Challenge To West – led Global Order
- Hours before the invasion on Ukraine, the western countries had imposed a new round of sanctions against Moscow (targeting Russian individuals and banks linked to Mr. Putin’s regime), and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended certification of Nord Stream 2, a major gas pipeline between Russia and his nation.
- But clearly it had no real impact on Mr. Putin’s calculus.
- Russian troops that had massed on Ukraine’s borders for months now were preparing to launch an assault on Ukraine — after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the Russian-backed, rebel-held areas of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent and even challenged the historical right of Ukraine to exist.
- Putin continued to insist that he was open to “direct and honest dialogue” but with every step of the escalatory ladder he climbed, he ensured that dialogue was becoming difficult to sustain.
- And the Russian Foreign Ministry even suggested that the idea that Russia is to blame for the crisis in Ukraine is an invention by the West.
- But the invasion has now happened in full view of the international community, with Mr. Putin saying that Russia did not plan to occupy Ukraine and demanding that its military lay down their arms.
A Question on Leadership of USA
- In view of some of the instances which occurred recently the question has been raised about the leadership of the US especially after Trump’s period.
- French President Emmanuel Macron has been talking of the European Union taking decisions independent of the U.S. in an attempt to showcase its ‘strategic autonomy’.
- The trans-Atlantic alliance has barely functioned despite all those who had argued that it was the fault of U.S. President Donald Trump fracturing this partnership.
- It turns out that even Mr. Biden has not been able to build the trans-Atlantic engagement around common objectives to be pursued collectively.
Energy – A major factor:
- The stability of the EU’s energy supply may be threatened if a high proportion of imports are concentrated among relatively few external partners.
- In 2019, almost two thirds of the extra-EU’s crude oil imports came from Russia (27 %), Iraq (9 %), Nigeria and Saudi Arabia (both 8 %) and Kazakhstan and Norway (both 7 %).
- A similar analysis shows that almost three quarters of the EU’s imports of natural gas came from Russia (41 %), Norway (16 %), Algeria (8 %) and Qatar (5 %), while over three quarters of solid fuel (mostly coal) imports originated from Russia (47 %), the United States (18 %) and Australia (14 %).
Increasing Chinese Influence:
- The Russia-China ‘axis’ is only getting stronger as the two nations seem ready to take on the West that seems willing to concede without even putting up a fight.
- As China develops a strategic partnership with Russia, the future of the West-led global order will be defined by how effectively it responds to the crisis in Ukraine.
- The tragedy of great power politics is unfolding in Europe but its impact is being felt even beyond it.
Source: THE HINDU.