Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Ukraine 03

Let us stop pretending that the Ukraine war is a local affair. The repercussions of higher oil and gas prices, fertiliser costs and grain exports make this a global war, even if the bullets and bombs are as yet only killing people in one country. This is World War Three; we need to admit it.

Allegedly, a very long time ago, probably before the invention of writing, a man came down from a mountain with a slab of flattish rock on which were carved the words "Thou shalt not kill", probably not in English. It's always seemed a good rule of thumb to me so don't expect me to support shooting people, even Russians.

Another good rule of thumb is "don't pay money to people who kill other people, even if it's to buy stuff you really really want". In last years prices, the West has got into the habit of paying Russia about $300,000,000 per day. That's more than double the Russian military budget. We in the west are funding Putin's war.

Today the UK Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng announced that:

Pathetic! This 'transition' will give Putin enough time to bomb every last building in Ukraine. 'Give the market, business supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports'? Why 'more than enough time'? They don't need any time. And if that means we have to have some energy rationing, so be it. At least we have houses that have not been bombed. A little inconvenience is survivable.

What will not be just a little inconvenience is the impact on global food prices when Russia fails to export grain and Ukraine fails to even grow any. This risks a collapse in the world's food supply chain in which the poorest of the global south will go hungry. The potential for famine is real and great, and could even dwarf the suffering in Ukraine itself. 

The war is global and we must all consider ourselves at war, sharing in the hurt and sharing in the effort to ensure it ends quickly. The least we can do is to manage without imports from Russia, We will then, and only then, cease to be funding Putin's war.


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