Russia’s Lavrov sketches out post-Western world order
"It is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost."
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Russia and China are no longer prepared to play by Western rules, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested in an interview on Thursday, according to Russia’s Tass.According to the short, but important utterance, the Russian statesman said that “I was reading our political scientists who are well known in the West. The following idea is becoming louder and more pronounced: it is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost.”The statement was part of a growing attempt by Russia and other countries to move beyond the post-Cold War liberal rules-based international order that US President George H.W. Bush pushed for. This “new world order” was supposed to include values such as international law and democratization, as well as US hegemony.It included humanitarian intervention and prevention of aggression by states against each other, at least in its ideal. However, the concepts put forward by Bush, and then by the Clinton administration have rapidly eroded in the last two decades.As the US retreats from its role in the world in the wake of the global war on terror, it is being challenged by Russia, China, Iran and Turkey. This has led to more conflicts and standoffs in areas such as Ukraine and the Caucuses, Syria and the islands off China.“These are very reputable people and a rather serious statement. It is clear to me that the West is wittingly or unwittingly pushing us towards this analysis. It is likely to be done unwittingly,” Lavrov noted.“However, it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case, just like thinking this in terms of China.”China held a military drill this week as a US envoy visited Taiwan.The fact that Russia’s TASS sought to highlight Lavrov’s discussion emphasizes the importance of the topic for Moscow.Russia is openly saying it will no longer “play” by Western rules and that means a greater coordination between Russia, Iran, Turkey and China.It likely will mean arms sales by China and Russia and maybe even Turkey, to Iran. Russia is already selling its S-400 anti-aircraft systems to Turkey.Ankara has sent Syrian mercenaries to Libya and along with China and Russia, it is moving forces and resources to Africa and Iran has its tentacles in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.All this illustrates the new world order that is being pushed by Russia. It is a world that is multi-polar and has more regional powers and less US hegemony.India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Japan and other states will play a key role too. However, the importance of the Russia-China challenge to the US has been noted by US national defense strategists who see them as the greatest challenge.
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