Saturday, October 5, 2019

For the First Time Since 1945, ‘the West’ isn’t a United Participant in World Politics, Rogov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 4 – The most important consequence of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s acceptance of Moscow’s terms on the Donbass is that discussion about this highlights a new and frightening reality, Kirill Rogov says. “’The West’ has ceased to exist as a united subject of world politics.”

            And that is all the more striking and shocking, the Moscow analyst says, because if “the West is not the West, the East is [very much] the East, united in ways it has not been in the past and capable of acting in ways that the divided countries and governments of the former West can’t effectively respond to (

            Of course, Rogov concedes, “the West was never united in reality. But at the same time there existed a certain common framework which defined a certain logic and limits; and this logic and these limits were imperative for particular parts of the collective ‘West,’” a situation that grew out of the bloc competition during the decades of the Cold War.

            But “now this is not so. “Now, ‘the West’ is a collection of individual leaders either shockingly active or dully passive who use foreign policy agendas for domestic political purposes. And these leaders, and the elites standing behind them produce the impressive of constantly feeling the disharmony” of their situation.

            Consequently, Rogov argues, they act both “uncertainly and not consistently.”

            “This impression become even stronger if one looks at ‘the new East,’ the most prominent representatives of which today are China (in the role of the leader) and Russia (as the advance guard).”  Here we see a unified set of values, confidence, decisiveness and consistency of purpose and action.

            Ukraine is one of the places where this difference is clearly visible, but it is far from the most important. Right now, Rogov says, the place where this difference matters is Hong Kong.  “if events there begin to develop along the most harsh, forceful and dramatic scenario, then this could turn out to be the key turning point for … at least the first half of the 21st century.”

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