Staunton, April 8 – Another feature of the first cold war is re-emerging, “a new global ‘non-aligned movement’” which has serious potential economic, political and in terms of natural resources and is the object of the closest attention by Moscow and Beijing, according to Russian economist Vladislav Inozemtsev.
This development has been largely ignored by the West which is all too happy to assume that because it has been able to mobilize so many countries to oppose Russian actions in Ukraine that it has rendered Moscow “an outcast,” the commentator says. But in fact, the West has not united behind itself a large segment of the world (rosbalt.ru/posts/2022/04/08/1952601.html
When the UN General Assembly voted to exclude Russia from the Human Rights Council, many read this as a simple triumph of “the collective West” and the outright defeat of Russia. But in fact, as Inozemtsev points out, a majority of countries did not vote to support Russia’s exclusion.
While 93 voted to do so, 58 abstained, 24 voted against and 18 chose not to respond. Given these numbers, the vote against Russia in fact lost 100 to 93, hardly evidence that Moscow has become an outcast without support in the world. Instead, it shows that while Russia has relatively few allies willing to openly back it, it can count on many more not to oppose it.
According to Inozemtsev, there are three groups of the latter: first, China and the countries of Southeast Asia who “see in Russia the heir of the USSR and therefore acknowledge its right to act independently,” second, the oil powers of the Persian Gulf, and third, others like Brazil who aspire to “the role of regional superpowers.”
Many of the new non-aligned may not be willing to openly back Russia – its actions are often offensive and it doesn’t offer a positive agenda that might attract them – but their number includes many who do not wish the West well either; and they can play an important role, something that Moscow and Beijing recognize even if the West has not done so yet.
Russia thus doesn’t look like an outcast when viewed in this way but rather like “a desperate player raising stakes to the limits in a risky game,” Inozemtsev says. What likely matters most is how China sees this game working out and thus deciding how it may use the new non-aligned to its benefit.