Since early morning of 24FEB22, Russian forces have been shelling targets in Ukraine, amongst them: Kiev airport. The invasion of ground forces followed this first wave of attacks. By violating all international treaties and the UN Charter, Russia has drawn a line and ushered in a new era - with bitter consequences for civil aviation and the international transport sector in general, too.
“Political change through economic rapprochement.” For years, this had been the mantra of the EU in its relations with Russia, particularly of the German government under Angela Merkel.
But there were early signs that this policy was based on illusions. This was demonstrated more than a decade ago by Russian military actions in the Caucasus region, especially in Georgia and
How will it play out?
With Putin's invasion of Ukraine, this policy based on talks, diplomacy, and good economic relations, has now collapsed. What we are witnessing is the beginning of a turning point, with an uncertain outcome.
For, in response to the incursion, the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and also the EU, have adopted a second, tough sanctions package. Especially the closure of the EU airspace for Russian aircraft will massively affect carriers such as Aeroflot, ABC, Rossiya and others.
The hopes of Western airlines that the situation would calm down after the recognition of the state sovereignty of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk by Putin, and that air traffic to Ukraine or overflights over the territory could be undertaken safely again, have been completely dashed.
Supply chain chaos
With airlines only just returning to more normal operations after two years of the worst crisis in aviation history, Putin has abruptly halted progress as airlines are forced to circumvent affected airspace due to mutual flight bans.
Yet not just aviation is affected when it comes to the movement of goods. All those Silk Road trains that transit the Ukraine and/or Belarus will experience blockages. Already both countries have
seen suspensions over the past few months as a result of political difficulties between neighboring countries in response to the Russian-Ukrainian tensions.
Sanctions and a downward spiral
Due to massive sanctions, Russia is almost completely excluded from trade with the West.
In response to the military incursion by Russian forces into Ukraine, the ruble has plummeted, and oil prices are going through the roof.
The madness unleashed by Putin appears to know no bounds. On Sunday (27FEB22) Vladimir Putin has put the country's nuclear forces on alert. He cites the economic sanctions imposed by NATO countries as the reason. Hence, a new spiral of political, military, and economic confrontation is gathering speed - with an uncertain outcome.
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