Written by Lasse Boehm, Elena Lazarou and Giulio Sabbati.
The war Russia unleashed on Ukraine has global repercussions, beyond the death toll and the human tragedy in Ukraine itself, and the resulting refugee flows and wider destabilising effects on Europe’s east. This infographic depicts some of the economic consequences of the war, for Europe, but also the rest of the world.
Amongst the effects most directly felt by Europeans are rising energy prices. For years, Russia has been Europe’s largest supplier of coal, oil and gas. The war sent prices rising as Russia stopped supplying some Member States with gas, leading Europe to search for supplies elsewhere and forcing Europeans to pay more for their petrol and household heating. Higher energy prices are also a challenge for industry, which consumes large quantities of Russian gas.
Food prices have also risen since the outbreak of the war due to both Russia and Ukraine being amongst the largest producers of wheat and other commodities. The impact is felt directly by European consumers. Russia’s position as an important commodity exporter also impacts on supply chains for raw materials used by European industry, some of which are listed in these infographics. Rising prices for energy, food and commodities fuel inflation in Europe, and are a daily reminder of the impact of this war of aggression far beyond the borders of Ukraine and the conflict itself.
The consequences of the war are not limited to the European continent. Many countries in North Africa and the Middle East depend on wheat exports from Russia or Ukraine. Ukrainian exports are particularly affected, with Russia occupying parts of south-eastern Ukraine’s coastline, as well as attacking and blockading the remaining Ukrainian ports. Russia, in turn, has deliberately restricted some of its food exports in retaliation against the sanctions that have been imposed. The combined effect of reduced Russian and Ukrainian agricultural products means that the countries dependent on them – especially on wheat exports – will suffer directly as a consequence of the war unleashed by Russia. The combination of declining food exports and higher food prices poses a major risk for food security in some of the most vulnerable societies and countries in the world, further aggravating a situation which had already deteriorated due to pandemic- related food supply issues The World Food Programme estimates that acute hunger could rise to affect an additional 47 million people in the 81 countries it monitors, as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
What these infographics demonstrate is that this is not a localised conflict which can be ignored by the global community. Russia’s war of aggression was not only an assault on the world order. It also directly impacts on millions of people all over the world – on their food supply, the price they pay for their energy, and the industries in which they are employed. These ‘domino effects’ of the war will have far-reaching implications, not only for the EU’s internal policies and its own resilience, but also for its external action and development policy.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Domino effects of the war‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.