EDITOR’S NOTE : PYRRHIC VICTORY
By N.Selin Şenocak
A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Such a victory negates any true sense of achievement or damages long-term progress. The phrase originates from a quote from Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose triumph against the Romans in the Battle of Asculum in 279 BC destroyed much of his forces, forcing the end of his campaign.
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by the West is an accurate representation of a Pyrrhic victory. Who will emerge victorious from this war? It is neither Russia, nor Ukraine, and even less so the Western countries. The whole world is suffering from the consequences of this war, with the rising prices of oil and natural gas, not to mention the closure of Russian companies in Europe and vice versa. In a world economy already weakened by the Covid pandemic, this war between the West and Russia is aggravating the ongoing global economic crisis.
Meanwhile, the United States, tries to take advantage of this situation in order to strengthen its power in the Middle East and Africa through the visits of Anthony Blinken. However, these countries remain neutral in regards to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. The vote at the United Nations is a clear example that the Pivotal Powers such as China, India, Brazil, Iran, Indonesia, and traditional allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are keeping their distance from the hardline stance against Russia.
One of the most frequent lines heard in Washington is that Russia is now globally isolated but as mentioned by Edward Luce, Financial Times’ chief US commentator in his last article “The west is rash to assume the world is on its side over Ukraine” has made a significant observation “Not for the first time, the west is mistaking its own unity for a global consensus. One misleading measure is at the UN. In the organisation’s last tally earlier this month, 141 of 193 member states condemned Vladimir Putin’s blatant violation of international law. But the 35 that abstained account for almost half the world’s population. That includes China, India, Vietnam, Iraq and South Africa. If you add those that voted with Russia, it comes to more than half”.
Many of these countries, such as India and Turkey have launched a new system in order to allow them to make direct rupee-ruble/ lira-ruble payments for trade with Russia. President Erdoğan told Putin that, ‘apart from the euro and dollar, trade between the two countries can be carried out using the Russian ruble and Chinese yuan’. Saudia Arabia is considering China’s request to be paid in yuan for its oil. This would help undercut the power of the dollar. It seems that the trade balance may swing in a direction not calculated by Western countries.
Turkey is one of the many countries calling for stability in Ukraine. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will relentlessly try to find a long-lasting ceasefire and Turkey has already hosted the first high-level peace talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers. He said Turkey was “prepared to undertake its part in order to end the crisis between two friendly nations that are its neighbors in the Black Sea.” President Erdogan, in his role as mediator between Russia and Ukraine, is not only seeking to establish peace between the two nations in the hopes of obtaining stability in the Black Sea region but also in order to garner his power and influence for the upcoming presidential elections.
No one will be victorious in this war. It is obvious that this war will result in a Pyrrhic victory and as such, the world balance will change with new alliances.
Happy Ramadan to everyone.