The War Drags On

Our European colleagues are checking back in on their five theses for Russia’s war in Ukraine and its global ripple effects: 

  • The war of attrition between Russia and Ukraine, and by extension the West’s proxy war with Russia, will likely continue deep into 2023, at least
    • Neither Ukraine nor Russia is prepared to make the concessions necessary for successful ceasefire or peace negotiations.
    • With Putin’s mobilization, Russia’s domestic situation is becoming an increasingly important variable influencing the conflict’s trajectory.
  • The war will accelerate competition and distrust between the West and China, which other non-Western states will attempt to use to their advantage in different policy fields without choosing sides. 
    • China and India are feeling the economic fallout of the war and appear increasingly concerned about Putin’s handling of the conflict. 
    • But neither can be expected to disengage from Russia or change its stance because of western pressure.
  • The war will mark a geopolitical turning point in global energy markets.
    • Recent developments have further increased pressure on European governments to diversify sources of fossil fuels in the short term and to accelerate the energy transformation. 
    • Governments will continue to intervene heavily in energy markets in a manner unthinkable just a few years ago.
  • A winter of political discontent is looming in Europe, lowering the appetite for new sanctions. 
    • European cohesion is holding up better than we predicted, with the EU announcing its eighth sanctions package in response to Russia´s declared annexation of Ukrainian territory. 
    • Even under its new far-right prime minister Giorgia Meloni, Italy´s Ukraine policy will likely continue in the short- and medium-term.
  • Global food security will continue to be a key challenge.
    • The World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization are warning a record number of people are “either already starving or on the brink of disaster.” 
    • The grain shipment deal struck between Ukraine and Russia remains fragile and insufficient to significantly ease pressure on global food systems. 
    • Globally, policymakers struggle to find joint responses or even agree on a standard narrative for what’s causing the crisis. 

Read the full analysis here.