დისკუსია თემაზე: უკრაინის კრიზისი და მისი გავლენა ევროპის ეკონომიკაზე – ბატონ ოლივერ ვიეკის მონაწილეობით
11 მაისი, 2015 | ილიას სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტი
“შეხვედრები გამორჩეულ სპიკერებთან” 2015
საქართველოს ატლანტიკური საბჭო ილიას სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტთან ერთად მასპინძლობს დისკუსიას თემაზე:
უკრაინის კრიზისი და მისი გავლენა ევროპის ეკონომიკაზე
გერმანიის საერთაშორისო სავაჭრო პალატის გენერალურ მდივანი, ბატონ ოლივერ ვიეკის მონაწილეობით.
Thank you for the invitation and the possibility to present my views on the Crisis of the Ukraine and its impact on the European Economy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It wouldn’t be a too big surprise if the sanctions of the EU against Russia will be extended beyond mid of this year. As far as I am informed there even is already an agreement between the 28 members on this extension. This means that the sanctions will be kept in place at last until the end of this year.
Many EU Member states even go a step further: a lifting of the sanctions should only be possible if Russia returns the peninsula of Crimea back to the Ukraine.
The current sanctions include restrictions on trade with Russia’s defense, financial, and energy sectors. At the end of last year the European Commission presented an overview of the impact of the measures, which were imposed in late July and early September 2014.
• According to the Commission the hit of the sanctions to EU’s economy is expected to remain contained. The commission estimates that EU sanctions will knock 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point off the bloc’s economic growth this year.
• These figures seem to contrast estimates in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy where last year exports to Russia fell by some 17%. However the overall impact on German trade remains small: exports to Russia account only for just 3.3% of its total exports of goods and services last year.
• By contrast, the Commission estimates that because of the sanctions Russia’s growth rate will be cut by 1.1 percentage points in 2015. Capital outflows from Russia hit $120 billion last year and will further increase during this year.
Atlantic Council of Georgia, 11.5.2015, 11-12 am • And as if this had not yet been enough: the commission also estimates that Russian countermeasures against the EU, including banning many food imports, place “serious pressure” on Russia’s own farmers.
• In short: the sanctions introduced in July and September 2014 are painful for Russia and their impact on the Russian economy will increase in the course of 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
I could stop here and open the discussion on the figures I just presented but that would be short sighted.
I strongly believe that the impact of the crisis in the Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia goes far beyond the growing or shrinking of European economies. Let me explain to you, what I mean.
For the last few decades, Western powers have benefited from an international architecture they had designed and policed by themselves.
Rising powers such as Brazil, China, and India might not (yet?) overturned these post–war institutions, but they seem more than uncomfortable with the way the West has used the global institutions to pursue its own interests.
If the West now tries to use these institutions to act against Russia – a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council – it may find that it encourages revisionism rather than deterring it.
So even if the crisis up to now has been contained to Ukraine: what will the longer-term global consequences of the Ukraine crisis be? I come to five conclusions which I want to share with you:
1. Since the end of the Cold War, the world has benefited from two orders: on the one hand the American-led security order that ensured a balance of power in every region.
Atlantic Council of Georgia, 11.5.2015, 11-12 am On the other hand a European-led more legalistic approach that sought to write rules for the interdependent world – in everything from free trade and climate emissions to financial transactions and far more. With the US recalibration of its own foreign policy the West now seems to be trying to compensate its unwillingness to use military power by using economic and financial sanctions, asset freezes, and other economic means to minimize the choices of revisionist powers.
2. The annexation of Crimea has dramatically intensified the internal political and economic strains that Putin’s authoritarian regime was already facing before the sanctions were imposed. It thus created a domestic pressure, which may relatively quickly spawn either fully-fledged authoritarianism or the collapse of the regime – the exact outcome remains anyone’s guess for now.
3. By annexing Crimea and intervening in Ukraine, Russia has raised fundamental questions about the principles of the European order. Russia was always against the principle that countries are free to choose their alliances and has consistently tried to derail NATO enlargement into its neighborhood. Russia wants to both restore and re-legitimise spheres of influence as a fundamental principle of European order. This is a direct challenge to Europe and the West as a whole and it is more than unlikely that Russia will return the Western-led order.
4. Despite the fact that Russia’s use of force to annex territory set a precedent, the world has not taken the West’s side. The large number of abstentions in the UN General Assembly vote shows that many countries see the annexation of Crimea as a struggle between power blocs rather than as a fundamental question of international order. And it is more than that: in non-Western countries there is a strong conviction that the West enjoys an unjustified position of privilege in the international system which should not be supported.
In the specific case of the annexation this behavior is even more surprising because many countries worry about their own secessionist regions. You would think that these countries
Atlantic Council of Georgia, 11.5.2015, 11-12 am would heavily oppose Russia’s annexation of Crimea. And this includes India, which should worry about any referendum on secession because of the Kashmir issue, and China, which sees a chance of enlisting Russia in its own territorial gambits.
5. Alongside existing sources in Algeria and the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Ukraine crisis could make the sanctioned Iranian energy market look ever more attractive – encouraging Russia-Iranian competition as opposed to cooperation. The prospects for a serious Middle East energy pivot may prove as elusive as they are tantalizing, but they should be on Europe’s radar.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am quite aware, that some if not all of my conclusions are debatable and that is exactly the reason why I am presenting them today on this occasion.
Thank you once again for the invitation and for your attention and I am more than ready to answer any questions you might have.