Ukrainian war accelerating the turning point in international relations – 30.03.2022 at 20:22

Family photo at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. (AFP/JOHN THYS)

The West has united but is struggling to mobilize outside its ranks countries that are not joining, potentially revolutionary weak signals for the global economy… The war in Ukraine carries the seeds of an accelerated overhaul of international relations, according to experts.

“We are in a period of emancipation towards the United States, the West, and fragmentation of the global political landscape,” said Agatha Desmarais, director of forecasting at The Economist’s research arm, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). ), London.

The war “is a tipping point that will lead to the creation of alternative mechanisms, the polarization of international relations and the division of the world economy,” says Brahma Chellani, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Studies in New Delhi.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Guilin, China, March 23, 2021 (RUSSIAN MFA/Handout)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Guilin, China, March 23, 2021 (RUSSIAN MFA/Handout)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in China on Wednesday that the world is at a “very serious stage in the history of international relations” that will lead to “a significant clarification of the international situation, (…) a multipolar world order.”

On the surface, however, there seems to be a certain unanimity. At the UN General Assembly on Thursday, 140 of 193 countries passed a non-binding resolution demanding an “immediate” end to the war.

An overwhelming majority, of course, but “on such an egregious issue, one would think that there would be many more voters. The diplomatic superiority of Westerners on a very simple matter is not fully guaranteed,” says Jean-Marc Balancy, a Frenchman. Analyst in the field of international relations, creator of the promising blog “Horizons of Uncertainty”.

– “Let’s not blind” –

“Some who abstained (…) did so, taking into account Russia’s past positions. There is a legacy of decolonization, of sympathy,” dating back to the time when the USSR supported the struggle for independence, explains Mohammed Lulichki, a Politics researcher. Center of the New South in Morocco.

“And again, this is + only + Russia. If one day we had to vote against China, which has more persuasive power (…), things could be much more difficult,” adds Mr. Balensi.

Details of the vote on the UN resolution that "required" stop "instant" from "aggression" Russia vs. Ukraine during the General Assembly on 24 March.  (AFP/)

Details of the vote for the UN resolution, which “demands” an “immediate” end to Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine, at the General Assembly on March 24. (AFP/)

Beyond these considerations of a non-binding vote, the West is struggling to get sanctions on Russia.

According to the EIU ranking by country, “about a third of the population lives in countries with an anti-Russian position, a third in countries that favor Russia, and a third are neutral,” sums up Ms. Desmarais.

“Let’s not be blinded by the UN vote. Benevolent neutrality towards Russia is much more important than what we pretend to be,” sums up the former high-ranking French politician on condition of anonymity.

“Sanctions against Russia are inherently Western. Most of the world opposes Russian aggression, as well as the unilateral approach of the West,” Brahma Chellani said.

Even if “the war is having an extremely negative multifaceted impact on the daily lives of people around the world, especially in Africa,” notes Mr. Lulichki, “this is what concerns NATO and Russia, this is happening in the “European space”.

– “Tired” –

Moreover, he adds, “some are also analyzing the origins of the conflict” and the role of NATO.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on March 10, 2022. (AFP/Phill Magakoe)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on March 10, 2022. (AFP/Phill Magakoe)

Like South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who blames NATO: “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings of its own leaders (…) against expanding into ballast.”

Thus, this war highlights a “global weariness towards the West” mixed with hypocrisy, Mr. Balencia said. Fatigue, which could lead to a political but also economic split, “with countries tied to the Western financial and technological system and others on which the West will have no means of pressure,” Ms. Demarais foresees.

This, in particular, will require the end of the hegemony of the dollar, which is indisputable today.

– Dedollarization –

“The de-dollarization of part of the world economy risks becoming one of the main post-crisis factors,” said Mr. Balencia.

It “finds its origin a very long time ago, in the spread of US sanctions,” recalls Ms. Desmarais. Since then, several countries have been “exploring systems to cut themselves off from the dollar, from Swift,” the most used interbank platform. This can go through cryptocurrencies, but not only.

According to press reports, New Delhi is working on a mechanism to exchange rupees for rubles to buy oil, and Saudi Arabia is discussing with Beijing a channel for paying for oil in yuan.

“This is a fundamental movement in the very long term, and the country at the forefront is China,” Ms Desmarais notes, referring to “generalization + digital yuan +” decoupling tools, beyond the reach of Western sanctions.

– “Non-aligned 2.0” –

Another axis is CIPS, a kind of Chinese version of Swift for interbank transactions. “It’s much smaller, but it already has close to a thousand banks around the world, and the idea is to make it bigger.

And since China will be the world’s leading economic power in ten years, it can impose its use.

After all, will there be room between the western pole and the Chinese pole for “Non-Aligned 2.0s to look on with derision as they struggle to maintain their dominance?” Mr. Balencia asks.

For Ms. Desmarets, “the non-aligned will become a matter of tomorrow’s international relations. I don’t know if they can stay neutral.”

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