Did the United States use the Ukraine-Russia war to weaken Europe?

Was the US using Ukraine for a greater purpose than dragging Russia into a proxy war? Did the United States use the war in Ukraine to destabilize and weaken the EU? Shouldn’t EU leaders and Europeans be aware of this unpleasant reality?

While many Europeans ask why America doesn’t fight its own wars and why European leaders choose to fight America’s war at the expense of their own, no one seems to provide the answers.

The United States did the same in Europe during the War on Terror and the Arab Spring. How many non-Europeans and even terrorists flocked to Europe and found refuge in European countries where they created sleeper cells?

The current difficult situation puts Europeans in the grip of difficult economic times and a cold winter, which is destabilizing Europe financially and reducing their influence on a global scale.

Five million refugees

How many Ukrainians have been granted refugee status in the United States? Five million Ukrainian refugees are hosted in European countries. Initially welcome, now signs of tension are emerging due to welfare benefits paid by Europeans for a war they did not want.

Experts say the cost is 40 billion euros for Europe. The war in Ukraine came just after Europe was preparing to recover from the pandemic. The recovery in investment has practically come to a standstill. If the pandemic has affected employment and jobs, the war in Ukraine has made it worse, and the winter without gas or energy is likely to make matters worse. The spoils of war dumped on Europe are far more than the impact on America or Americans.

Economic output has declined and prices have risen. Life is not so rosy for Europeans.

Ukrainian refugees can only return if Ukraine is back on its feet and this weight has also fallen on Europe – who will pay the bills for the infrastructure destroyed in Ukraine for a war that the Europeans did not ask for? The post-war scenario looks much worse than going to war. Russia will also face many ills, as will Americans who are suffering anyway as a result of all of America’s illegal proxy wars since independence. So who really benefits from these wars?

Ukraine, Europe and even Russia have to face much more than they did to enter a war without thinking about the repercussions.

Industrial and agricultural production is impacted, exports, cargo handling are affected, unemployment is rising, the automotive industry is suffering from supply disruptions, the energy crisis will mean a harsh winter due to sanctions against Russia. Europe has sanctioned Russia at the request of the United States, but will the United States keep Europe warm in winter?

EU sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine on February 21, 2022 are a continuation of some sanctions imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

EU sanctions against Russia are individual, economic and diplomatic. These are 108 entities and 1214 individuals, including the Russian President, Russian Foreign Minister, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, members of the Russian Parliament, Russian businessmen and oligarchs who have bans to travel and freezing of assets in EU banks.

The EU has sanctioned Belarus for its Russian side.

While the EU aimed to punish Russia, the sanctions have invariably hit the EU primarily.

Sanctioning Russia has had an impact on Russia’s trade with the EU. Import and export bans to Russia mean that the ban invariably has an impact on the EU. The EU can no longer sell products to Russia and Russia can no longer export to the EU or import from the EU. These positions include health, pharmacy, food and agriculture. The EU cannot import crude oil, refined petroleum products, coal, gold, steel, iron, timber, seafood or alcohol from Russia.

Sanctioning 90% of Russia’s oil imports to Europe also means a negative impact on the EU.

The EU has also denied access to EU airports to Russian carriers and barred them from flying over EU airspace, which also affects EU travellers. If three-quarters of the Russian commercial aircraft fleet is produced in the EU, the United States and Canada, their profits will be affected. What was the cost to the EU of closing EU ports to the entire Russian merchant fleet of over 2,800 ships? In February 2022, Russia’s international reserves of $643 billion were more than half frozen.

Has Europe realized how vulnerable it is making itself by relying on the US war against Russia?

Europe is already feeling the pinch of sanctions, trade disruptions, inflation and the impact on its energy security. Had Europe’s advisers considered this scenario?

Germany and Italy are heavily dependent on Russian gas, the automotive industry and rising energy prices.

Russia’s main trading partner

The EU is Russia’s main trading partner. Russia is Latvia’s largest export market and Lithuania’s second. Russian wood accounts for half of all Finnish wood imports, which account for 20% of industrial production and 15% of industrial employment. Europe also depends on Russia and Belarus for fertilizers. The EU relies heavily on Russian palladium (a precious metal found in engine exhaust to reduce emissions). The shortages affected the German and Italian automotive industry.

EU sanctions against Russia have had an impact on its energy imports – rising gas, oil and coal prices. In 2020, the EU imported around 23% oil, 40% natural gas and 45% coal from Russia.

Latvia and the Czech Republic receive all gas imports from Russia. Latvia and Hungary get all their natural gas from Russia. Gazprom, controlled by the Russian state, supplies 1/3 of all gas to Europe, mainly due to transportation cost savings.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU drew up plans to reduce gas imports – Russia’s response was to demand that ‘hostile’ countries pay in rubles for the purchase gas.

When buyers from Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands refused, Russia cut off the gas. Russia has also cut off supplies through the biggest pipeline, impacting buyers in Germany, Italy, Austria and France. 40% of Italian demand was satisfied by Russia.

The United States will do to India exactly what it did to Europe. It is good that Delhi is waking up to this reality on the ground. If the US can destabilize its “friends” in Europe using a proxy war between Ukraine and Russia, what is India to the US?

The United States has not only weakened Europe financially by reducing its influence. The United States took advantage of the war between Ukraine and Russia. US natural gas exports to Europe have increased. The euro weakened but the US dollar strengthened. The American military-industrial industry is booming thanks to war sales and arms purchases.

With EU-Russia trade strained, the EU is now dependent on the United States.

EU fell for US lock, stock and barrel.

Mary I. Bruner