The current world order leans in Ukraine

There is something unequivocal about the war in Ukraine. Almost everyone agrees that Putin’s war is an evil that we must fight. Recent horror photos confirm this. In response, there seems to be some optimism: the European Union is united, NATO is revitalized, and the united West is succeeding in taking a stand against Russia. The countries that openly support Russia are a small group of problematic regimes such as Syria, Belarus, North Korea, and Eritrea. Gang on the wrong side of history. The world looks black and white: good versus evil, just like Bosch’ Axis of Evil Or Reagan’s fight against Evil Empire

But this picture is misleading. The global response to war is much less clear-cut. Between the lines we see signs of a different world order.

Let’s start with Turkey. This country is against war. It has tensions with Russia, good relations with Ukraine and Turkey is of course a member of NATO. However, it is not ready to keep pace with far-reaching sanctions against Russia. The country is dependent on Russian gas and the complex relationship with the country makes Turkey position itself as a negotiator. It is not an unequivocal opponent of Russia.

Even more ambiguous is the position of the Gulf states. Countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates depend on the United States for their security. It is remarkable that they did not turn against Russia. This has several reasons. President Biden is in the midst of a deal with their adversary Iran, which angers the Gulf and drives Gulf states to oppose the United States. The region is also marked by deeply anti-Western sentiment, and the Russian president is valued as someone who can stand up to the West. But they also fear Putin because he saved Assad in Syria. Finally, these countries oppose in any way Western interventions in wars and attempts to combat human rights abuses. It can easily be directed against these same countries. Take, for example, their role in the civil war in Yemen.

And the most interesting is what is happening in India. The West generally enjoys good relations with the largest democracy on earth. However, this country also refuses to condemn Russia. Even more than the Gulf states, India hates Western interventions. Since independence in 1947, the country’s foreign policy has focused on non-interference. In addition, the country also has long-standing deep relations with Russia and is currently the largest importer of Russian arms. Last week, a member of India’s parliament referred to the Soviet Union’s support for India during the Cold War. Another MP said that “the Anglo-American alliance bears the same responsibility” for the war as does Russia.

Finally, consider China. The country is known to have close relations with Russia. I was before Norwegian Refugee Council He argued that their interrelationship was complex. But it is clear that China will never let Russia down. It is the only other strong country that can stand up to the United States, and therefore it is an ally. Without Russia, China alone. In Beijing, people are mainly looking at the way the West conducts a common policy and how it might one day focus on China.

Another lesson concerns the economy and the rate of severance of economic ties with Russia. China has a lot of trade with the West, but there has been talk for years about Season† From which chains can China be dismantled?

From our point of view, it is easy to think that the whole world is united against Russian aggression. This is a mistake. While few countries openly support Russia, many are completely silent. This is especially true of the emerging powers in Asia. Commentary in the Chinese Official Gazette crossing People’s Daily newspaper This week: The West is united but isolated in the world.

These countries view this war from a completely different perspective. People see how the West can suddenly unite against war and think about the conflicts in which they themselves are involved. They fear the day they will be put on the wrong side of history. They also see how economics can be used effectively as a weapon and that deep economic interdependence through globalization can also be disengaged. This reliance on Western technologies and platforms makes it vulnerable.

Behind the black and white picture of the battle of good against evil hides a world of shades of gray. Many countries are silent and this indicates their ambiguity. In that silence are the true signs of a tilted world order.

Aaron Sheikh He is a senior scientist at WRR and Professor by Special Appointment at VU. Luke van Midlar is absent this week.

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