A portrait of the world order through Putin’s destruction at the UN –

A passer-by stands in front of a poster depicting Putin in Simferopol, Crimea.Stringer (AFP)

Russia suffered a major political defeat on Wednesday when the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine. There were 141 supporters and 5 against, including Moscow. 35 countries abstained, while 12 did not vote. The resolution is not binding, but represents a major step backwards and provides a snapshot of the state of international relations amid this major conflict that is redefining the world order.

The general question is crystal clear. Liberal democracies have managed to unite three-quarters of the world’s governments against the Russian invasion; The Kremlin received support from only four dictatorships: Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. Those who opted to abstain do not get 20% of the vote, but they do represent a significant proportion of the world’s population, as they include countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran or South Africa. Given its economic importance, this is a sector in which Russia can find oxygen to overcome Western sanctions. There are also several countries that voted against Moscow in the General Assembly, but do not approve the sanctions framework. Morocco stands out from those who did not vote directly, as does Venezuela, although the Latin American country does not have the right to vote due to its failure to pay UN quotas.

Behind this general outline are many important elements that describe the dynamics of equilibrium in the world today, at a time when a geopolitical pulse of unprecedented intensity has been taking place since the end of the Cold War. Below is a description of some of the more current ones.

the Chinese dilemma

The Russian invasion presented China with a difficult dilemma. Beijing has gradually tightened ties with Russia in recent years. In fact, in early February, he said his alliance with the Kremlin “knows no limits”. But now Russian aggression is causing the Asian giant unease, and inclusion at the UN is a clear manifestation of that. China is skeptical of various dynamics brought about by the invasion: from the general destabilization, which is hurting the global economy, to the strengthening of the Western Union, to the rehearsal of sanctions. The UN’s widespread denial of Russia’s actions complicates their attempt to present themselves as partner of a country that much of the world now considers Paris. Most likely, China will not leave Russia. The fact that the approximation of the two powers was a personal gamble by Xi Jinping – who developed ties with Vladimir Putin – reinforces this claim. But China is undoubtedly recalibrating. The clearest example of this was the decision to freeze operations with Russia and Belarus this Thursday by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, led by Beijing.

India is not moving

Other Asian giants also abstained at the UN, a decision confirming India’s historic ties to Russia in the defense sector. Moscow has been New Delhi’s main arms supplier for decades, and that continues to weigh on her. India has its great strategic rival in China, but its reluctance suggests that it does not fully align itself with the liberal democracies – western and eastern Japan, South Korea, Australia, etc., whose position was meridian.

united Europe

The continent voted unanimously against Russia. Interestingly, that even includes Serbia, a country with strong ties to Moscow, whose president denounced alleged Western pressure on the eve of the election. Hungary, a traditional European partner of the Kremlin, also voted to condemn Moscow. It shows the loss of sympathy that Russia is experiencing with the invasion of Ukraine. Even Turkey, a Eurasian country that has been trying to improve relations with Russia for some time, does not hesitate.

The Coldness of Potential Russian Allies

A 2014 UN resolution condemned the annexation of Crimea by 100 votes to 11 with 58 abstentions. The brutality of today’s attack has led to a significant erosion of Russian diplomacy. Among the countries that supported the Kremlin eight years ago and have now decided to abstain are Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Armenia.

African Kremlin connections

The African continent was observed with a large number of abstentions or without a vote, reflecting Russia’s strong influence in the region. This is undoubtedly true of countries such as Algeria, Mali or the Central African Republic, with which the Kremlin maintains close ties and sometimes provides security to their governments.

Morocco is quiet

Rabat’s decision not to exercise his voting rights is surprising. Official statements provide no evidence of true motives. It is conceivable that this is a diplomatic initiative linked to Morocco’s main political goal: Western Sahara. Rabat, totally offended by the advance of his interests in this matter, demands new gestures from the US government. It’s possible that rejecting support for an initiative as important to Washington as Thursday’s UN vote could complicate matters for Rabat in the White House of Joe Biden, less favorable to Donald Trump.

The anti-western held back

Countries of some importance, such as Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam or South Africa, also abstained. In most cases, the main problem is not so much Russia’s special strategic proximity as the constant reflection of their fear of joining the West. There are countries, as is clearly the case with South Africa, whose position may change.

Latin America

The region voted overwhelmingly against Russia, except for Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, El Salvador (and Venezuela did not support it). Brazil, the giant of the area, and Argentina ultimately voted against Moscow, despite some neutrality threats at the start of the invasion and ties to the Kremlin. In the case of Brazil, it is almost ideological-personal, because of its harmony with its president, Jair Bolsonaro, Vladimir Putin; In Argentina, these ties have a greater geopolitical dimension. The leaders of these two countries were recently admitted to the Kremlin, but eventually joined the democracy camp, albeit with nuances and skepticism about sanctions against Russia.

Gulf States

The change in the position of the United Arab Emirates, which abstained in the Security Council and voted against Russia in the General Assembly, is surprising. It is possible that there was some discomfort in the first vote because of the US stance on the Houthi attacks in Yemen. In the days that followed, they reconsidered their stance. The containment of Iraq is significant, a country invaded by the United States two decades ago and which in recent years has strengthened ties with China, Russia and Iran, albeit amid strong internal turmoil.

Source: La Neta Neta