IR : In-retaliation-what-else-can-Russia-do-besides-banning-food-imports-from-Europe-in-2014
Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:
- Russia can close its airspace and ban flights over its land. Russia covers a big chunk of land surface. If Europeans have to get to East Asia and vice versa, they have to either cross Russia or take a much longer & dangerous route over troubled Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.and
- Russia is the world's biggest producer of oil and gas [although US brushes with Russia in gas]. It also has a few oil producing allies like Iran and Venezuela. Together, they can make a very smart strategic move to affect world oil supply, like what the Arabs did in 197os. It is quite hard to pull this off though as Saudis can move up the tap anytime. Thus, Putin will wait for the right time to use this weapon.
- Russia has all kinds of military gadgets available for sale to any anti-Western power. Iran, Syria and a few others could get more weapons at the right time. If Putin wants to get more destructive, he can distribute advanced anti-aircraft systems to various separatist movements worldwide and that would bring down all aviation and send the global economy down crashing. MH 17 was a warning in that direction.
- Russia could unleash its hackers on Western businesses. That could send a lot of businesses into a tortoise mode. Russia has enough security experts to send the world of commerce reeling. We got a first taste here.
- Russia can pull other big powers closer to its reach. The recently concluded BRICS summit is one step closer to that. Russia has a lot to offer to this energy-hungry, weapons-hungry group. US and Europe need the BRICS for their global campaigns. And Op-Ed in Russian media:
- Russia can block US access to space, or at the least force NASA to slow down for a while. NASA needs the ISS and the Russian launch facilities for now.- Probably not as big a deal as others as NASA can rebuild its facilities in a decade.
Don't assume that Putin doesn't know what he is doing. He knows he still has a lot of cards to play. If history teaches you one lesson, it is to never underestimate Russia and its infinite capacity to self-destruct.