Russia Threatens Its Enemies with a Tsunami of Sanctions

Elijah J. Magnier
Gas still continues to flow into Europe through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, Blu stream 1 and 2, Nord-Stream 1 and Turkstream despite the undeclared war between the U.S. and its European allies on Russia in the territories of Ukraine. However, the West has found an adversary that has many cards to play and is equipped with enough capabilities to cause significant damage to those who impose sanctions on Russia. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would prevent the export of products and raw materials from Russia until the end of 2023, provided that the Russian government determines the list of hostile countries. This decision is a heavy blow first of all to Europe and also to the whole world, which will suffer from the mutual economic war between Russia and the US.

Russia exports essential materials and products the world requires for at least the next coming days, months or years. It annually exports oil worth $141 billion (35% of its exports), iron and steel worth $16 billion (4.8%), precious stones and minerals worth $30.4 billion (9%), grains worth $9.5 billion (2.8%), machinery including computers worth $8.3 billion (2.5%), wood worth $8.2 billion (2.5%), fertilizers worth $7.5 billion (2.8%.) ), copper worth $5.6 billion (1.7 %), aluminum worth $5.5 billion (1.8 %), and fish worth $4.6 billion (1.4 %).

Russia says it will halt its exports until a list of its “non-friends” who have imposed sanctions and allies is prepared in detail. This means that it is likely to stop exporting gas to some European countries with a hostile stance (led by Britain) and other US allies. Consequently, Russia has the power to stop the export of methanol derivatives to Europe, which is a raw material for pentaerythritol (exporting 40% of its production to Europe) and neurotrophin (50% of its production).

Russia will also announce sanctions against the US, the first in history, particularly on its export of platinum, titanium, palladium, nickel, and neon. In addition, in the midst of the spring planting season, Russia is abandoning European and American farmers in line with the political decision to comply with Western sanctions with similar painful sanctions. Russia’s share of world markets accounts for one-third of global potash fertilizer production, about 10% of nitrogen fertilizers, and about 20% of all other fertilizers. Russia is considered the leading supplier of rare natural stone materials.

It is not known what the world will do, as it has not calculated or estimated President Putin’s reaction in advance – as many Western countries believed that Russia was “just a gas and oil station with nuclear missile capability.” This indicates a complete lack of awareness of the real power of sanctions and Moscow’s potential. The West’s control of the mainstream media turns a blind eye to the tsunami-like economic earthquakes Russia could cause if it is willing to follow the favorite hobby of U.S. sanctions, exerted for decades on many populations around the world.

US President Joe Biden has not hesitated to warn his citizens that they “have to bear the consequences (of US sanctions) and that the world will be affected by the sanctions imposed on Russia.”

It is possible that the U.S. disengagement from international hegemony will be swift. This would mean the end of the dollar’s dominance over global trade and, with it, the prestige of the US. In 1973, during the Arab-Israeli war crisis, oil was used as a weapon because of US support for Israel. In recent days, oil-rich Arab countries have refused to meet the U.S. demand to increase oil production and supply the market to slow the rise in global prices and the panic that has hit the international market. The US has turned to Venezuela and Iran in a pathetically failed attempt to welcome them back into the world oil and gas markets.

The sanctions imposed by the West will primarily rebound negatively against the European continent, while Russia will turn to the East, Asia and Africa. Russia has a market where more than half of the world’s population resides and could abandon the West if Europe insists on binding its decisions to satisfy U.S. policy rather than its own. Russia can refrain from barring gas in Europe unless European leaders insist on increasing sanctions against Russia. Germany and France have already distanced themselves from US sanctions on oil. The U.S. imports 700,000 barrels a day from Russia, but Europe’s imports reach 4.5 million barrels a day. The already weary European economy from two years of COVID would suffer greatly if Russia decided to target the continent.

Unless Europe intervenes to find a solution by calling the US and Russia to sit around the table to resolve their differences, this conflict is expected to last a long time. The effective and viable solution involves reactivating and respecting international law by all countries equally, preventing invasions, wars and occupations, prohibiting the imposition of sanctions on the populations of the entire world, and holding governments accountable for their actions, no matter how powerful they may be. This solution may not yet be mature, but it will need to be taken into consideration in due course.

The end of World War I produced the Yalta Agreement between the US, the UK and the Soviets for power sharing. Isn’t it time for a Yalta-2 to similarly end unilateralism and impose a new world order?

The sanctions are expected to destroy Europe’s economy. But the US will naturally take advantage of them to increase its hegemony over Europe and spread more American troops across Eastern Europe. Russia was already under sanctions in 2014 and can save itself now by pivoting toward the East and other partners willing to work with a country that challenges this US hegemony. These reasons make it necessary for Europe to unite around its own interests, working towards a global diplomatic solution.

Elijah J Magnier is a veteran war correspondent and senior political risk analyst with more than three decades of experience.