In the aftermath of the outbreak of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) has been facing the consequences of its misguided policy decisions from decades ago. Doing ‘business as usual’ with Russia, a country whose values are fundamentally different from those of the Western nations’, is always dangerous and may seem reckless.
Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, unprecedented in the 21st century, created a new reality and changed the rules of the game. Ukrainian citizens have already shown exceptional endurance, will, and courage in the confrontation with the military machine of the Russian Federation. Despite the high level of uncertainty, the economy and business quickly adapted to wartime conditions. Conducting economic activity under the constant crosshairs of Russian ballistic missiles made security an essential characteristic of the business climate, as observed in their article by Yevhen Anhel, Oleksandra Betliy, and Oksana Kuziakiv in this issue of the 4liberty.eu Review. Still, it is security that calls for international support and solidarity.
Ukraine’s allied countries continue to play the key role in Ukraine’s economic stability as the state relies substantially on the financial support of international partners, which helps the country to keep going despite hardships. Even more financial support, as well as foreign direct investments, will be needed to finance recovery and reconstruction.
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The war has also revealed how fragile and interconnected today’s world is, and how countries with open economies are dependent on world events. At the same time, the complete Russian invasion of Ukraine has repositioned the focal point of Europe toward the east, directing increased focus toward the nations of Central and Eastern Europe – as indicated by Natalia Matiaszczyk in her contribution. As we learn from most of the featured pieces, the war has already significantly changed both the structure of European security and economic activity. The European Union needs to rethink its foreign policy, and draw lessons from the previous experiences of pacifying the aggressor.
First of all, the war revealed the risks of being dependent on one energy resource supplier. Clearly, high dependency on Russian energy supplies impacted the economy of EU countries, as analyzed in his article by Igor Šlosar. Secondly, this issue has created a number of others – as, for instance, disrupting global commodity chains, raising worries about worldwide food security, and increasing world economic instability as a result of Russian militaristic policy, as pointed out by Parvin Guliyev in his contribution. Nevertheless, this strife of both Ukrainians and EU citizens has prompted the fortification of the regional security framework, as nations in the vicinity united to uphold shared values and shield against external dangers. Furthermore, the Russian occupation has emphasized preserving democratic principles and regional stability.