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Global Economy Rocked

The Russia-Ukraine War has increased the price of crude oil in the international market, and its consequences would be far-reaching and destructive. The global community should help Moscow and Kiev resolve the crisis, otherwise the situation would go out of hand… and, the entire world would have to face the consequences. Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed the view while speaking at the World Government Summit 2022, recently held in Dubai.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 (2022), the US and other Western nations started imposing economic sanctions on Moscow. One-and-a-half-month has passed since then; however, the situation has remained the same. During her meeting with Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Georgieva said that the IMF did not suspend Russia, as the global lender wanted both Russia and Ukraine to resolve the issue through peaceful negotiation.

IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva

At a time when the US and its Western allies are trying to corner Russia by imposing economic sanctions, the IMF chief has shared a completely different vision with the Global Community. Experts are of the opinion that the IMF is worried about the future of the Russian Economy. In Dubai, Georgieva expressed serious concern over the impact of the “unprecedented” Western sanctions on Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine, stressing that the move would be “quite severe” for the Russian Economy. She further said that a Russian sovereign default was no longer an “improbable event“, as the economic sanctions on Russia would prevent it from accessing foreign reserves and paying down the outstanding debt.

Apart from the managing director of the IMF, many experts and analysts have criticised the US and its allies for imposing economic sanctions on Russia. They believe that it would not resolve the crisis, but would trigger a fresh tension. According to experts, US President Joe Biden recently made a mistake by asking the Russians to change the regime in their country. In an article, titled ‘That the US/NATO want Regime Change in Russia is not exactly a secret‘ (published on March 30, 2022); the Strategic Alert Service online portal mentioned: “A major fuss is being made over US President Joe Biden’s comment in Warsaw on March 26, where he said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, ‘For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power!’ White House aides immediately tried walking it back, and President Biden himself said the next day that he was not calling for regime change in Russia. Some commentators paired it with his remark two days earlier that the US would respond ‘in kind’ if Russia used chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, stating the obvious, that it is problematic if not downright dangerous for the President to be making such statements.

Strategic Alert Service

The portal added: “US Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to President Biden’s comment on the ouster of Putin by stating that ‘we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia or anywhere else’. Given the recent plethora of US sponsored regime change coups in Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and the attempt to do so in Syria and Belarus, Blinken’s denial carries no weight, and only exposes him as a liar in most of the world living outside the trans-Atlantic media bubble.

The Strategic Alert Service further stated: “A more blunt proposal was offered by Wall Street Journal editorial board member James Freeman, who wrote on March 25 that Biden ‘should try to say as little as possible in public during an international crisis’, though he did acknowledge that putting a muzzle on a president is not a very good idea. A more pertinent point was made by Richard Haass, the President of the US Council on Foreign Relations, who said that trying to ‘walk back’ the blatant call for regime change ‘is unlikely to wash. Putin will see it as a confirmation of what he’s believed all along’. It also creates risks, in his view, that Putin will ‘reject compromise, escalate or both’.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Meanwhile, Russia has urged India to use a system – developed by the Russian Central Bank – for bilateral payments. Moscow plans to introduce Rupee-Ruble-denominated Payment Systems, using Russia’s messaging system SPFS. As per the plan, Rubles would reportedly be deposited into an Indian bank and converted into Rupees. The system would also work in reverse. During his March 31-April 1 visit to New Delhi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the issue with top Indian officials. Later, the Russian minister told the press that the Government of India assured him that it would consider the proposal to use the system developed by the Russian Central Bank for bilateral payments.

Ruble

It may be noted that India has decided to import oil and weapons from sanctions-hit Russia.

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