is a media mileage, but what else!
Here are a few instances to raise eyebrows. Europe’s gas payment to Russia during 40-42 days stood at a whopping $38 bn, while Europe’s assistance to Ukraine to take on the mighty Moscow was just $1 bn. Why Europe and US do not hit Russia where it hurts?
Since the Russian invasion commenced on Feb 22, it is estimated about $900 mn. is being paid to Russia from Europe every day. In the process, it does not pinch Russia.
Putin’s worst detractors are indirectly funding his war.
In a simpler sense, the west is not inclined to make a sacrifice too. But they do mind if nations such as India adopt a middle way and abstain from voting. This has been the persistence of India’s stance nine times.
The big brother, the US, continues to import a substantial 16 per cent of its Uranium from Russia, and hence Uranium is out of the purview of sanction!
Similarly, even on fertilisers, including Potash, there is no ban to import Russian materials. These include Potash and about 13 per cent of urea, and hence these also are ‘untouched’ from the purview of American sanctions.
Hungary is openly supporting Putin showing all that boasts about may not be consensus in Europe.
Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban has already been congratulated by Russian President Putin.
In his victory speech, Orban criticised the European Commission and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling them “opponents”. Ukraine President Zelensky has flayed Mr Orban’s ban on the transfer of
arms to Ukraine.
Both Hungary and Ukraine are neighbours.
In these contexts, it has been eloquently stated on the website OpenDemocracy.net that: “….when President Biden talks of the moral imperative of democracies challenging the Russian autocracy, it is all too likely to fall on deaf ears. People simply contrast the president’s stance on Putin’s regime with Western links to autocracies worldwide”.
In April 2004, a US supplies column to a forward base in the Iraq city of Fallujah was ambushed. The US Marine Corps called in the devastatingly effective AC-130 gunships and levelled six blocks of the city in what was openly described as a punitive action. There is no record of the number of civilian casualties in the densely packed city. This was just an example.
Well, what Russia is doing is ‘not desperately different’ from what has been done by US-led coalitions in wars in the past.