Sanctions against Russia and the future of Nations

Buy vegetable oil, pasta, rice, flour, canned goods and other foods. A severe food shortage is approaching fast.

These severe sanctions on Russia remove them from the world community, pushing them to become independent of other nations, thereby removing any restraints on their future behavior. When you isolate a group of persons from society, they don’t behave better. They lose multiple reasons for behaving well in the community of nations. There is no more economic, cultural, political, and social interactions between these nations and Russia. This forces Russia to develop into a nation that is self-reliant and isolated, taking its own course without regard to the needs or desire of others. The result, a few generations from now, could be the Russia described at Fatima, the Russia described in the book of Daniel:

{7:5} And behold, another beast, like a bear, stood to one side, and there were three rows in its mouth and in its teeth, and they spoke to it in this way: “Arise, devour much flesh.”

The consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary cannot be viewed as a standalone measure, which would be effective regardless of the behavior of the other nations. You can’t sin all day and then expect a devotion you practice to make everything right. Devotions must be accompanied by moral behavior and a good heart in yourself.

The severe sanctions in every area is proposed as a way to force Russia to do the will of the other nations, which is an unacceptable way for nations to treat one another. The Russian war against Ukraine is gravely immoral, but so are the actions of China against Tibet, against Muslims, even against Christians. Why does the world treat nations who act with grave immorality so differently?

What gives the EU the right to judge other nations and force them to do the will of the EU leaders? The nations which are members of the EU sometimes complain about this behavior, which is one reason why great Britain exited from the EU (31 January 2020). The EU can force a sovereign nation within its union to obey a law, even if every single voter and leader in that nation were against it. And the main reason the EU obtains compliance is the economic advantages of the union, which seem to override the desire of nations to be sovereign and to relate to other nations as equals.

Why should every resident of Russia be treated as an enemy of the world? We should not treat innocents in any nations as enemy combatants, and then wage an economic, political, and cultural war against them, due to the immoral actions of that nation’s leader. The principle of warfare, that innocents are not targeted, must also apply to the type of bloodless war which denies innocents food, fuel, and many other benefits of the society of nations.

Pope Francis is correct: “He said that the real ‘scandal’ of Putin’s war is ‘NATO barking at Russia’s door,’ which he said caused the Kremlin to ‘react badly and unleash the conflict.’ ” [The Daily Beast] The president of Ukraine, Zelenskyy, should have realized that war with Russia would do far more harm, in the consequences, than an oppressive agreement with Russia would do. If he had made an agreement, avoiding war, then the nations which support Ukraine could have gradually negotiated a progressive loosening of the worst of those provisions. And NATO should not be trying to expand continually, until it becomes a threat to Russia or other nations or groups of nations. NATO is supposed to be mutual defense, not imperialism by treaties.

The Russian war against Ukraine is intrinsically evil and severely immoral. This is so in itself, since it is an unjustified war against another sovereign nations. It is also so in the way that it is prosecuted. Innocents are often attacked with severity by Russian troops and its military. Then, too, unnecessary destruction is used in place of strategies directed at combatants.

But Russia’s grave sins do not justify the harmful and immoral behavior of the U.S. government and the EU, among others. These governments are harming innocents in their own nations, and in nations beyond the conflict, by sanctions which are not believed by anyone to be able to stop the war. How do sanctions harm innocents in nations outside of Russia? A severe food crisis is underway. Sanctions have cut off the rest of the world from Russia and its close ally Belarus, reducing the amount of fertilizer, food, and fuel obtained.

Diesel prices, in a recent article, ranged from $5.21 – $6.41 [Source]. Diesel is crucial to the food economy in most nations, as the fuel is used by farmers to power tractors, combines, and even irrigation systems [most pivot systems]. Diesel also powers trucks that ship food around the nation. Higher prices will increase food prices. But if diesel rises too high, farmers will not be able to afford to plant crops. This will effect farmers with pivot irrigation and conventional tilling first. Those farmers are the canaries in the mine. When they stop planting because they can’t afford it, other farmers will follow later.

Fertilizer prices have risen sharply, and will continue to go higher. In terms of world exports, Russia and Belarus account for over 25% of the potash (source of potassium in fertilizer), 20% of the ammonia plus about 12% of the Urea (both sources of nitrogen), and about 11% of the phosphates (source of phosphorus) in NPK fertilizer. These sources cannot be easily or quickly replaced. There are only so many mines for potash and phosphates; there are only so many plants that use natural gas to make ammonia and urea from nitrogen in the air.

Restrictions on natural gas, not only due to sanctions with Russia but also due to government policies, is raising the price and availability of the main source of hydrogen and power used to make nitrogen fertilizer from nitrogen in air. Without that source of nitrogen, the world would starve, due to vastly lower yields when crops are grown without nitrogen. Then the lower availability of NPK fertilizer in general also threatens the global food supply like never before. The combination of diesel prices, possible disruptions in diesel availability, and the same considerations for fertilizer could and likely will initiate a severe food crisis worldwide.

The cause of the impending food crisis is not only the war in Ukraine, but the unthinking reaction to that war by other nations. Sanctions are doing just as much harm, if not more, to the sanctioning nations than to the sanctioned nations (Russia, Belarus). The EU has even proposed sanctions directly targeting Belarus potash companies. This will impact the ability of the EU and the U.S. as well as Brazil and other nations to produce food. And when the sanctioning nations see that the sanctions are harming their own people and their own nations, they don’t stop; they make the sanctions even more severe.

It is like sawing off the limb of a tree, the limb upon which you are sitting. It is like boycotting and suing the only supermarket within 100 miles of your own home. It is like refusing to buy a car that you absolutely need to get to work, to support your family, because you don’t like something the car dealer did. It is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. It is like repeatedly throwing punishes at yourself during a fight with another person. It is like friendly-fire during combat, except that it is not accidental, but a deliberate strategy. It is causing a global food crisis that will harm everyone in every nation because of what one leader of one nation did. And it is not moral. The persons targeted are mainly innocents of Russia and Belarus (bad second font, moral object). The persons harmed are innocents throughout the world (bad third font, circumstances). Is the intention to end an unjust war? But no one thinks sanctions will have that effect. So how can that be the intention?

It is hard for me to fathom why so many world leaders unthinking propose more and more sanctions, whose main effect is not to end the war (which would make sanctions somewhat understandable), but to harm the people of your own nation and that of allied nations.

Russia’s Future

At Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary warned that Russia might rise in power and cause grave harm to the world. That harm could be avoided by consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart. I believe that consecration was correctly done by Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Francis. But a nation is primarily its people, not only its land. Without continual re-consecrations, Russia will fulfill the prophecy, as seems to be apparent from the unstoppable predictions of Sacred Scripture, especially Daniel 7:5.

{7:5} And behold, another beast, like a bear, stood to one side, and there were three rows in its mouth and in its teeth, and they spoke to it in this way: “Arise, devour much flesh.”

The verse above is from the passage on the four beasts (kingdoms) which arise from the great sea of peoples in the world. These kingdoms succeed one another over the course of about 400 years. Russia is the bear, which will rise to power and cause much harm in the world, devouring some nations (absorbing them into its empire) and dominating other nations.

How does Russia accomplish this? A verse from the passage on the figure of a statute (Dan 2:32) provides the answer. The parts of the statue indicate successive kingdoms, including but not limited to the four kingdoms of Daniel 7. The kingdom of the bear is the belly of the statue, made of brass (a combination of metals). Russia devours other nations, and then dominate the rest of the world by controlling the sources of food. It could certainly be the case that Russia, cut off from commerce and society with the rest of the world, develops all types of agriculture and fertilizer within its own nation, to feed its own people well. What else can they do? And a long time afterward, when the other nations need food, Russia uses its plentiful food to obtain unjust influence over those nations. What is happening in the EU is that continue development and an increasing population reduce the cropland available more and more, forcing reliance on nations with more open land. In the U.S., we are losing rainfall in the western half of the nation, and our underground aquifers are running dry. Within a few generations, we might not be able to grow enough food to feed ourselves. In still other nations, it is largely the continual urbanization and suburbanization of land that reduces cropland, making most nations reliant on others for food. If Russia has the food, they will have the control, a few generations from now.

The World’s Future

Much further into the future, the kingdom of the ten kings arises out of just this type of interaction and reaction that we are seeing in the sanctions against Russia. As nations battle economic and political wars, via sanctions against some nations and favorable treaties with other nations, it will be absolutely necessary, to obtain food and fuel, for nations to make close alliances with other nations. These alliances will need to be so close that groups of nations will become kingdoms, each with a single federal government. Any nation that will not join such an alliance will not have food and can be destroyed by sanctions, if they act contrary to the will of other, more powerful nations. The result is the rearrangement of the nations of the world into ten groups of nations, aimed at providing each group with self-reliance, especially regarding food and fuel. This defends each group against harm from other nations, who might try to control them with sanctions and threats of sanctions.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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7 Responses to Sanctions against Russia and the future of Nations

  1. James Belcher says:

    Pope Francis is 100% wrong in stating the real ‘scandal’ of Putin’s war is NATO barking at Russia’s door. All 30 countries within NATO are sheep grazing on their own land. These 30 countries have no military ambition of being an aggressive nation towards Russia. They simply want Putin to stop his invasion of a sovereign nation.

    It is true, the world treats aggressors differently. This is due to military strength, political associations, economics, geographical location, etc….. It is very true that a war with a nuclear capacity will be treated differently than a nation with sticks and stones. Many civilians of all countries are affected in this war to different levels of degrees. It is unfortunate that Putin once again is trying to capture a sovereign nation while hurting its own citizens and other countries.

    I find it senseless to ask a sovereign nation to give up its right to liberty so that it may curtail the effects and possible future wars. The blame is squarely on Putin for his aggression and the mishaps of other nations in attempting to end the war.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Of course Putin is to blame. But other nations have a responsibility to consider the possible and likely consequences of their actions. Francis is right that NATO and Ukraine made a foolish and dangerous decision that provoked Russia. They should have realized that Russia is led by a brutal dictator, and acted more prudently.

  2. arthurjeffriesthecatholic says:

    “Why should every resident of Russia be treated as an enemy of the world? We should not treat innocents in any nations as enemy combatants, and then wage an economic, political, and cultural war against them, due to the immoral actions of that nation’s leader. The principle of warfare, that innocents are not targeted, must also apply to the type of bloodless war which denies innocents food, fuel, and many other benefits of the society of nations.”

    Thank you so much for writing that. I have yet to see any Catholic anywhere – clergy, religious, or lay – condemn the collective punishment of the Russian people as immoral, so your words are a truly pleasant surprise.

    In addition to sanctions on Russia, we’re also seeing the demonization and ostracization of Russians throughout the Western world, which is bigotry. Again, I am not aware of Catholics speaking out against this.

  3. James Belcher says:

    I am personally not seeing the demonization and ostracization of Russia’s citizens throughout the Western world. I see and hear the opposite – All political news on major outlets have repeatedly emphasized sympathy for the Russian citizens. It is true that nearly all corporations from the west has or is in the process of closing down. This alone has and will continue to affect the citizens of Russia. This is absolutely wrong in my opinion. I believe this to be an over reaching of corporations delving into the political aspects of this war. This does not only affect the Citizens of Russia but it also hurts the stockholders of their respective corporations throughout the world. I am hearing condemnation on both sides of this war but I have yet heard any reasonable concrete steps in ending this war. I am not sure if there is any upcoming agreements to be reconciled with Russia and Ukraine. Putin in hell bent on restoring his empire and Ukraine will not give up its right to self govern. I was hoping that Patriarch Kirill would condemn Putin’s actions but it appears he is backing his regime. Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Orthodox Christians of 100 million could end this war by condemning Putin. One hundred million people against this brutal dictator calling for a change in his policy or possible removal is a heavy lifting undertaking. As of right now, I only see a war lasting many years just as Russia engaged a war with Afghanistan.

    • arthurjeffriesthecatholic says:

      Here is what I mean by ostracization and demonization: Russian athletes, artists (including dead ones), entertainers, and even journalists are being cancelled in the West. Russian films and television series are being pulled from streaming services and are denied distribution outside of the Russian Federation.

  4. Ben says:

    The Catholics make a big mistake by not seeing the big picture. Thanks Ron for helping that picture be shown! I do not agree however that Russia will have succession of leaders in decades before it becomes the scourge described in Fatima. What the Catholics Must Understand Right Now is, they must be ready for a nuclear war within weeks, and must learn how to forgive especially their fellow brethren that they sometimes eat with on one table and still hate and condemn. No matter if they die or survive, they must forgive and Love, Now. Do not judge in order not to be judged. Nukes will not distinguish between more righteous and sinners.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I think we are headed for a nuclear war eventually, but not within weeks. Otherwise, you are right: forgive offenses; forbear faults; do not judge; repent and pray.

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