So what is the West dong to help? What can the West do to put the brakes on Russian expansionism in Ukraine and even now in Syria? These are important questions the world must address. The West must sustain and impose stricter sanctions against Russia. Reflecting back to the year 2000 when Vladimir Putin came to power, the Russian economy was in a turbulent state and still is in many ways an inefficient, low-productive and command economy. Therefore imposing continued strict sanctions and isolationism is the way to go to control Putin’s destiny.
Putin must realize that neglecting someone’s national sovereignty and not respecting international law could become consequential for his Federation. Russia is still dramatically beholden to world markets. As an example, natural gas and oil revenues constitute more than half of Russia’s budget, a continuous drop in these resources could make Russia dip into a deficit, weakening Putin’s hold on Europe. Imposing certain economic barriers against Vladimir Putin could slow down Russia’s economic growth and inflation will rise with major demographic problems on the horizon. We must realize that Putin’s Russia has few sources of income outside of oil and gas production and his population itself is shrinking due to out migration.
What Vladimir Putin fears that countries once part of the Soviet orbit will slide away toward Europe and the West, joining organizations such as NATO and the European Union. Putin’s plan is to seek and create instability in the Baltic States and especially regions of Ukraine, justifying that he is protecting the Russian minority. What should be done to counter Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, allow and extend membership to NATO as a protective deterrent against future Russian encroachment?
While the fight against ISIS is of prime importance, Russia should remain the number one threat because Vladimir Putin possesses enormous offensive military capabilities both nuclear and conventional. Putin is proven beyond any doubt that he is prepared to destabilize the western world regardless of casualties, or political and economic consequences to reach his strategic goals. Russia’s increasing isolated president is on a mission to restore his country’s lost empire and regain the imperialism.
Therefore in order to stop Vladimir Putin the western world must introduce a secure and stabilized far sighted strategy in order to prevent a gradual takeover of Syria and any further catastrophic consequences to Ukraine.
Article appeared in the Winnipeg Sun, January 2nd, 2016