Inflection point for the West-led global order

News: Russia has recently launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The article says, the balance of power is in flux. Now, the future of the West-led global order will be defined by how effectively it responds to the crisis in Ukraine.

How Russia is determining the contours of global order?

One, Russian troops were preparing to launch an assault on Ukraine after the Russian President recognized the rebel-held areas as an independent region.

Two, though the Russian President said he is open to dialogue but by escalating the issue, he made dialogue difficult to sustain. 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.

How the west has not been able to present a united front?

One, the western countries had imposed a new round of sanctions and the German Chancellor suspended certification of Nord Stream 2, a major gas pipeline. However, it had no impact on Russia.

Two, United States President has suggested that the USA and its allies would respond in a united way, with no clear course of action. The head of the European Council has continued to insist on the need to be united.

But Germany has been reluctant to allow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to ship German-origin weapons to Ukraine. French President has been talking of the European Union taking decisions independent of the USA. It is an attempt to showcase its ‘strategic autonomy’.

Also, the current President of the USA has not been able to build the trans-Atlantic engagement around common objectives.

Why current scenario in the world is a turning point?

First, for Russia, this is a moment to use Ukraine to highlight the broader demands of restructuring the post-Cold War European security order. The west is found with a lack of will and lack of leadership, which is leading to a lackadaisical response to one of the most serious security crises in decades.

Second, the EU is dependent on Russia for energy, which has to be factored into strategic considerations and its response to the crisis.

Third, Russia has repeatedly made it clear that it remains willing to take significant strategic risks by using force to attain its diplomatic objectives. Which the West is not ready to do. However, in this power politics, smaller and weaker nations like Ukraine are struggling to preserve their existence.

Fourth, the incoherent response of the West has not only strengthened Russia, but also China. The Russia-China ‘axis’ is getting stronger, and the two nations are ready to take on the West.

Fifth, in 1972 when U.S. President Richard Nixon shook hands with the Chinese Premier, it changed the global order and allowed China to emerge as the leading global economic power while helping the U.S. in winning the Cold War. Now, the great power politics is unfolding in Europe, which will have greater consequences for the world.

Source: This post is based on the article “Inflection point for the West-led global order” published in The Hindu on 26th Feb 2022.

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