It may be premature, but one suspects that there is a fundamental shift taking place in the balance of power throughout the world. This is manifesting itself in a variety of different ways. One such clue was the recent meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the G20 group of nations. An attempt to isolate the Russians represented at the conference by their foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, met with complete failure. They ended up not issuing a memorandum from the meeting because of the failure to achieve unanimity in their attempt to isolate and condemn Russia for the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.
Brazil, India, China and of course Russia itself refused to endorse the attempt by the other nations to condemn Russia. The action by the recalcitrant group represented a more widespread level of support for Russia throughout the developing world. Whereas in the past you developed nations could rely on at least a measure of acquiescence to their wishes, if not actual approval, those days appear to be firmly behind us.
Russia now enjoys a wide measure of support throughout Africa, the Middle East, South America and Asia. It is no surprise that it is in the same regions that the Chinese initiated Belt and Road Initiative also enjoys widespread backing, with at least 145 nations worldwide that have now signed up to this world changing agreement.
This was specifically referred to by Russia’s President Putin when he recently spoke at the Kremlin. In his address, Putin said:
“But here I would like to make it clear. They should have realised that they will lose from the very beginning of our special military operation, because this operation also means the beginning of a radical breakdown of the United States style world order. This is the beginning of the transition from liberal-globalist American egocentrism to a truly multipolar world based on self-serving rules made by someone for their own needs, behind which there was nothing but striving for huge money, not on hypocritical double standards, but all international law in the genuine sovereignty of nations and civilisations, of the will to live their historical destiny, with their own values and traditions, and to align cooperation on the basis of democracy, justice and equality.
Everyone who understands this process, cannot be stopped. The course of history is inexorable and the collective West’s attempts to impose its New World order of the rest of the world are doomed.”
The speech could not have been a more explicit condemnation of the Western world and their assumptions, that we have had to live with for a long period of time, that there view was the important one and the view that should prevail from now on. Those days are gone, as Putin makes very clear in his speech.
It was the assumption in the West that the implementation of restrictions on Russia’s exports to their region would deal a fatal blow to the Russian economy. Many in the West, and especially in the United Kingdom and United States, expected or hoped that the Russian people would rise against Putin and that the unrest created by the hardship imposed on the Russian people would lead to the overthrow of Putin.
The reality of what has happened actually tells one more about the level of delusion held by Western leaders about the Russian economy, the resilience of its people, and the popularity of Putin himself enjoying as he does 80% plus support in the Russian population.
As Putin also acknowledged in his speech,
“the so-called collective West lead by the United States has been extremely aggressive towards Russia for decades. And our proposals to create a system of equal security in Europe have been rejected. Initiatives for cooperation in the issue of missile defence were rejected. Warnings about the unacceptability of NATO expansion, especially at the expense of the former republics of the Soviet Union were ignored.”
Putin also referred to the war in the Donbass, rejecting the notion that Russia had started the war in Ukraine. He pointed out that the war was unleashed by the collective West, which organised and supported the unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine in 2014, and then encouraged and justified genocide against the people of Donbass. He accused the West of being the direct instigator and culprit or what is now happening.
It was an important point that is almost completely ignored in the accounts of the Western media. They seem to have a collective absence of historical reality. Ukraine and the Western allies ignored the 2014 and 2015 agreements designed to safeguard the position of the two Donbass republics.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO recently admitted that the West had been preparing for war against Russia since 2014. It was a rare moment of truth in a period of time that has been marked by constant Western hypocrisy about both the Minsk accords and the reality that has transpired over the past seven years
The fact that the Ukrainians have an estimated 80,000 of their troops still in the Donbass tells one all we need to know about the willingness to comply with the terms of the Minsk agreement. It also gives the lie to the claims by the Ukrainian president that his intentions all along we are honourable. The fact that the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Ukraine and met with Zelensky confirms that Australia has not shed one ounce of its allegiance to the United States despite the change of government in May of this year.
Russian suspicion of the bona fides of NATO was also reinforced by the recent announcement of Stoltenberg that NATO’s forces in Europe would be increased to 300,000 with the clear inference being that they would be employed against Russia.
Helmlabitz Smith, in a recent article was correct to describe them as NATO’s fantasy soldiers. He points out that all the major NATO countries have in recent years greatly decreased the number of their troops. Smith’ points out not only the greatly reduced numbers of soldiers in the Western armies, but also the poor levels of health and education in the pool from which the United States for example, would draw these phantom numbers.
Smith also draws some unflattering comparisons with the level of armaments available to the Western troops compared with their Russian counterparts. He concludes that NATO fails the brutal reality test that emerges from any comparison between the West’s phantom Army and the actual reality of the Russian forces that they will face.
So, militarily and in economic terms the picture painted of the West is less than flattering. The reality is yet to hit home for the West’s leaders as is so obvious from the ill-judged and disastrous economic war against Russia. The theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of Russian foreign reserves only reinforces the point in Russian eyes. The West is not to be trusted. Russia’s shift and reorientation to the East is more than justified and the West has only itself to blame.
James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.