BRICS has little to show by way of achievement even as fault lines within it sharpen, with China and Russia trying to convert its geo-economic orientation into a patently anti-West one. In subsequent years, the BRICS goal of gaining a stronger voice in the international financial system essentially provided the five countries with two possibilities: challenging versus reforming global governance.
Foreign policy is a strange terrain where even the best-laid plans of nations have to be moulded and remoulded, constructed and deconstructed, depending on the plans of other actors.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, made it clear recently that the much-awaited counter-offensive of his nation against Russia has begun. With this, the war in Ukraine has entered a new phase: some are anticipating a dangerous escalation while others view this as an opportunity to start a negotiating process to bring some sort of conclusion to the conflict.
India will be there at the G-7 to remind the West once again that it is playing an important role in the global oil market.
Even as Russia’s own Wagner Group Chairman has urged Putin to declare victory and ceasefire after Bakhmut and control of the region in the east strategically designed for control by the Russian planners, and China brought in 12 point peace plan, the observers do not really see an end to the war. Indian PM Narendra Modi has been urging both sides to ceasefire and return to dialogue as he chairs the G20 and has offered India’s assistance in doing so if the warring sides were ready, but there are no signs of ceasefire that one could see yet.
Recently, numerous articles have been written on the demise of the dollar. The argument is that China, the second largest economy after the US, is increasingly convincing the world’s largest suppliers of energy, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela, to trade in Chinese yuan. This, according to the commentators, will usher in the demise of the ‘petrodollar’. It would then be a matter of time before the US economy crumbles, they argue.
Arguably the World is going through unprecedented challenges. Perhaps we are between several world orders or mired into a complete chaos and disorder. Unilateralism by the super powers has become the order of the day. Since 1979, we have witnessed such far reaching developments in international politics with unforeseen consequences felt over the years which are now being reflected in the unbridgeable big power confrontations and deepening trust deficit. Sino-US and US-Russia matrix is turning into the West vs Russia/China combine from the pedestals of UNSC (P3 vs P2) to the geo-political and geo-economic expanse in virtually every geography. Russia-Ukraine war is a symptom of that.