The Russia-Ukraine war is taking place in Ukraine but is hugely funded by the USA. Due to this, it would not be incorrect to term this as a conflict between Russia and the US. The American position on Ukraine and the geopolitics surrounding it has been intense ever since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The U.S. has recently given the last of wartime aid to Ukraine. This includes air defence weaponry and artillery systems.
Illustration by The Geostrata
Kiev however has stated that without aid from the West, their war effort is at serious risk given their already depleted stock of resources. The war with Russia presents a difficult task for Ukraine because of its military and economic might in comparison to Ukraine.
However, with the war showing no signs of stopping any time soon, the Americans might reconsider their position on Ukraine, keeping in mind the considerable funds raised for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this century.
The war with Russia presents a difficult task for Ukraine because of its military and economic might in comparison to Ukraine. Congress has now put a hold on further funding to Ukraine, and this might lead to a souring of relations and the notion of the U.S. not being a global net security provider as before. Furthermore, with the lack of both hard military support and financial support, NATO might not prove to be an effective check on further Russian expansion in Eastern Europe because of a lack of credibility.
The security structure primarily relies on American military might, and with the possible exception of Britain and France, NATO nations do not have enough military power or any nuclear deterrence to protect their borders against a potential Russian invasion.
POSITION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Currently, the European Union’s position is also not singular. Nations such as Germany want to continue supplying weapons to Ukraine but other EU members are against this measure. The EU has not reached a consensus due to factors like the question of continuing American aid for Ukraine which is also dependent on the party that takes power in the 2024 American elections.
The EU’s support to Ukraine is also not as firm without US support with American funds on hold. US policy also faces the risk of oscillation in light of the upcoming elections.
Europe’s position is still unclear on this issue as it has been complicated by the American position on Ukraine, with Congress not approving war funds easily and the upcoming election in which Donald Trump might once again become President. This could potentially reverse the Democratic policy on Ukraine.
Therefore there seems to be a degree of hesitation in the EU. The Germans have also argued that other European countries need to do their part in giving aid. This once again reflects tensions over sources of funding and could potentially be due to some nations’ taking into account Russian attitudes towards them.
CONSEQUENCES ON UKRAINE
The consequences of the USA stopping funding of Ukraine will have adverse effects as it has been relying on the USA, EU, and other national military aid to enhance its capabilities. Further, a halt in funding will affect its ability to produce military infrastructure and weaponry and at some point of time, it won’t be able to launch a full-scale operation.
Upon not receiving funds, it will be difficult for Ukraine to maintain control and defend its territory, hence the influence is on the stance of international organizations like NATO, and the EU involved in the ongoing conflict. Also, Russia will try to open the front harder and with more power and could end the war.
EFFECTS ON US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
The decision to stop funding will affect the results of the Presidential elections of 2024 going against Joe Biden. Since 2020, the decisions made by the United States have continuously weakened its global hegemony.
The first step was supporting Ukraine by providing funding and applying sanctions on Russia, thinking it would take Russia's economy down and stop the war in a year. This did not happen as planned.
Instead, Russia found an alternate solution by selling huge amounts of crude oil to China and India, also by selling raw diamonds to India. The second step is to sign the Doha Agreement to withdraw all foreign forces from Afghanistan. The third step is to counter the Iran-backed militant organizations Hezbollah of Lebanon, and Houthis of Yemen, and the hijacking of merchant vessels in the Red Sea which has impacted them with uncountable losses.
IMPACT ON ASIA AND WEST ASIA
For Asia, the effect would likely be indirect but can challenge regional dynamics and a sure impact will be seen in the inflation rate going higher and the cost of oil and gas increasing rapidly. As Ukraine has been the major exporter of corn and wheat, Indonesia and the Philippines are most vulnerable to disruption in wheat stock. Also, the import of fertilizers, iron and steel, coal, and agriculture products will see disruptions in the supply chain which will further fuel the prices.
The impact of war in West Asia does not have a subversive effect on regional dynamics as they are witnessing an ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Conversely, international relations have rarely witnessed an increasingly independent development. On the other hand, these countries remained neutral in a game between the US and Russia as there is a declining influence of traditional powers like Europe, Russia, and the US. Most of the nations strive to maintain balance in relation and position and make policies of their interest.
However, the conflict has triggered the rise in fuel prices and food insecurity and as the politics in this conflict is evolving, this is affecting the Asian nations on a local level.
The implications of lack of funds will be harsh on Ukraine leading to multifaceted consequences like humanitarian crises, further economic downfall, regional instability, etc. Furthermore, the priority should be on reducing the conflict by cumulative efforts of nations to address the root cause and commitment to dialogue.
BY CHIRAYU BANGA AND NIMESH SHARMA