Johns Hopkins SAIS Faculty and Fellow Reflections: The War in Ukraine at One Year

One year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) faculty and SAIS Foreign Policy Institute fellows explain the current state of the war, the varying international responses to it, and the complex global implications it holds for the future.

Niklas Swanström

It has come as a surprise for Russia, the world, and maybe even for Ukraine how successfully Kyiv has stood up to Russian aggression. But many difficult issues remain, including much of the world’s economic dependency on Russia and the failure to isolate the Russian war economy.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, both China and India have increased their trade with Russia. India has increased its imports from Russia by a staggering 400 percent, and Beijing’s trade with Moscow has increased by 35 percent. This ongoing trade has been a lifeline to the Russian war machine. The West has firmly supported Ukraine, and Western trade with Russia has decreased. But this reduction is not enough, especially in the energy sector. The sanctions against Russia need to be strengthened further, but the West also needs to implement measures against secondary trade originating from Russia.

The war in Ukraine has highlighted the need to decrease future reliance on all authoritarian states or at least reduce US economic ties in sensitive and critical areas with such actors. There is also a need for greater cooperation among like-minded democratic states, not least among the transatlantic partnership, to reduce economic dependency on authoritarian powers, thus making democracies more independent and secure. This will require improving free trade among democracies and creating more effective economic deregulation among allies to improve economic growth in a world of increased tension, as well as closer military cooperation to secure the future. Only together can we meet future challenges posed by authoritarian states, and only together with Ukraine can we face today’s aggressions.


Find the full issue on the Johns Hopkins SAIS website.

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