How 2022 stained the international status-quo

How 2022 stained the international status-quo

by Shania Dedigama 28-12-2022 | 9:49 AM

COLOMBO (News 1st) - If anything, 2022 has taught us the futility of war and in the midst of post-pandemic recovery also pressed on the importance of economic interdependence to protect peace. This column will highlight a few events that eclipsed the world this year; Russia’s war in Ukraine, the ensuing energy and economic crisis and the impotence of the international community vis-a-vis collective security.

At the beginning of this year, Russia’s ‘emperor’ Vladimir Putin, launched an old fashioned imperial war fueled by a drive to acquire and annex neighboring territory and create a bulwark against the rapid expansion of NATO. In recent years, there has been an overemphasis on political considerations and the settling of territorial and political vendettas, so much that economic cooperation and co-dependency is flouted. A combination of overtly ambitious NATO expansion into Eastern Europe and Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine severely disrupted trade and economic cooperation between Russia and the European Union. The Kremlin acknowledged their trade monopoly over oil and natural gas and the EU’s heavy dependency on Russian energy was a cardinal influence in Putin’s decision to launch his invasion of Ukraine (a Soviet state belonging to the former USSR).

Through a retrospective look at history, specifically, America’s response of embargoes and sanctions, to counter Japanese expansionism in the 1930s it is safe to conclude that economic and trade sanctions rarely has the capacity to alter behavior. Additionally, in a post pandemic world, where economic rehabilitation is paramount, most governments are reluctant to diplomatically and economically isolate and sanction Russia. Thus the world’s tepid attempt to isolate one of the most powerful economies in the world; and despite the hints of an eroding Russian economy, the primarily EU endorsed sanctions have not even come close to reversing Putin’s decision to proceed with his plans of land acquisition.

Concurrent to Europe’s ongoing crisis, China’s economy is seeing seeds of decline, and the authoritarian state of the Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. China’s decision to relax its foreign policy and introduce more laissez-faire into their economy, has been reversed and now policies are more stringent than before. This has drastically depleted China’s potential for trade and economic opportunity, that undoubtedly is having regional and global impacts. China is not alone in enduring this burden, as the whole world feels the unending whiplashes of inflation, and the absence of job security.

UN impotence coupled with a precedence to prioritize regime survival has threatened democracies around the world. Whilst the survival of a democracy and a ruling political party is the driving force for most decision making processes, the UN which stands as the global umbrella peace keeping organization, has been rendered impotent because Russia is a veto-power and therefore is in a position to block any action that stands against the Kremlin.

These are the stains the world takes forth into 2023, unresolved and crippling the future.