On December 4, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed a strongly worded resolution against Russia because of its actions in the east of the Ukraine (or West Russia). Was this a signal that the United States is ready for a New Cold War?
Sadly I believe the answer to that question is yes. The Western powers have essentially been waging economic warfare against Russia in their attempt to reign Ukraine into the western sphere of influence. The Russian economy is based off of the export of oil, and the U.S. has sharply increased its oil output in recent months, which in all likelihood was to devalue the ruble, which if this is the case then they have succeeded. This form of economic warfare might be working for the west, but it is taking a great toll on the Russian people.
This raises the issue of whether harming civilians is justified. Since the U.S. and the Russian Federation are not officially at war, one must ask if harming the civilians of another nation is justifiable, especially when the United States has no place getting involved in the conflict. I am not condoning Putin’s actions in the east, but I do condemn the United States’ intervention in the conflict, especially now since the House is pushing for supplies and training to be given to Ukrainian coup forces.
The United States and Russia have been waging economic war against each other for some time now, except Russia lacks the capability to do major damage to the U.S. economy. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece as to how ranking oil prices are actually a burden on the economy, and based on the recent performance of the stock market, it appears I was correct in what I said. (On December 12, 2014 the DJIA is down 200 points as of 1:17 PM CST.) Russia has had to ban food imports from the U.S. and EU in response to the Western sanctions against Russia. The only other step Russia can take is by cutting off oil, which would not be effective against the EU because the United States is now capable of exporting oil and gas, which would power its European allies and render Russia all but economically dead.
Russia has its own allies in China and Iran, but Iran itself is under heavy sanctions and China sees Russia as a secondary partner only. The question with China is whether or not Mr. Putin can accept this backseat role in the economic scene. Based off of Putin’s past actions, it can be determined he would not accept it unless absolutely necessary. Russia wants to be an economic powerhouse, but until it solves the issue in Ukraine it will not see this status.
The only “real” ally that Russia has is India, with whom Putin agreed to build several nuclear reactors, as well as other military deals (the military deals are not nuclear).
Contrary to what Western media portrays, the Russian people do want unity with the West, but they do not want to abandon their culture that they have developed, and they also feel as if the West wants them gone. Although Putin’s approval has been soaring over his policy with Ukraine, this number has been falling considerably since the near-collapse of the ruble.
With the recent trend of events, the last thing the United States needs to do is further inflame the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. After all, the Russian people just want to prosper and have solidity with the West.
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