International actors are trying to exhaust each other over the Ukraine conflict, a researcher explains. The EU finds it hard to replace Russian energy.
According to András Kosztur, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the 21st Century (XXI. Század Intézet), the “global game of patience” continues with regard to the war in Ukraine.
In a Facebook post, the expert writes that the winter could be decisive in terms of whether Ukraine will crack sooner under the pressure of war or whether Russia will be tipped over the edge by sanctions pressure. Also, the cold months could decide how long the European Union can bear the burden of war and sanctions.
Kosztur says Russia could enter the winter in a better position. Ukraine, on the other hand, is financially and militarily dependent on Western aid (its energy system is vulnerable to Russian attacks and it has already lost its largest power plants and a significant part of its own energy resources).
The EU is heavily dependent on Russian energy, which it is unlikely to replace, and if it does, at considerable extra cost.
“The energy crisis, inflation, the prospect of recession, and the resulting political crises could shake the already fragile position of European countries, while the United States does not seem to want to bear the costs of the fighting in Ukraine alone,” he explains.
The researcher points out that China’s position on the Taiwan incident – Nancy Pelosi’s visit – has effectively decided the issue, with Beijing likely to tighten its ties with Moscow.
“The aim of the participants in the game of patience is to exhaust their opponents as much as possible with as few resources as possible,” Kosztur writes.
Featured photo via MTI/EPA/Szerhij Dolzsenko