By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Despite promises of a truce between Ukraine and Russian Federation following a peace meeting on Monday, February 28, 2022, there appear to be no solution in sight to the crisis. The two sides in the conflict had met in southern Belarus despite Volodymyr Zelensky, the embattled President of Ukraine, initial objection. He had proposed to hold talks with the Russian Federation in either Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, turkey or Azerbaijan, described as neutral ground instead of Belarus.
His objection may have been confirmed as Belarus, which had provided the location for the two countries to hold talks was said to have sent to Ukraine to support the Russian forces the same Monday that the parties held talks to find solution to the crisis.
Note that this is the first time, the two sides had met to sort out their differences and end the war. The Zelensky led Ukraine government may have hinged its hope of standing up to Russia in the war in preparation t joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO. Joe Biden, President of the North American country of the United States, US, was said to have assured the Ukrainian President that with the collaboration of its allies they will support the country with arms and ammunition.
He was however, silent on the deployment of US, soldiers to the East European country to join in the war. Zellensky may not have read the handwriting on the wall that Joe Biden’s, Administration was not ready to drag American troops into the war to avoid drawing world sympathy to Russia. This may have encouraged him to seek dialogue with Russia to stop further bloodshed.
The Russian government may have been forced to invade Ukraine to forestall the country from joining NATO. The country had remaied unsettled since Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and three other former Republics carved out of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR,: Estonia, Latvia and Lithunia, joined NATO, at the instance of Late George Bush, a one-time US President.
Valdimir Putin, the Russian President may have known that the US government has targeted Ukraine to join NATO going by the Statement in 2008 by the US that’’ it might consider membership of Ukraine in the Organisation’’ which Putin did not funny.
This may have informed why he had put a close tab on Ukraine and suspected every of its transactions with the US and Its allies. The invasion of Ukraine was the` height of the suspicion, thus sending a warning signal to US and its allies to keep away from Ukraine, a neighboring country or be ready for war.
The Russian delegation, at the Belarus talks may have alluded to this. Acting out a script of the Russian government, they had demanded that ’’ Ukraine ”stop plan of joining NATO, remove all its weapons”. The Russian government was said to have also demanded that Ukraine ”recognise CRIMEA as part of Russia and accept the loss of the eastern Donbas region ,which Russian government has recognised as two Independent Republics, a week ago.
Vladimir Medinsky, the Kremlin aide and head of the Russian delegation at the peace meeting between Ukraine and Russsia, had said that the two parties to the crisis, ‘’found certain points where they forecast common ground. He had said that further talks, would be held in the coming days after both sides had consulted their respective country’s Presidents.
The Ukrainian government delegation in turn had requested for an’’ immediate cease-fire to the hostility and the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine soil, including Crimea and Donbas in the eastern part of the country. The message was very clear that the Ukrainian government is not ready to let go of eastern Donbas region to Russian, let alone recgnise CRIMEA, as part of Russia.
Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukrania Presidential Adviser, and head of the country’s delegation, may have opened up after the meeting which was said to have lasted over five hours, that the parties ‘’ has identified a number of priority topics which specific solutions were outlined’’, but that was how far they could go.
While the two countries at war in Eastern Europe, have opened up channels of discussions in search of peace, British oil giant, BP, have led the pack of the Multi-national Oil Companies, MNOC, to plan exit of Russia oil Industry, over its invasion of Ukraine. The British Oil giant had said on Monday, February 28, 2022, that it intends ‘’to dump its joint ventures with Russian gas giant Gazprom. Since the crisis started on Thursday, February, 23, 2022, Shell BP, has become the third major MNOC, that have made its intention known to exit Russia oil industry over its invasion of Ukraine.
Recall that same Monday, Norway’s Equinor, had announced that the company had concluded plans of ending its investments in Russia’s oil industry. Shell BP, had put its long term value of its stakes in Russia oil ventures at $3 billion. Among other projects which Shell had said it will exit in the in Russia oil industry include a 27.5 stake in the country’s Natural gas project in Sakhlin Island in Eastern Russia. This in addition to pulling out its 19.75% state in Rosneft, thus forcing Bernard Lonney to resign his appointment from the Russian Company Board with immediate effect.
Ben Van Beurden, Shell Chief Executive Officer, CEO, had told those that cares to listen that they had to divest from the Russiaoil industry as they could no longer stand’’ the senseless act of the military aggression against Ukraine which have threatened the European security’’.
Hear him: We cannot and we will not stand by’’ and watch the killings in the streets of Kyiv , capital of Ukraine and Kharkiv, the second largest city in the Eastern European country. The Shell CEO, may have had at the back of his mind that the decision will unsettle many heavy industries in Europe and Asian Continent that depended on Russia, for their oil and gas need, to power their plants to sustain their production level.
Liz Cruss, the UK, Foreign Secretary, may had reconfirmed what Beurden, Shell BP CEO , had said about plans to exit Russian oil industry. He may have provided additional information of the shell BP plan that might bring the Russian economy to its knees.
The UK Foreign Secretary had that the oil giant will sell its 50% shares in Salym field development in western Iberia and the Gydan Exploration project in Gydan peninsula in north west Siberia. The situation is even worse as the MN, oil giant and five other energy companies, which had committed financing up to 10% of the estimated $9.5 billion total cost of the Nord stream pipeline between Russia and Germany have dropped the idea for now.
Perhaps, this may have informed why the British oil giant, have begun talks with governments around the world ‘’to work through the implications that the move would have on Shell’s business and energy supplies to Europe and Asian markets’’.
The MNOCs may have been encouraged to plan their exit from Russia, because of the G9, decision to kick out Russian banks and Financial Institutions from the Society of for World-wide Inter- bank Financial Telecommunication, SWIFT based in Brussels, Belgium. They may have taken the decision to ensure that the Russian government will not access the over $600 billion war chest of the country’s foreign reserves.
As if Shell’s plan to exit Russian Industry and removal from SWIFT, was not bad enough to bring the Russian economy on its knees, FIFA, the world football governing body may have given the killer punch to the economy by suspending the country’s teams from playing international soccer until further notice, according to a Statement issued by the Organisation
. The decision was said to have been made in accordance with the Executive Committee of the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, which had aligned with the International Committee, IOC, Executive board’s recommendation on Monday, that international Federations and organisations should not allow or invite Russia or Belarusian athletes or officials to participate in their events.
FIFA, had announced a number of measures to penalize Russia over its invasion of Ukrain . The world governing football body and its allies, could take the decision to suspend Russia, from FIFA , UEFA and IOC, to force Putin, , to withdraw, Russia’s soldiers from Ukraine and end the war, which have rendered thousands of people homeless.