The result of the US presidential elections will inevitably increase the tendencies of Washington’s pressure on processes in global politics. America will continue the trend of self-withdrawal from participation in the work of international cooperation organizations. Unfortunately, we are talking about such major problems and challenges of mankind as pandemics of new unknown diseases and global food security.
President Trump’s America was not the best for the world. Soon after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington unilaterally shut down passenger air travel to Europe, making Europeans feel betrayed. The United States has cut food and health care supplies to millions of poor people, including in economically weak countries in Africa. A study by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) showed that 59% of Europeans believe that the crisis has led to a sharp deterioration in the attitude of European citizens towards the United States. In Germany, a poll by Datapraxis and YouGov showed that 65% of Germans are seeing an increase in negative factors in relations between Europe and America, and 71% of Danish citizens said that transatlantic relations are worsening.
Quo vadis, Mister President?
The global security situation is deteriorating. Two NATO countries, Greece and Turkey, are in a tough phase of conflict on the verge of military escalation. Turkey has pledged to destroy the aircraft and ships of the Greek Navy and carried out rocket fires in Greek territorial waters. The Pentagon recommended that the two parties to the conflict ‘agree among themselves’, and although formally the North Atlantic Alliance acts as a mediator of negotiations between the oldest member states of 30 NATO states, it is obvious that the final decision is not in Washington, but in Ankara. The Alliance is showing a growing weakness that was not possible in the last century, NATO’s time is running out.
The ground is slipping from under the feet of the United States. As Donald Trump said on the eve of the elections, his Democratic rival Joseph Biden plans to introduce a ‘self-isolation regime’ in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, which could last for several years. Biden once again accused Trump of weakening the US’s authority in the world and escalating tensions with NATO and EU allies. Both politicians are right: The United States is now in its deepest foreign policy crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The fall into the abyss continues, and America’s attempts to maintain global hegemony in foreign policy are becoming increasingly desperate.
According to NATO Review, the Pentagon’s official media outlet nato.int, ‘a number of NATO member states are suspicious of the idea of new political functions for the Alliance. In their view, formalizing and other international organizations do not meet the tasks of collective defense and military operations, which have traditionally been the focus of attention.’
This is a confession: we don’t know what to do.
Hysteria, phobias and intimidation
Since the 1999 bombing of Serbia, the NATO alliance has had no successful operations that the Pentagon could recognize as an absolute military victory. Afghanistan and other countries of peacekeeping operations have devastated America, the enforcement of democracy is already not working. Uncertainty and weakness have become the reasons for a significant increase in Washington’s political pressure on its allies. From which American diplomats and lobbyists demand more and more measures to counter Russia and China.
America has gone so far as to threaten to impose sanctions on Western democracies that do not want to get away from economic cooperation with Moscow and Beijing. Hysteria, phobias, and intimidation have become instruments of US foreign policy. This completely contradicts the democratic and free principles of the development of Europe according to the American plan of General Marshall.
An example of pressure on Europe is the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in the Baltic Sea, the shareholders of which are GAZPROM, Royal Dutch Shell, Wintershall, EON, OMV, etc. The United States threatened a number of Western European countries whose companies are participating in the project with harsh sanctions. US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell angered German energy concerns and entrepreneurs by sending them threatening letters. Sanctions were also promised to Allseas, a Swiss company from the canton of Friborg, which was laying pipes for the Nord Stream — 2 gas project based on unique Swiss technologies.
Suppliers from Germany are already considered unreliable in Russia, since the goods can come under sanctions at any time. At the same time, Beijing continues to strengthen trade ties with Moscow in place of the Germans. As noted in WirtschaftsWoche, China will increase supplies of hydrocarbons from Russia. At the same time, the connection between Moscow and Europe is becoming weaker and weaker due to the sanctions.
Berlin admits that for the Russian Federation, China was able to completely replace Europe in trade relations. Russia needs the German market less and less. And for the German economy, this cooperation is irreplaceable.
Member of the Bundestag Wernd Westphal said that ‘Europe has the prospect of development only together with Russia, and not against it.’ According to the German press, the reserve of loyalty of democratic politicians in Western Europe to the American partnership, preserved from the era of the post-war Marshall Plan and the Cold War, is at a critical minimum and aggravates internal contradictions in the countries of the collective West. Unfortunately, negative developments in American policy, including anti-democratic risks, create new security threats and weaken global multi-vector politics.
What they want from Washington after the presidential elections?
The above tendencies have a negative impact on such international integration associations as the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). The founders of these organizations are both Russia and China; in addition, the economic leaders of the regions of India and Brazil are reliable partner countries. Pursuing the idea of its hegemony in world politics, Washington is trying in various ways to discredit the activities of these associations. At the same time, in military terms, this is not a consolidated bloc in the style of NATO; the economy of weapons in the SCO takes the last place.
Today Russia is entering the Chinese market, increasing gigantic volumes of supplies not only of pipeline gas through the Yamal-Shanghai Power of Siberia gas pipeline, but also of liquefied gas. So far, a large volume of LNG from Russia goes to Europe, but the volume of Russian hydrocarbon supplies to Asia is growing more dynamically than transit to the West. Yamal LNG has already sent energy carriers to China several times. As for Arctic LNG-2, Russia sold 10% of the shares in this project to Chinese corporations CNODC, a subsidiary of CNPC, the leader of the Chinese gas market, and CNOOC.
In the long term, this will increase the risks of energy security and the weakening of the European Union economy, but perhaps this is exactly what Washington is trying to achieve? Sorry, Europe does not agree to give its future income and democratic principles to American capital.
The potential for economic growth and political flexibility of the SCO and BRICS countries look all the more significant against the backdrop of the crisis in America and NATO. The likely strengthening of the US political and sanctions pressure on India and Brazil softens the «safety cushion» in the form of a global partnership with China and Russia, which allows us to speak of a reduction in risks for the SCO and BRICS states.
Thus, within the framework of BRICS, dialogue and cooperation have been imposed to counter the above global problems and threats. Unlike the United States and the G7 countries, the BRICS states do not try to act against each other in matters of interstate partnership and do not seek to politicize them artificially. For the foreseeable future, the BRICS and SCO are the most successful and influential examples of global non-Western multilateralism.
And of course, these are the most promising partners of Western democracy, the new Cold War of the 20th century in a multipolar global society today looks like a utopia.
Tyrone O’Leary, London.