Sanctions Wars Are Used As a Tool to Carve Up the World

Sanctions wars will continue, but no global cold war between the Broader West and Greater Eurasia should be expected, Professor Andrey Bezrukov from the Moscow-based MGIMO University, told

On January 21, 2016, the Valdai Discussion Club presented its annual report, titled "War and Peace in the 21st century. International stability and balance of the new type". The research was conducted following the results of the discussions at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Club, which had been attended by political and public leaders, prominent experts from over 30 countries.

Bezrukov believes sanctions wars will continue for a long time. “The world is being carved up economically and sanctions are one of the tools being tested. If sanctions bring the desired results, they will be used more and more often, under various pretexts and in various proportions. If they don’t, their use will become increasingly rare,” he said.

The scholar believes that sanctions cannot serve as a useful tool to regulate international relations. “The efficiency of the world economy is largely based on its global nature and open borders,” he said. “Sanctions are obviously a problem for the targeted countries and, potentially, for the world commerce,” Bezrukov pointed out.

Another important issue covered in the report is the rivalry of two geopolitical blocs referred to as the Broader West (the US and its partners) and Greater Eurasia (with Russia and China as the main participants). Bezrukov does not believe that this rivalry can turn into confrontation.

There is the United States, which aspires to position itself as the main player on the international arena and several other countries, which exist regardless of this positioning.

China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Russia are large, self-sufficient countries, and each of them will follow its own path. “They all have a huge potential, middle classes are emerging there now, and they will require a specific vision of the world,” the expert said.

“Most probably, we will have a situation when the United States’ area of control will diminish. But this does not mean that various states of the world which are not very comfortable with this control, will suddenly begin to unite against the United States and establish any kind of their own order,” Bezrukov believes.

According to Bezrukov, “targeted” cold and even hot wars cannot be ruled out. “There is a possibility of wars between individual states, like China and India, Japan and China, Saudi Arabia and Iran,” he said. But I see no blocs united by any idea against anybody,” the expert said.

When asked if Russia and the United States could experience another 20th-century type cold war, Bezrukov said there was simply no basis for that. According to him, it is crucial that Russia should advance its relations with Western Europe, China, India and the countries of Greater Eurasia. “The United States will do its best for Russia to remain weak and controllable, but will it be able to achieve this? I am not quite sure,” the expert concluded.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.