Russia Ukraine crisis: Implications for Pakistan | By Rashid Mehmood


Russia Ukraine crisis: Implications for Pakistan

THE war between Ukraine and Russia started in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The conflict escalated into a full-scale war between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 under the pretence of national security. This war has given birth to severe issues like economic implications for parties involved and exclusively for the atomic states and one of them are global oil prices. The economic sanctioned imposed by Western states on Russia will further determine disruption in the supply Brent crude oil and other exports by Russia. While Ukraine, which is the largest productive state of wheat and sunflower and other exports, will bring enormous challenges to the world economy inclusive Pakistan.

This crisis has far-reaching implications for the world, including Pakistan. The conflict has already resulted in increased tensions between Russia and NATO, and has the potential to destabilize the entire region.  This crisis has significant economic and political implications for entire world including Pakistan. The surge in global oil prices, disruptions in the supply of agricultural products, and decrease in foreign investment could lead to serious economic problems for these countries. Additionally, the crisis could lead to increased arms sales, strained relationships with Russia, and heightened tensions with India. One of the most significant economic impacts of this crisis is global oil prices. As a result of the sanctions imposed on Russia, there will be a disruption in the supply of Brent crude oil, which could lead to a global shortage of oil. This shortage could result in higher prices for oil and gas, which would increase the cost of living for people in Pakistan.

Ukraine export wheat, sunflower oil, and other agricultural products. The conflict could disrupt the supply of these goods, which could lead to higher prices and food shortages in Pakistan. Additionally, the crisis could lead to a decrease in foreign investment in Pakistan, as investors become wary of investing in countries that are politically unstable. The ongoing crisis could also have significant political implications for Pakistan. For example, the crisis has already led to increased tensions between Russia and NATO. Moreover, Pakistan has traditionally been an ally of Russia, and the current crisis could strain their relationship. The conflict could lead to increased tensions between Pakistan and India, as both countries compete for Russia’s support. In addition, Pakistan could face pressure from the United States and its allies to take a stance against Russia, which could further complicate the country’s foreign policy.

Both Russia and Ukraine are important agricultural suppliers in the global food chain, and the disruption of their exports due to the ongoing conflict has led to food shortages in several countries, including Pakistan. The blockade of Ukrainian ports by Russia has further exacerbated the situation, as it has prevented Ukrainian exports from reaching several countries. This has put pressure on countries like Pakistan to find alternative suppliers for essential commodities such as wheat. As a result, the government may need to cover any shortages with expensive wheat imports, which could have significant economic implications for the country. if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues and spills over into other regions, it could have even more severe impacts on the global economy and international relations. It is important for policymakers to monitor the situation closely and take measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the conflict.

Russia and Ukraine has had significant impacts on the Pakistani economy,  there has been a difference in the supply and demand of other commodities, which has led to concerns among Pakistani industrialists.  The increase in prices of raw materials such as oil, wheat, and steel, will not only affect the industrial sector but also have a cascading effect on other sectors of the economy, including the construction industry. The shortage of exported goods from Ukraine could also lead to price increases and shortages of essential commodities, which could directly affect the common man.

It is important for the Pakistani government to take measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the conflict, such as diversifying trade relationships with other countries and finding alternative sources for essential commodities. The government can also take steps to support industries that may be directly affected by the conflict, such as the construction industry, to ensure that the economic impacts of the conflict are minimized. Pakistan heavily relies on steel imports from Ukraine, and any disruption to the supply chain due to the conflict could increase the burden on the industry. Furthermore, Pakistan also imports defence equipment from Ukraine, and the ongoing conflict could lead to disruptions in this supply chain, which would be detrimental to Pakistan’s security. The situation of Pakistani students and citizens in the conflict-affected region is also a cause of concern. The evacuation process is underway, but the disruption to education and employment opportunities could have long-lasting impacts on the affected individuals and the Pakistani economy as a whole.

Pakistan has maintained trade relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and these relationships have been particularly important for imports of wheat. In 2020, Pakistan faced acute wheat shortages due to mismanagement and failed crops. To stabilise prices and accumulate stocks, the government allowed private companies to import wheat, and Ukraine emerged as the main supplier, exporting 1.2 MT of wheat to Pakistan between July and November 2020. Russia also supplied 0.92 MT of wheat to Pakistan during the same period. In total, wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine exceeded 2.1 MT over the course of the 2020-2021 period. Both Russia and Ukraine exports LNG to Pakistan, since this crisis , this country faces severe shortage as many companies have backed out of their contracts with Pakistan this has harmed local industries and have slowed down the import of fossil fuel, LNG and coal.

Pakistan is caught in a complex situation diplomatically as it wishes to keep the relations with both Russia and the West and European countries including the US. Due to poor experience in camp politics Pakistan cannot got against Russia at UNGA to stay neutral and west may compelled Pakistan to review its stance against Russia. In such situation the government and stakeholders should maintain diplomatic ties with Russia and China for geopolitical reasons as this crisis would not be resolved so quickly. It is important for policymakers and the government of Pakistan to monitor the situation closely and take measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the crisis.

—The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.

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