By Suleman Umaru
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of Ukraine appears to have realised that despite all the Humanitarian and military aid from the North American country of the United States, US, European Union, EU, United Kingdom, UK, and Canada, to fight Russia, there is still need fora ‘’Comprehensive peace talks with Aladimir Putin, the Russian President to end the war’’ which Serhiy Marchenko, the Finance minister had said has ‘’forced 30% of the economy to stop working’’ Liz Truss, UK, Foreign Secretary, had said that that ‘’peace talks to end the Ukraine conflct , between the two sides to the conflict would bear a ‘’smokescreen , for more extreme Russia military manoeuvres’’.
. Since the outbreak of the war some three weeks ago, major cities and towns in Ukraine have been destroyed by Russian Forces. An aggrieved Zelenskyy had said that the Russia Forces had succeeded in destroying Mariupol, Aviivka, Kramatorsk, Pokkrovsk, Novoselydivka, He noted that the Russia Forces have resorted to blockading the country’s major cities ‘’to wear the population down into submission’’, warning that ‘’the strategy will fail’’.
He has told those that cares to listen that Putin, who, he had caused of war crimes and Human Catastrophe in Ukraine’’, will lose on the long run if he doesn’t end the end. Putin in turn, has acused Zelensky of’’ war crime’’ He had told Emmanuel Macron, French President that Russia Forces were doing everything possible ‘’to avoid civilian deaths’’ but the United Nations, UN, said847 Civilians have been killed and 2,399 wounded as at Friday, March 18, 20222, in Ukraine .
The major worry of Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President for now, is the ongoing fighting for control of Azovstal Steel plant in the port city of Mariupol, described as one of the biggest in Europe.Vadym Denysenk, an Adviser to the Ukraine minister of Interior had said that the country has lost ‘’the economic giant to Russia, when the Ajaokuta steel plant in Delta state, Nigeria is still begging to be completed notwithstanding the billions of dollars that have been pumped into the project by previous Administrations over the years.
Another major project which the Ukraine minister of Interior had said had been lost to Russia is the country’s metallurgical plants, which he had said was one of the largest in Europe. Agency reports has it that the Russia Forces had used ‘the hypersonic kinzhal missiles in Ukraine’’ which was said to had destroyed the radio reconnaissance centres of the Ukrainian military near the port city of Odessa as well. The Ukraine National Police had said in a Statement on Saturday, March 19, 2022, that 37 residential buildings and other infrastructural facilities were also damaged in the three week-old war.
According President Zelenskyy, the destruction in Ukraine is massive , stressing that it will take several generations for Ukraine to recover the loses that had been incurred since theRussian Forces invaded the country at the instance of President Putin.
Giving the high level of destruction which had turned Ukraine major cities into a shadow of itselves in three weeks, may have informed why the Russian Leader, described as another Josef Stalin of Russia, had appeared at a packed Moscow stadium, where he had showered ‘’praises on the Russian troops fighting the Ukrainian Forces to remove the Puppet regime of Zelensky’’. But Ukrainian Leader had revealed in a video message to the people that in that Moscow stadium ‘’there are 14,000 dead bodies of Russian soldiers, and tens of thousands more injured and maimed, describing it as Russia costs throughout the invasion’’.
Mateus Morawiecki, the Polish Prime minister, who had visited Zelensky with two other Western Leaders recently had said on Saturday, March 19, 2022, that the only language the Russian President would understand to force him to end the war with Ukraine is for the EU, as an economic bloc a ‘’to impose total ban on trade with tRussia’’. He has championed the Campaign to add a ‘’trade blockade to the package of sanctions against Russia as soon as practicable including both of its seaports and also a ban on land trade’’.
Olaf Scholz, the Germany Chancellor, who has been hesitant to join other EU countries to impose sanctions on Russia appear to have made U-turn in its trade policy with Russia. Russia is the largest supplier of Liquefied Natural gas to Germany.
As a prelude to finding alternative market for its gas needs, Robert Habeck, the Germany Economy minister, at the instance of Sholz, the Chancellor, had travelled to Qatar and United Arab Emirate UAE, to discuss LNG supply as he aims to secure a hydrocarbon deal, in order to make the country less dependent on Russia gas.
The German minister had said that the round trip was ostensibly ‘’to establish a hydrocarbon partnership with the two Middle East countries in the medium term’’. The Germany minister was said to have been accompanied on the round trip by about 20 Representatives from Corporate Germany, mostly from the country’s energy sector.
Germany had been hesitant to boycott buying Russian gas on the grounds that any attempt to do so would ‘’cripple the economy and saddle the society with huge rises in energy price as well as lead to shortages. Habeck, the Germany minister of Economy had said on Friday, March 18, 2022,that they are they are much concerned on how ‘’to ensure steady supply stream of gas into the country’’ but stressed that the Ukraine war has encouraged the country ‘’to speed up its transition from conventional natural gas to green hydrocarbon’’.
Indeed, the pressure had been much on the Germany government from the EU Leadership and the Ukrainian government, to stop trading with Russia. The fallout was that Habeck, the Economy minister who has been working closely with the Chancellor since Russian invasion of Ukraine, had launched several initiatives to lessen the country’s dependence on Russia gas, including large orders of Non- Russian LNG, plans for a terminal to import LNG FROM Qatar and UAE.
The EU, may have known the implication of banning Russia LNG imports by member countries to heat up their homes and run power the heavy industries that European Commission has started working on plans ‘’to phase out the EU dependence on Russia gas, oil and coal in the next five years’’
Morawieki, the Polish Prime minister had said that ‘’fully shutting off Russia’s trade would force Putin to consider whether ‘’it would be better to stop the war or not’’.
In a related development, the Mont Companies were said to have united against the Russia invasion of Ukraine. Recall that after the Ukraine invasion, the Chief Executive Officers, CEOs of the Mont Companies moved with unusual speed and a sense of collective action ‘’to evacuate employees, shut factories and write rules’’.The Multi-national oil companies, MO:. British Petroleum, Shell, Equinor, Exon Mobil, had suspended their operations in Russia in protest over Putin’s special military operation, in Ukraine. Now the US oil field services Companies, Halliburton and Slumberger, at the instance of Joe Biden, the US, on Friday, March 18, 2022, halted their operations in Russia to protest the invasion of Ukraine.
While US, EU, UK and Canada, had stopped trading with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which was said to have formalized its membership of EU and NATO, China and Indian both Asian Countries with large markets, are still trading with Russia. A top India government official had urged Biden, to stop putting pressure on the India government to stop buying Russia gas as that may not be possible. The India government had said that it will increase its imports of Russia oil, allowing it to boost its energy supplies but at a discount as its economy struggles to survive. Biden, the US President may not have done yet with Narndra Modi, the India Prime minister, that that he had intensified pressure on him to ensure that India stop trading with Russia that he has given his words to take tougher measures against the country to force it to end the war with Ukraine. The country had a 20% deal to lift Russia Oil and gas as the 27 EU, countries, no longer buy from it.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime minister, had said on Friday, March 18, 2022, that victory for Russia Forces in Ukraine would ‘’herald a new age of intimidation in the world’’. He fears that ’’a victorious Putin may not stop in Ukraine and will mean the extinction of any hope of Freedom for Georgia and Moldova’’, stressing that ‘’it will mean a new age of intimidation across Eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Black sea’.
It is not surprisisng why Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President has shifted his attention to Swizerzerland urging the Authorities to freeze the Russian Oligarchs Accounts in their banks like the other EU countries have done including the US, UK, and Canada, all leading member countries of North Atlantic Treaty organsation, NATO.
The Ukrainian President was said to have called on China, which is still trading with Russia, ‘’to condemn the country’s barbarism and support Civilised countries Coalition for total trade ban with the country’’. Whether Xi Jiping, the Chinese Premier, would bow to Zelensky’s pressure or not remain to be seen.