NEW YORK (Realist English). The special operation of the Russian army in the Ukraine will not stop under the influence of the American sanctions. This was stated in an interview with CNBC by the Hoover Institute senior researcher, historian Niall Ferguson.
“There’s no guarantee that Ukraine holds out, and what I dread is steadily worse news from Ukraine, and the breakdown of Ukraine’s defenses,” Ferguson noted, adding that the Russians are still ” advancing steadily”.
According to him, the strategy of “sitting back and waiting” for the Russian military machine to stop due to the sanctions may turn out to be “gravely mistaken”. “It’s a highly risky strategy. The Ukrainian resistance cannot hold the fort for much longer, and sanctions by the West won’t be able to stop Russia in time”.
“We’ll sit there saying, oh, well the sanctions have really hurt Russia — but it won’t matter to [President Vladimir] Putin because he will be able to claim victory. That for me is the nightmare scenario.” Ferguson explained.
The historian also pointed to a 2014 proposal that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger published, presenting the idea of Ukraine being a neutral country instead of attempting to join NATO: “It is clear that President Zelenskyy is open to that idea, which is a major shift in Ukraine’s position for the sake of trying to save his country from further destruction.”
Ferguson’s position is shared by Anna Ohanian, analyst of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In her opinion, “While the sanctions will start biting — perhaps can change Putin’s behavior down the road — at this point, they cannot be relied on as an instrument to be used to stop the violence.”