March 21, 2014
The events in Ukraine have developed significantly since the last time I wrote. Russia “officially” annexed Crimea, after a public referendum in which the option to join Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia won by a landslide. Even though the turnout reached 123% of those allowed to vote…
This wasn’t unexpected, in fact there are few commentators that were surprised by this turn of events. The situation will be dynamic for a while, predicting the short term results can be tricky. Let’s switch perspectives to a more remote one. What can be the long term consequences? Are we really on the brink of a war?
I don’t think the situation will escalate enough so we’ll see a regular war, but that doesn’t mean us, regular EU citizens, won’t feel the impact of this 2nd cold war as it’s already being dubbed. Russia, regardless of its political and military actions, is still one of the most important trade partners to Europe and one of its main sources of energy – oil and gas. Any sort of additional economic regulations are bound to hit the economies of the European countries, countries that are still recovering from the recent global financial crisis. A complete embargo on trade with Russia could not only lead to the bankruptcy of many companies that made their profits on exporting goods to Russia, it could also, considering the worst case scenario, lead to oil and gas shortages, effectively causing power outages, riots and overthrown governments.
What can we do? Not much I’m afraid. Global politics is something more abstract than we’d like it to be, detached from the problems of the common man. There is little we can do to defuse this situation. So what are our options?
There are 2 things we can do: walk it off, so to say, or run away somewhere safe. While as a patriot I can’t really recommend the latter choice, it might actually be the correct one for some of us. Ever thought about changing your life completely? This might be the push you’re waiting for. Ample opportunities await far away, you just have to grab them. Australia comes to mind as a good example, especially since there are plenty of things like librarian courses available, that guarantee you get the skillset needed to get quality employment. Add to that a warm climate and it becomes a dream come true for many of us.
If running away seems repulsive, there are things you can do while staying to help out. Become a reservist in your army, this will not only be useful if a real war starts, but will also boost the potential fighting capabilities of the said army on paper, possibly acting as a deterrent. Conserving energy is another thing you can do, since the main problem with Russia is that it can shut off supplies of strategic resources, saving them and making sure the limited supplies left last as long as possible would be helpful.
But first of all, don’t panic. And don’t give up.