Putin's high-profile statements on issues such as Ukraine, separatist regions, and former USSR countries are strategically and historically important. Putin officially recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which constitute a de-facto situation in Ukraine and have severed their ties from the center for years. Regarding Russia-Ukraine relations, he stated that the establishment of Ukraine was the work of Lenin and that there was no independent Ukraine in history, these regions were historically Russian. It should be said that there are statements that will basically escalate tensions and actually paralyze NATO. Of course, Putin's statements will still cause concern about the possibility of a military operation. The situation in Donetsk and Luhansk could be similar to the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In other words, the sovereignty rights of the regions will be recognized and their self-determination will be legitimized, and then they will decide to join Russia with a referendum with a predetermined result. This is a high probability.
According to Zelensky's case, would the event become similar to the Georgian War in 2008? Of course, it may vary depending on the situation. We remember that Russia created a de-facto situation in Georgia, detaching South Ossetia and Abkhazia from the center. Intervention in the protests against Lukashenko in Belarus, Russian military going to the region in the latest protests in Kazakhstan.. A Russian policy is followed, in which pro-Russian regimes are supported, orientations to the West are prevented, thus keeping its sphere of influence on the territory of the former USSR. Former USSR countries can be independent, as long as they are satellites of Russia, they will not have problems with Putin.
Brent, gold and ruble comparison… Source: Bloomberg
The transfer of Donetsk and Luhansk to Russia is the declaration of the de facto situation. Russia is met here not with rebellion as an invader, but with demonstrations of joy as a savior. In the face of limited expansion of Russia, the West evaluates the event with different situations. Russia's limited enlargement is not something anyone would normally stretch that far. Countries such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania, which have become members of the EU and NATO and transitioned to democratic regimes in 1989, form a buffer between Europe and the Balkans. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also prevent Russia from opening up to the Baltic. Of course, it directly affects the security of Europe. In terms of Russia; Ukraine is related to the Black Sea domain, Georgia to the Caucasus domain, and Kazakhstan to the Asian domain (buffer with China, there are political and economic conflicts of interest even though they have the same goals). In order not to move away from Europe, it was important for Belarus to remain as a satellite state. The importance of Ukraine is also: Russia does not move away from the seas and does not become a land state confined to the Eurasian steppes. Strategic depth lies here.
Economic cards are on the table. The US will evaluate the sanctions from today. Of course, the most important option is to exclude Russia from SWIFT and leave companies and banks out of the financial system. Dependence on Russian natural gas will be tried to be overcome by importing LNG. Russia relies on its energy deals and Nord Stream 2, which will deliver gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine. That's why Germany has so far attached importance to its relations with Russia and played more political correctness. One of the dilemmas of the response to Russia is that NATO was established against the Soviet Russian threat, and the same perspective is being applied to keep Stalin out of Europe at the time, on the basis of the US military dominance in the European continent. A few years ago, Macron gave the first signals of his desire to break this with the dream of a European army. Germany also wants to increase its military presence, which was limited after the Second World War, and to do justice to its industry, which has a tremendous production capacity. By keeping the crisis alive, the US wanted to provoke Russia to attack Ukraine somehow. Putin, with a word yesterday, took Donetsk and Luhansk and made the situation such that he would either maket he West fire the first bullet with a hot war or paralyze NATO.
In terms of markets, the demand for security seems to come to the fore. This may mean that we may see sales in the main assets on the axis of risk avoidance, the sensitivity of the ruble may increase, and there may be an increase in the commodity group, especially oil. Undoubtedly, the local assets of the surrounding countries do not remain indifferent to these developments. Have we reached the peak of the crisis and will we stay on the axis of developments that are more taken for granted from now on? That's a possibility.
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