Western countries want to stop the Russian government from pushing Europe’s Eastern border back. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shaken the world and paused the long-lasting talks for striking the Iran Deal. Europe should be watchful of the revenge the Russian government may take to mitigate the economic hits of Western sanctions.
The Ukraine War May Expand Soon
The Russian government’s aggression in Eastern Europe has resulted in the Ukraine crisis. This conflict has changed Europe dramatically and is turning the world upside down. The Russian government seeks to use violent means to destabilize Europe and save itself from the NATO threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to destroy NATO and dismantle the Western alliance. Balkan countries have warned that the longer the Ukraine crisis lasts, the more the chance of expansion of war. The Russian government has been trying to maintain its influence in Eastern Europe and warned about the NATO expansion. However, before the Ukraine crisis, the Russian government had accused NATO of destabilizing activities in the Black Sea. Moscow had complained about the destabilizing activities by NATO forces near the Russian border.
Russia Has Influences In Oil-rich Countries
Nevertheless, Europe must be vigilant about the Russian government’s influence beyond Europe, Africa, and Latin America. The West is facing an energy crisis and Russia is aware of it. By the crippling sanctions, the Russian government cannot export gas to the Western countries. African and Southern American countries could be suitable replacements for the West. Russia has already had influences in Africa and Latin America; both are rich energy regions. Libya can export oil and gas to Europe and replace Russian energy. After the civil war in Libya, the Russian government has had the significant impacts and maintains them. The Ukraine crisis has also highlighted the support of some Latin American countries for the Russian government. There is both security concern and energy fear for the Western governments in both continents.
The West Wants to Isolate Russia
The Russian influence has expanded in North Africa and weakened security in southern Europe and NATO’s southern flank. A Russian state-affiliated private military company has established bases in Libya. The group known as Wagner Group had deployed troops to support warlords fighting against the Government of National Accord. The Ukraine crisis could change the balance of power in Libya and the European’s lack of action is not justifiable. The Ukraine Crisis has also divided the Latin American countries, with a few condemning Russia. The Russian government has a long-lasting soft power strategy in those Latin American countries that have opposed Western dominance. The US government is vigilant about Latin America and some senior US officials have newly visited Venezuela. The US seeks to separate Venezuela from Russia before escalating a geopolitical clash between Moscow and the West.
Sanctioning Russia Paused Iran Nuclear Talks
A significant consequence of the Ukraine crisis is that the Russian government has obstructed the Iran Deal. World powers and Iran reached an agreement in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or simply JCPOA. But the, US President Donald Trump unexpectedly withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018. The new round of negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran Deal started eleven months ago. However, the talks have become tangled after the Ukraine crisis imposed sanctions on Russia. The Russian government is using Iran Deal to protect itself from Western sanctions. The world powers and Iranian officials have attended Iran nuclear negotiations in Vienna for a long time. Both sides are close to striking a deal that will lead to international sanctions relief.
Moscow Pushes for Sanctions Relief, Using Iran Deal
A new Iran Deal will lift sanctions on Tehran to sell their oil freely. This could replace Russia’s energy shortage in Europe after the Ukraine crisis. Negotiators and experts are reportedly working to find ways to push Russia out of the Iran Deal. Russia has been a key negotiator of the talks but can sabotage them to maintain Europe’s dependency on its energy. The EU’s foreign affairs chief has said the final text was ready and external factors had paused the Vienna talks. The Russian negotiator has demanded guarantees for the right to free trade with Iran if they restore the Nuclear Deal. The US government has stated that such demands are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the Iran Deal. Notwithstanding, the Russian chief negotiator has claimed that Russia will never discuss Ukraine in support of the Vienna talks.
A Humanitarian Crisis Is Possible in Europe
The world is losing its trust in the Russian government, and there is a rising anti-Russian sentiment in Europe. Russian citizens in other countries complain about aggressive words they have received in recent weeks. Some people use abusive comments about the Russians and call them killers and occupants because of the Russian government’s offences. After the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, many people say Vladimir Putin is the most hated figure in the world. Several people worldwide have detested Putin and described him as a pariah. There are fears of a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and Europe if the war continues. The European Union has warned that the Ukraine crisis may displace over seven million people. It will be the most significant crisis in a long time, and the EU countries need to review their immigration rules.
The Ukraine crisis could have serious consequences for European interests in the Middle East, Latin America, and North Africa. Russia has never ignored Europe’s global impacts and will use its influence everywhere. North Africa and South America have colossal gas and oil stocks to replace Russia. The Iran Deal will relieve sanctions on Iran oil export, so Moscow has paused negotiations to take advantage. Russia has recently insisted that its trade with Tehran must be exempt from the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. The Russian government may obstruct the Iran Deal and destabilize the southern flanks of Europe and North America. Russia can be a security threat in every continent against the Western countries. Now, Europe and the US should hold themselves ready to protect their interests. The Western powers need to find a way to decrease Moscow’s influence on an approaching nuclear deal with Iran.