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  As Eastern Europe burns, with the Russian military bombarding Ukraine, several analysts have continued to think of the global implications of the war. The Kremlin Government under President Putin has authorized a momentous military operation that saw Russian military forces running through into Ukraine, an action that was received with global condemnation, especially by leaders of the West and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
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Early airstrikes and missile launch has been reported. There has been broadcasted fatalities and casualties on both sides of the military and destruction of properties and lives, especially civilian casualties on the Ukrainian side. Countries, through their embassies, have advised and instructed their citizens to either vacate Ukraine or take safety precautions. The Nigerian embassy in Kyiv has not been left out in this trend, as it has urged the over 5,000 Nigerians living in the war-torn zone to either take safety precautions or make private arrangements to relocate. Many have asked what are the global implications of this war in Eastern Europe? Certainly, the Russian-Ukraine war has some international consequences and to a larger scale affects Nigeria and Nigerians too. Despite the theatre of the war being geographically distant, its consequences are immediate, short term as well as long term. There are two significant areas in which the Russia-Ukraine war will affect Nigeria. Firstly, the war has affected the price of oil and gas of which Nigeria is a major producer and an oil-exporting country. The build-up to the war and the war itself has had an immediate impact on the price of oil in the international market. For example, the price of Brent Oil has risen slightly above $100 for the first time since 2014. With rising crude oil prices, Nigeria as an oil-exporting country might benefit from the surge. This surge implies that there could be a possibility of an oil boom that the nation may benefit from. This event could translate to more revenues for the country and if appropriately utilized and harnessed, will improve savings. The 2022 budget was set to operate at $50 per barrel. However, with increasing international oil prices, there is bound to be a surplus. It is crucial to point out that one of the biggest excuses given by the Buhari administration for its underperformance is the fall in the price of crude just before it assumed office in 2015, which has affected Government revenue and hence, the reason for massive borrowings. With the current crisis going on between Ukraine and Russia, the crude oil price is bouncing back and for all reasons, Nigeria ought to benefit from this, as it means more revenue for the government.
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Secondly, as often observed in a period of crisis,  the international arms market is currently active. The armoury of both the Russian and Ukrainian military are open, which in many ways led to the rapid proliferation of arms and ammunitions. Wars of this magnitude are often a big break in the window for the movement and proliferation of small arms and light weapons. As expected, arms merchants and contractors can as well take advantage of this event to secure weapons for insurgent groups in Nigeria – an action that is very likely to affect Nigeria’s security operation, as insurgents can acquire weapons from the arms spillover that will emanate from this war. Moreover, the Ukrainian Government has announced its plans to provide arms to its citizens who are willing to take up one. This free for all supply of arms, if it occurs, will be a source of weapons acquisition for countries presently combatting insurgency of which Nigeria is one. Again, Russia’s recognition of the independence and sovereignty of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Lugansk found within the eastern region of Ukraine can shift the focus of separatist groups seeking to break away from Nigeria. Putin’s recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk can influence separatists into seeking support and alliance with Russia, a move that portends deadly implications. In conclusion, how the Nigerian Government decides to take charge of the economic advantages the Russia-Ukraine war will bring to Nigeria, citing rising oil prices and how it chooses to be alert on the security threat of the war, as regarding the proliferation of weapons for insurgent groups, will go a long way in determining the legacies of the Russia-Ukraine war on Nigeria. Featured image source: Nigerian News Direct
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This article was first published on 26th February 2022

nnaemeka-emmanuel

Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.


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