Opinion| Putin changes the map of the world and shows Biden’s weakness

Hatem Sadek
5 Min Read

Putin declared the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, changing the map of the world in just a few minutes.

The man at the helm of power in Russia knows very well what he wants. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has become a destination and shrine for European leaders, from French President Emmanuel Macron to newly elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The invasion of Ukraine has become the preoccupation of all world leaders, and although Putin has repeatedly stressed that he will not carry out this alleged invasion, the other side — The US and the West — insist that it will happen sooner or later.

The fact of the matter is that Putin is making a lot of gains on the ground every day, and since the beginning of the crisis, the State Duma has sent to the Russian president a resolution recognising the secession of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in south-eastern Ukraine.

Dr Hatem Sadiq
Dr Hatem Sadiq

Indeed, the authorities of the two republics have announced a general mobilisation in their territories as a result of the escalation of military tensions in the Donbas region, and this scenario is similar to what happened in Crimea in 2014.

We can add to Putin’s gains also the statements of Scholz about the readiness of Western countries to conduct negotiations with Russia on security issues, which were considered among the most serious outstanding issues between them.

Rather, Scholz stressed the necessity of using all diplomatic channels to settle differences with Russia, including reviving the meetings of the Russia-NATO Council, which was convened for the first time in many years. And the conclusion confirms that the gains that Putin achieves are numerous and at various levels, even economic ones, including those related to Russian gas supplies to Europe, which is difficult — if not impossible — to replace, even with Qatari gas, which will cost Europeans a very high bill, especially as the world is still suffering from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The current developments around Ukraine will change the current world order. Ukraine will not return to the way it was before the crisis, because at least it will lose the eastern parts of it, represented in the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Also, the repercussions of the crisis will not give Europe the possibility of dispensing with Russian gas but will put it in front of a well-established reality that this gas will remain for a long time the only saviour for them in the face of the cold and maximising their industry if they want it to continue to compete.

Even the US, which is seeking to return to Europe through the gates of Ukraine, after its success in weakening the EU through Britain’s exit, will not be able to reap many gains in light of fears of the return of the Republicans to the White House with their ‘America first’ mentality.

The most important thing is that the idea of Ukraine joining NATO, or what is left of it, will not exist in the future, because the serious military moves in dealing with the crisis from its inception on the part of Russia established the rule that the latter did not tolerate crossing its red lines and that any next step in this direction would have dangerous repercussions, especially as Russia is playing on its soil and Putin has previously announced that he is ready to face any Western sanctions against Russia, which is no longer alone after its unexpected alliance with China, the first and real enemy of the United States of America… Therefore, we are facing a new multipolar world order.

Hatem Sadek Professor at Helwan University

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