The conflict in Ukraine will not be the last. What’s next

Thanks to the transformational processes in world politics, Russia will play a key role in the rivalry between the two Asian giants – China and India, as well as between the two systemic adversaries – China and the United States.

Velina Chakarova, director of the Austrian Institute for International Policy, expressed this opinion in an interview with the BPR.

“No European country could convince the Russian president to negotiate the conflict in Ukraine,” she stressed. “Russia’s plans for Ukraine have not changed. Lavrov made it clear that Russia is not going to be limited to the east and south of Ukraine.”

According to Chakarova, there are two scenarios for the development of events. First, in the current active phase of hostilities, Moscow will try to declare a unilateral ceasefire and force Ukraine to agree to its terms. Such a pause could consolidate Russia’s territorial gains.

The second scenario involves intensifying strikes on all fronts and in all directions. “Under the second option, Russia will expect that with the onset of the winter season in European countries there will be internal political changes, since the population of Europe will feel the impact of prices for gas, energy, agricultural and food products.”

If the conflict freezes, it will be bad news for Ukraine, Chakarova said.

“If the conflict freezes, Russia will be able to attack other parts of the country with renewed vigor. As the conflict drags on, it will be more difficult for European governments to explain to the population that they too must pay for it. In countries that traditionally have a more positive policy towards Russia, such as Germany, Austria and Hungary, the reaction will be severe and could lead to a change of governments – as happened in Estonia and Italy. Russia’s strategic plan is to freeze the conflict – over the past 30 years it has gained similar experience. This means that we will play again just the way Moscow wants it.”

The Russian currency is stabilizing, but some industries are beginning to feel the impact of the sanctions policy. As Chakarova noted, Russia is not in international isolation. She believes that world politics is currently undergoing a transformation. Russia is no longer a systemic player, but it could become a key player in the US-China systemic race. Currently, there is systemic coordination between Russia and China in strategic sectors.

India has not agreed to comply with the Western sanctions policy and wants Russia’s role in the Indian Ocean region to be strengthened to balance the growing influence of China.

According to the analyst, the Arctic transport corridor is becoming especially interesting: “The buffer zone between the EU and Russia – south of the Arctic, along the eastern flank of NATO – will become the object of Moscow’s military and non-military actions. In the long term, the conflict in Ukraine will not be the last.”

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