Inflation, negative impact of the conflict in Ukraine on North America

The Russian President confirmed that his country is power with an expansionist trajectory. Latin America is not the most affected by the conflict. On the surface there is unity in the West and the dawn of liberalism; however, there are differences.

Inflation, negative impact of the conflict in Ukraine on North America
Support for Ukraine. The worst is yet to be seen in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Photo by Samuel Jerónimo / Unsplash

With the military intervention in Ukraine, the destabilization of the post-Cold War world political system has reached a critical point, perhaps of no return, stated the Center for Research on North America (CISAN) of the UNAM.

Carlos Ballesteros Pérez, from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, pointed out that at the end of March and after a month of the war in that area of the planet, the situation opens up to a possible agreement between both countries to establish a ceasefire and develop negotiations to define the status of a nation historically subjected to the will of the great powers.

"A neutral Ukraine is emerging, outside the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), limited in terms of military power and willing to assimilate the reality imposed by Russia concerning Crimea and eventually Donbas (the region in eastern Ukraine)," he said.

If these concessions materialize, the expert added, we would be facing a political triumph for Putin: "He will obtain what he already had, except for the guarantee of keeping Ukraine out of NATO, which in practice was a fact. A Pyrrhic victory, at a high cost and, in the end, a serious mistake".

By violating Ukraine's sovereignty he commits a crime against peace, which is succeeded by war crimes that will be investigated in due course. "The Russian president has confirmed that his country is a power with a historical expansionist trajectory supported by military power, which cannot be trusted and is to be feared. It is the Eurasian counterpart of the United States."

The abrupt turn in world politics represents for North America the reaffirmation of the USA as an economic, technological, energetic, and military power. The collaboration of our northern neighbor with Canada is solid within the framework of NATO and with Mexico, there are general coincidences such as the condemnation of the Russian invasion, but also glimpses of independence that remains at the rhetorical level and contrasts with the structural coupling of our country to the dynamics of the main world power, he said.

At the round table The conflict in Ukraine. Implications for North America and the World Order, Rosío Vargas Suárez, from CISAN, pointed out that North America is not the region most affected by the conflict, but rather the European Union. Mexico, Canada, and the US benefit from the increase in oil prices since they are producers of crude oil and gas; however, when this increase is extended to derivative products, it generates a more complex effect, due to the impact of costs on societies.

In Mexico, due to the improvement in the refining system, imports and foreign exchange outlays are substantially reduced by 48 percent. It was also established that fuel prices should not increase beyond inflation; therefore, the increase has been of one peso or less, standing at 21.31 pesos for regular gasoline; 23.11 for a premium; and 22.64 for diesel; in contrast, for example, in Germany, the liter was at 50.40 pesos and in Norway at 49.

The negative impact that the war has had is the cost for the three countries in terms of inflation, between seven and nine percent in the U.S.; 5.7 in Canada; and 7.29 percent in Mexico. Furthermore, in Mexico there is a revaluation of the peso, another variable where we have not fared so badly, Vargas emphasized.

Edit Antal Fodroczy, also from that academic entity, mentioned that in the energy and environment issue there is a dividing line between the US and the European Union and within this, there are nations that are more vulnerable than others. "Replacing Russia's fossil energy in the old continent will be in the medium and long term".

The North American nation promised to tap its strategic reserves to send to Europe and solve the problem for the time being. Rationing gas in winter leads to strong social tensions; some nations put up with more and therefore their relationship with Russia is different.

On the surface, there is unity in the West vis-à-vis Russia and a dawning of liberalism; however, there are differences in interests. The neighboring country to the north is more interested in focusing on China than on Europe and wants the old continent to take charge of its security. The damage resulting from the conflict will depend on how far it progresses and when the economic sanctions affecting the whole world are lifted.

Referring to China's role, Tonatiuh Fierro de Jesús, a doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Political and Social Sciences, said that the Asian giant has tried to avoid conflict and put its interests first; "it seeks a peaceful environment to achieve its development objectives".

Chinese discourse presents a game of balances; it would seem that its language is ambiguous, but it is not. It adopted the concept of "benevolent neutrality", of an actor with global responsibility. It avoids getting directly involved and calling the attack an invasion, only referring to the "problem" in Ukraine.

Beijing is trapped in a diplomatic situation that overshadows its global leadership ambitions; the Chinese government is trying to support its strategic partner, Russia, but at the same time it is abandoning what has been one of its major foreign policy principles: respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. It is cautious and prudent not wanting to get involved in an armed conflict because it would put its global projects at risk.