Staunton, March 3 – Recent developments in the US, Great Britain, China and Russiaon show that the major powers are no longer prepared to cede any significant part of their sovereign powers to multilateral institutions. This calls the existing world order into question and must be the basis for the formation of a new one, according to the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta.
In an unsigned lead article today, the editors write that “the new international order must and will be formed around a new paradigm – the impossibility of such countries as the US, China and Russia to delegate significant amounts of their sovereignty to multilateral agreements and organizations” (ng.ru/editorial/2020-03-03/3_7808_red.html).
And they continue: “If Donald Trump will be reelected, then before 2024, ‘the big three’ – the US, China and Russia – most likely will reach agreement on the foundations of a new architecture of international relations in the world.” Before presenting this conclusion, the editors lay out their case in the following way.
“In recent decades,” Nezavisimaya gazeta says, “after the disintegration of the USSR and the end of the Cold War,” a new world order emerged as international relations moved from a bipolar world to a multilateral one, a reflection above all of the growing economic might of China and “the stormy growth of developing economies.”
But the editors say that “today, it is becoming ever more obvious that the evolution of international relations is acquiring new characteristics, the chief of which is the refusal from the automatic recognition of the winners on the basis of the globalizing principles of economic competition.”
Trump’s rise in the US and the success of Brexit in the UK “clearly showed to the entire world that the traditional elites of the Anglo-Saxon world are not ready to recognize themselves losers in the economic competition with those coming from Asia,” the editors say. And they are turning ever more sharply toward economic nationalism.
Over time, that will lead to the weakening or even dismantling of the many international bodies like the WTO, NAFTA or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, given that “the Americans have understood that they can exert their power above all in the format of bilateral relations” more effectively than in multilateral ones.
“The conversion of the domestic political agenda into an apology for economic nationalism has led to the growth of influence of political forces which are critical of the mantras of globalization, liberalism, and tolerance on which the ideology of the world was constructed after the cold war.
According to the independent Moscow paper, “Vladimir Putin in a surprising way turned out to be attuned to politicians who did not want to delegate part of their sovereignty to others.” And thus he has benefitted from and even is a leader of this shift away from what many called “the Washington consensus.”
At the same time, “the multi-regional nature of [Russia’s] national interests, as conditioned by geography has created int eh world a false idea about the rebirth of Russia as a great power of the Soviet time. This is unquestionably not so,” the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say.
“Russia today lacks an internationalist nucleus which lay at the foundation of the expansionist policy of the times of the USSR. The idea of ‘a Russian world’ should have sent a signal to all that there not only will not be any restoration of the former empire but that that cannot be for fundamental conceptual principles.”
And that means that Putin is increasingly in line with the leaders of the other major powers in stressing sovereignty, national interests “and even national egoism as has occurred in relations with Belarus.” As a result, he and they start with more in common than many may now think.