There is widespread opinion in Russia that the Western countries have a common and effective strategy aimed at deterring and destroying this country. However, there is increasing evidence that the collective West finds it difficult to maintain unity. Discussions between leading politicians and intellectuals in the NATO countries show that the West is beset with strategic discord and confusion, suggests Andrey Sushentsov, programme director of the Valdai Discussion Club and director of the Institute of International Studies at MGIMO University.
The events of the past few years show that security is becoming increasingly important in international relations. This leads to a new regionalization of markets and exacerbates competition for control over them in the West. For example, the United States is trying hard to keep China at bay, but this objective is not shared by its European allies who want to cooperate with Beijing on technological progress. The objections of those who see an economic opportunity in China’s rise prevail over the few appeals to see China’s threat as common to all Western countries.
Although the shale gas revolution in the United States has enabled it to gain a decisive advantage in the energy market, its energy self-sufficiency has made it much more absorbed in its own problems since US security no longer depends on developments in the Middle East. Now that the United States has become a leading oil exporter and a major gas producer the world has barely noticed the sharp decline in oil supplies from Iran and Venezuela and the temporary lulls in supplies from Saudi Arabia after the attack on its oil facilities.