2023 may turn out to be, in a certain sense, a turning point — the opposing sides will begin to run out of accumulated reserves and the question will arise of mobilising the resources that they originally planned to save for the purposes of future development, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Timofei Bordachev.
The dramatic events of 2022, centred on the military-political conflict between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian issue, are a vivid example of the interaction of context and practice in international politics. The global context, within which one cannot help but consider the most acute manifestation of the current clash of interests, is the end of a period which saw the relative monopoly of Western countries in world politics and economics, their ability to determine what the international order should be.
The practice of world politics is determined by the still-colossal resources of the United States and Western Europe, on the one hand, and by the obvious insufficiency of the forces that are their main opponents — China and Russia — insufficient for a real fight. As a result, if the objective factors in the development of international politics and the world economy speak in favour of the inevitable retreat of the former leaders to new positions, then the subjective qualities of their opponents are such that the advent of a new international order looks like a completely uncertain prospect.