The sit-in strategy waiting for the Russian military to stop due to sanctions could go “very bad,” according to Niall Ferguson, chief executive of Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
“It’s a very dangerous strategy,” he said. As Russia is planning to comeback with all his power in to do or die mode.
Recently Russia reveled the possibility of striking down the International Space station that shook the west.
Opposition to Ukraine will not last long, and Western sanctions will not stop Russia in time, he told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday.
He said the US relied heavily on sanctions and “very late arms delivery” in Ukraine, but worried that those who fought for Ukraine would not be able to defend the country for long.
Although the Russian people retained more casualties than expected, “they are still making little progress,” he said.
“The idea that this will drag on, that the United States can always watch economic sanctions make their work a big mistake would be a mistake,” Ferguson said.
There is no guarantee that Ukraine is still in power, and what I fear is the worst news from Ukraine, and the collapse of Ukraine's defense. Niall Ferguson Chief executive officer at Hoover Institution
Anna Ohanyan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) echoes that sentiment.
“While sanctions will begin to sting – it could possibly change Putin’s behavior down – for now, it will not be relied upon as a tool to prevent violence,” said Ohanyan, a senior non-resident expert at CEIP’s Russia and Eurasia. system.
“It will not work fast enough to prevent Russia’s victory in Ukraine and I think this is a big problem,” Ferguson said.
The US and its allies have imposed extensive sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. But there seems to be a rift between Russia’s military development and sanctions that paralyze Moscow.
“There is no guarantee that Ukraine will continue, and what I fear is the worst news from Ukraine, and the collapse of Ukraine’s defense,” Ferguson said.
“We will sit there and say, oh, sanctions have hurt Russia so much – but it will not matter to Putin because he will know he has won. That to me is a dream come true,” he added.
Ferguson said the US should help support Ukraine’s defense without developing it into a full-fledged NATO-Russia war.
The supply of weapons to Ukraine has declined slightly earlier, and there is now a major effort to help Ukraine continue the war, he said.
That, however, could create the conditions for a proxy war, said Ohanyan of CEIP.
“It seems unfortunately, [at the moment] sanctions and military aid work for different purposes,” he said.
Ferguson also said the US had “missed the opportunity” by relying on sanctions.
He said he believed an agreement could be reached between Russia and Ukraine if Kyiv was willing to accept neutrality and remove NATO membership from the table.
He outlined a 2014 proposal published by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, expressing the view that Ukraine is a neutral country instead of trying to join NATO.
“It is clear that President Zelenskyy is open to that idea, which is a major change for Ukraine in an attempt to save his country from further destruction,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week told ABC News he was “cool” about the question of joining NATO.
He said Ukraine understands that NATO does not want to accept it from the alliance, and the country will not beg to be allowed to join NATO.
Peace “urgently needed” to prevent further bloodshed and destruction in Ukraine, Ferguson said, appears to be a Russian system at the moment.
“The aim was to prevent Ukraine from becoming a prosperous Western democracy, either in NATO or in the EU,” he said. “You can achieve that by destroying Ukraine’s infrastructure and turning it into a heap of rubbish and unfortunately, every passing day allows President Putin to do more than that,” he said.
Ohanyan acknowledged that there should be a push for communication in order to reduce the level of conflict, start a ceasefire and negotiate “big issues.”