Europe, NATO, and the United States of America are waiting for the Ukrainian spring counteroffensive to defeat the Russian enemy, but it is not known where Kiev will get the ammunition or even who will give it the money to carry out a large-scale operation in the long run. The countries of the European bloc are trying to reach an agreement on whether to buy ammunition from European producers or whether it is worth negotiating supplies with third countries. France, Germany, Cyprus and Greece do not want to conclude contracts with Turkey to replenish Kiev’s military reserves. The others are prepared, if necessary, to buy additional ammunition from other states. The ambassadors to the EU on 6 April failed to reach a consensus.
This is because in spite of what European and Italian ministers are saying on TV, namely that with this war NATO has expanded and there is greater cohesion between NATO and Europe and even more ability to cooperate between European countries, the reality that emerges from the facts is only one: it is not true. The Old Continent is in fact coming to terms with economic resources it does not have, with the impossibility of creating a policy of producing as much money as it needs at the expense of public debt, and it still does not have a common foreign policy. The interests of European countries themselves are very distant, not to say in many cases opposing, see migration policy, fisheries policy, agricultural policy.
But one thing is certain, the arms race has started for everything: for example, the Netherlands will buy new American- and Israeli-made long-range weapon systems for the Dutch air force, navy and army. Three systems will be purchased: extended-range air-to-surface missiles (JASSM-ER) for the Dutch Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II aircraft, Tomahawk missiles for the navy, and Israeli MLRS PULS systems for the ground forces. France will increase its military budget by 1.5 times in the coming years. The authorities of the Fifth Republic plan to increase the military budget from the current EUR 43.9 billion to EUR 69 billion in 2030, or more than one and a half times, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said. “By 2030, the French defence budget will reach an unprecedented 69 billion euros,” Lecornu told RTL radio.
Russia has also increased its arms budget. For example, 200 billion roubles (EUR 2,248,388,280) will be invested in drones, source Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Department estimated the volume of demand from state bodies and state-owned companies up to 2030. In physical terms, the Government of the Russian Federation plans to purchase 480 thousand pieces of equipment.
VEB.RF will be engaged in leasing: the total volume of this market is estimated at 500 billion roubles. In the budget for 2023-2025, a total of 18.8 billion roubles is planned for drone procurement. The authorities also plan to introduce subsidies and incentives for the rental, operation and support of drone service centres, but the amount has not yet been determined.
In addition, state regulation will be revised in relation to UAVs. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is exploring the possibility of withdrawing drone manufacturers from the grey area, reducing certification and creating a frequency classification.
STLC also positively assessed the prospects of the Russian market for leasing civil unmanned aerial vehicles. It is believed that leasing ‘in the short term will be more attractive to customers than buying from the manufacturer’. Moscow’s goal at the moment is to cut the bureaucracy inherited from Stalin’s time in order to give more room for the development of mass production, achieve rapid contracting of cooperation, and payment of advances.
From 7 April to 5 May, foreign currency worth 74.6 billion roubles will be sold in Russia, the Russian Ministry of Finance announced. Negotiations are being held due to the drop in oil and gas revenues. The shortfall in April was 113.6 billion roubles, slightly lower than last month. The sale of foreign currency has become a regular practice of the Ministry of Finance to replenish the budget. It is likely that the problem of the shortage of funds from the export of energy resources will not be solved in the near future. However, the situation will clearly improve against the background of rising black gold prices and thanks to a new tax regime in the oil industry.
If one looks at the new regulations passed by the State Duma or the measures taken by Putin, one can see how Russia is set to remain at war for another five to ten years. The Ministry of Finance in its note on the sale of foreign currency explained that the drop in revenue in Russia is expected for the next two years after which the country will resume its production and economic cycle.
In fact, Russia, despite the sanctions, has planned its exit from the economic crisis with a series of bilateral agreements with friendly, allied and forthcoming countries. Much weight will be given to the expansion of the BRICS and the economic agreements that provide for: rating agencies outside the euro-dollar circuit; world banks outside the euro-dollar circuit; and finally a market no longer based on exchange through the dollar.
If since 2014 US-Poland, and the trio, Germany, France UK, have been preparing Ukraine for the current war, Russia has used the same timeframe to improve its relations with the African continent, with India, China, Iran was already a long-time ally and is now working in the Middle East. If the United States adopts the techniques of coloured revolutions to create new political regimes, Russia has a long history of feeding separatist groups. And yet it cannot be ruled out that the new reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel with the help of Iran does not see in Russia an endorsement since Israel is helping the Ukrainians.
If we in the West think in terms of poker, the Russians are watching the pieces on the chessboard; if we think in terms of tactics, the Russians and the new world for thought are preparing a strategy.
So this conflict is no longer a Russia-Ukraine-US issue, but has become an old paradigm towards a new paradigm in which Asia and the East together with Russia are building something. What about us?