By: Adam Paquin
In the past several months since Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, many countries across the world have begun cutting ties with Russia and refusing to purchase several commodities as well as oil. All of this in a hope to damage the Russian economy, slow down their flow of military funds and support Ukraine in these unprecedented times. From a far, this seemed to be an easy task as most thought that Russia was only good for exporting oil and gas, but in fact they are also massive suppliers of precious metals as well. Russia is the world’s largest producer of Palladium which is used in many electronics and cars. And they are also the world’s second largest producer of platinum which is used in jewelry and many medical devices. They are also major producers of gold, aluminum, and nickel.
In the eyes of the rest of the world this is their first step in an attempt to put Russia economy and their development several decades. As over the past few decades we as a complete human race have discovered that working as a whole world speeds up development of knowledge and technology. If Russia as a country was no longer part of this international development, they would have to create many of their own internal domestic technology and technology firms all from scratch. Now this comes with many advantages and disadvantages for not only European countries but for the Unites States as well. Let’s say that Russia never existed, and Europe ended right at the edge of Finland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and China who would the United States have to fight with in an arms race. Would the United States be where they are now if not for their cold war with Russia during the late 20th century. Would Germany have won previous wars against Europe if Russia had not been involved. Russia although in modern times is not a part of NATO and may seem like a foreign place to outsiders. The country has been a major player in the history books, and I am sure would impact the lives of everyone if one day in the near future is cut off from the rest of the western world.
I am sure that the world would find the ability to replace Russian resources eventually if we lost them completely, but we would certainly struggle until we replaced them. As we are already seeing gas prices are rising drastically all over the world, and this is just the beginning. Some countries such as Germany, who rely on Russian gas much more than other countries. People would freeze to death in the winter months if cut off from natural gas instantly and completely. Nickel prices rising astronomically in London on the London Metal Exchange which forced a shut down for over a week. And the car industry and vehicle prices would also climb to unprecedented levels until we were able to find another source of palladium to supply the world.
So now we need to ask ourselves who is being hurt more by the sanctions placed on Russia them or us, and if the answer is them does Putin really care enough to put an end to this war in order to restore his countries reputation with the world. But if the answer is us, is there any alternative to show our support for Ukraine? Either than starting World War Three, do we continue to aid Ukraine in sending military equipment and continue this outrageous war that Russia has started. Or do we stop helping Ukraine and let them fall to the hands of Putin, all of these questions have been on the minds of Members of NATO for the past several months and have put many countries aside from Russia and Ukraine in a very tough moral dilemma. I for one am more curious as to what will happen once this war comes to an end. Will all be forgiven as if it never happened or will Europe and the rest of the world put Putin on trial for his war crimes along with many of his military leaders who supported some of the travesties that have happened to innocent Ukrainian civilians.