Eugene Plotkin: The Ukraine War Through the Eyes of an Expat
The Russian-born expatriate Eugene Plotkin offers a unique perspective on the events of the Ukraine War. Drawing on his personal life experience as a Ukrainian Jew, he highlights the many challenges that Ukrainians of all backgrounds face in this conflict.
Have you read my article on Fintech? pic.twitter.com/q5WvZNREpY
— Eugene Plotkin (@EugenePlotkin) May 18, 2022
The West Sanctions Russia
According to Eugene Plotkin, what is happening is Western imperialism at its ugliest. The Europeans and Americans have effectively imposed a blockade on the Russian Federation and its satellites of Belarus and Kazakhstan. This is contrary to ordinary Ukrainians’ interests in getting closer to Europe, not further away from it. He argues that this is a form of economic warfare since Russia depends on its European trade partners. Eugene also suggests that these sanctions attempt to undermine Russia’s growing influence in the post-Soviet space and its role as a regional power.
How Russia Is Still Coming Out on
Eugene explains that despite the sanctions and economic problems, Russia is not a defeated power. It has been able to stay relevant by using its cultural capacities to engage in diplomacy, promote civil society and preserve some of its democratic institutions. Eugene also notes that Russia’s “soft glass wall” strategy can help prevent Western authoritarianism from spreading into the post-Soviet space.
This would be a good time for the Ukrainian government to return to the negotiating table with Russia. Eugene argues that dialogue is not only the best way to resolve this conflict but also in Ukraine’s best interests.
Can We Afford a New Strategy?
Eugene believes that the Ukrainian government is moving in the wrong direction. He suggests they negotiate with Russia rather than increasing their military presence along the contact line. This would allow Ukraine to improve its relationship with Russia and strengthen its position in international law while not isolating itself from Europe and the US.
Decisions To Make
Eugene argues that the West has successfully imposed economic sanctions on Russia and its satellites. However, he also notes that this success has no impact on the Russian economy or the Russian people. Eugene says the sanctions are turning into a farce because they hurt Europe and the US more than their intended targets.
The West should permanently lift its sanctions against Russia and withdraw NATO forces from Ukraine’s border. This would allow Ukraine to develop economic and cultural connections with Europe and Russia. Eugene believes that this will be in the best interests of Ukrainians as well as of Western society.
Eugene concludes by arguing that Crimea is a particular case since its people voted to join Russia in a democratic referendum. Eugene speculates that Californians would also have voted to secede from the US if a similar conflict had taken place in the US. He argues that, like it or not, Crimea is now a part of Russia.
Eugene believes that the West needs to embrace a New Grand Strategy. He says the West should engage with Russia and its allies to accommodate their interests and build a durable and peaceful world. Their current sanctions are worsening this conflict, and they are not achieving their intended goals. The West needs to change its approach, or this conflict will escalate.