Sanctions Aren’t Great but Short of Starting WWIII That’s What We Have for Now
The response has been insufficient!
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” — Albert Einstein
I understand how you feel. When I learned that Putin had decided to proceed with his plan to invade Ukraine, I was also furious.
I recall the sensation of wanting to go and assist my pals when one of my classmates got into a fight in school. I wanted to help them. It didn’t feel good standing on the sidelines.
I’m sure many of us have that desire now, as we watch Ukrainians being attacked, to go and help them.
But this is where the issue arises: how to assist them?
As we all learned about the US and EU sanctions against Russia, I’m confident that we felt like we were watching from the sidelines. And we are!
There are no economic sanctions or travel bans that can equate to the horror of war upon the people being attacked.
My heart breaks every time I watch a video or an image of what is going on in Ukraine right now. The photos of parents with their children rip my heart out.
I cannot even imagine what it is like to be living through this.
But sanctions are all we can do right now.
We have to remember that Putin cares nothing for the people of Ukraine. He is interested in power and control. The sanctions are a way to punish him for having done this.
In a way, the best tool the West has right now is to isolate Russia and their economy as much as possible.
Sanctions are all we have short of starting World War III, a genuine risk of NATO getting involved in an armed conflict with Russia.
I know it’s not enough, and I’m frustrated that anything else would entail significant risk for everyone. But it is how it is.
I do believe the response has been insufficient. We could undoubtedly be doing more to pressure Putin and the Russian economy. For example:
Russia could be expelled from the UN and other International Organizations like the Olympic Committee.
A complete ban on Russian banks and cutting them off from SWIFT
Travel bans for all the principals and their families
No-fly zones in Ukraine established by NATO
A total ban from international airlines to and from Russia
Cutting Financing and Lines of Credit from the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions
Having all countries pull out their ambassadors from Russia and expelling the Russian ambassadors from their countries
I’m not pushing for any of these things to happen right away, or even at all.
Some are unattainable, while others may be hard to perform soon, but what I’m attempting to convey is that if the West wanted to do so, we could put tremendous pressure on them in a way that might alter the balance of power.
But, as I said before, we run the risk of starting World War III. So we have to be very careful in our actions.
We need to continue to put pressure on Putin and Russia through sanctions and other measures until they agree to stop their invasion of Ukraine and allow the people there to live in peace.
This article was first published in Bottomline Conversations.