Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Putin Calls for New Rules in a Fragmented World

One of the ongoing stories we follow here is what the BRICS nations are going to do in the future. We have covered the fact that they are unhappy with the balance of power at the IMF and have taken initial steps to setup their own financial institutions. On the one hand they threaten to go their own way if IMF reforms are not adopted by year end 2014. On the other hand they always tamp down those threats by saying they do not see themselves competing with the IMF or World Bank. 

Russian President Putin once again calls for global reform in this BRICSPOST article. Once again it seems like 2015 is shaping up to be an important year to see how all this gets resolved. At some point the BRICS nations will have to either make good on their threats (regarding IMF reforms not passing) or lose credibility that their threats have any meaning. Below are some quotes and then a comment.

"As the United Nations celebrates its 69th anniversary, Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling for a reconstruction of a system of global checks and balances that help maintain peace and security."
"Addressing the plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s 11th Session in Sochi, Russia, Putin said that any global system of governance must adapt to the new realities in international relations."
“Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the existing system of global and regional security can protect us from disruption. The system is seriously weakened, shattered and deformed,” Putin told the 108 experts, historians and political analysts from 25 countries attending the session."
International and regional institutions of political, economic and cultural cooperation are going through a very difficult period,” he added.
The session’s theme – The World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules – examines how a global mechanism of conflict resolution and equitable economics can exist in the midst of persistent efforts to fragment the world, draw new dividing lines, and create coalitions of war targeting a polity or leader.
My added comment: Mr. Putin does not really try to hide his criticism of the US as being the reason for "efforts to fragment the world, draw new dividing lines, and create coalitions of war targeting a polity or leader".
Later he adds these comments:
Agendas of blocs of nations, usually acting as satellites to a singular world power, were often disguised under the guise of international will and therefore skewed the process of global decision-making.
“This group has in fact become so ambitious that its solutions are now passed off as decisions made by the entire global community,” the Russian president said.
However, unipolar dominance of the world is unsustainable, which is why a number of nations are trying to create what Putin called a “quasi bi-polar world”.
“Essentially, the unipolar world is simply a means of justifying dictatorship over people and countries. The unipolar world turned out too uncomfortable, heavy and unmanageable a burden even for the self-proclaimed leader,” Putin said.
All this will continue to be interesting to follow. And the November elections in the US will probably also come into play here. Right now polling indicates the Republican Party in the US may gain control of the US Senate and will most certainly retain control of the US House. President Obama is suffering from low approval ratings. If this polling holds up, it casts a lot of doubt on whether the IMF reforms will have any chance of approval any time soon. And the US Congress will also probably take a more combative approach to Russia and other BRICS efforts to offset US global leadership.
For now, the trend is away from global cooperation and more towards de centralization and regional power struggles. Events can change quickly so we will continue to follow them here.

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