As the war in Ukraine continues, the West is taking measures to expand NATO, spearheaded by the United States, stoking the flames of war.
The devastating toll the conflict is taking on the global economy is most disconcerting and it has been suggested that we are looking at a prolonged war in Europe.
On Thursday, leaders of Sweden and Finland, two European nations that opted for neutrality for years, flanked US President Joe Biden at the White House while he threw his support behind their bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.
... and today I'm proud to assure them that they have the full, total, complete, backing of the United States of America. Today, my administration is submitting to the United States Congress reports on NATO accession for both countries, so the Senate can efficiently and quickly move on advising and consenting to the treaty.
US President, Joe Biden
So I don't think those nations really ought to be scared of Russia. That would be really stupid. If they were maybe they are that foolish and believe the narrative going on. I think it's more ... there's a power play, I mean; you look at the sanctions, that's where you really see the intent. President Biden said this in Poland, he said, we intend that Russia's economy will be half of what it was over years. So that reveals he's planning to continue this for years; Zelenskyy, even if he were inclined to negotiate, will not be allowed to do so. And I think there's intent to force governments to pick sides.
Diane Sare, Independent Candidate for US Senate
The move comes amid objections by Turkey, a NATO ally, and warnings by Washington. Ankara opposes Finland's and Sweden's ascension to the military alliance, citing their longtime support for groups Turkey considers terrorists.
Moscow, however, has warned of retaliation if Finland, a country which shares a 1340 kilometer long border with Russia, were to join NATO.
Russia's deputy UN representative, Dmitry Polyanskiy, went so far as to say that the two nations could turn into potential targets for Russia, if they were to become NATO members.
Finland and Sweden say they decided to join the NATO alliance and reverse decades of military non alignment after Russia attacked Ukraine.
But Russia considers NATO's eastward expansion a threat to its national security. This perceived threat, according to Russian officials, pushed Moscow into launching a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
As the war between Ukraine and Russia entered its fourth month, the US Senate passed a $40 billion bill to provide assistance to Ukraine. 86 senators voted for the bill while 11 others, all Republicans, voted against it, citing its high price tag and the fact that it might not be upset.
The bill earmark $6 million for arms to be purchased from contractors and sent to Ukraine. It also increases the Presidential drawdown capacity from the $5 billion the Biden administration had originally requested to 11 billion.
The drawdown capacity allows the president, at times of emergency, to dispense arms and military equipment directly from US stocks without oversight.
It used to be the case when you had votes for sanctions against Russia, It would only be two senators voting against. So I think the revolt against this policy is growing.
And I can tell you, from the campaigning I've been doing and speaking with hundreds of American voters, Americans do not want this war. They don't support spending all this money on weapons.
They may not have a completely elevated view of it but their inclination is to say we are suffering here. We're paying a million dollars a gallon for gasoline. We're running out of baby formula. Why are we doing this?
And I want that to be known around the world that the American people are not represented by the policies of this administration.
Diane Sare, Independent Candidate for US Senate
The war and subsequent sanctions on Russia have sent shockwaves across the globe, threatening the most vulnerable economies in the world that have yet to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID 19 pandemic.
It is also responsible for creating a new global crisis; a worldwide food insecurity crisis.
This is not just about Ukraine; this is about the poorest of the poor around the world who are on the brink of starvation as we speak.
David Beasley, UN World Food Programme Chief
The whole world, including the US and its allies, is paying the price for the war and its consequences. The situation shall only get worse if the conflict continues indefinitely.
The economic, political and military pressures against Moscow don't seem to have been effective in encouraging a compromise from the Russians.
The US has expressed opposition to a prolonged war; however, actions speak louder than words.