The Ukrainian crisis has revealed the main processes of world politics, given the clash of interests of large, autonomous civilizational communities. The historians of the future are likely to mark the Ukrainian crisis as one of the important episodes of this confrontation, but not necessarily its climax. Historians will characterise Russia as a country in a long-term conflict with two communities: the Anglo-Saxon one and the continental European one. The other communities - Chinese, Indian, Arab-Muslim, Ibero-American, African and Southeast Asian, have sought to distance themselves from the crisis and reap the most profits out of the current situation for their national interests.
The Russian confrontation with the Anglo-Saxon and continental European communities is of key character. It probably does not make sense now to look for undertones in the positions of various groups of Europeans in this crisis: they are securely tied to the United States and do not indicate any strategic autonomy. The goal of the United States in the current crisis is to maintain dominance in the face of a shrinking resource base, including cannibalising the resources of its allies. The goal of the active members of continental Europe is to “dissect” Russia and disorganise its ties with its allies in order to free up new resources. The dominance of Western funding in international organisations makes the apparatus of these organisations hostage to Western foreign policy.
IIt is generally accepted that humanity cannot live without institutions, and if the UN, or any other international structures, have outlived their usefulness, then you just need to create new ones. Or wait until they emerge as a result of a global rebalance of power, writes Timofei Bordachev, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.
However, the 500-year cycle of Western dominance is objectively coming to an end. It relied on four key pillars: military invulnerability, the global financial system, technological innovation (where there was an asymmetry in the exchange of goods and resources for money and services), and an attractive lifestyle. However, the growth of the East and the South and the strengthening of impulses of autonomy on their part have led to the gradual exhaustion of the Western-centric model. Russia aims to put an end to this process: to consolidate the existence of a non-polar world order with autonomous centres.
Russia achieves such a world order by balancing US power in different parts of the world, with a parallel financial system, its own technological platform, exporting technological products, and finally, by creating an attractive image of the future and platforms for broadcasting this image.
Nevertheless, many world-majority countries fear the risks of poly-centricity. First, there is the danger of the emergence of hotbeds of military instability. Second, there is the unpredictability of the processes of the formation of a new, alternative financial system. Third, there are risks related to food and energy security.
Finally, many countries of the East are dependent on the images, narratives and informational dominance of the West. That is why the current crisis gives impetus to the pro-Western elements of the countries of the global majority.
Russia's strategy should be focused on creating the conditions for a smooth transition to the new order. This should be done by, first, shifting emphasis to those international formats in which trusting relationships and non-publicity are possible. For example, BRICS, SCO, and Eurasian integration formats. It seems expedient to methodically reduce diplomatic contacts with the continental European and Anglo-Saxon communities.
Second, it is necessary to demonstrate the military invulnerability of Russia and its ability to achieve its military goals.
Third, it is necessary to maintain our own strategic sovereignty, as well as the military, energy and food security of Russian allies and partners. This is the path to polycentricity - even if it does not bring immediate results.
The new international economic reality that Russia found itself after February 24 has already been in existence for more than half a year. An analysis of what happened during this time leads to several thoughts.