Eurasia and the turn of history: are we on the verge of a new Cold War?

Eurasia and the turn of history: are we on the verge of a new Cold War?

Unlike the last three decades in which the Argentine political elitehas naturalized an international order based on the slogans of democracy, economic liberalism, free trade, minimal state, and international institutionshistory has not always been like this.

The disintegration of soviet bloc in 1991, marked the end of the bipolar international order and the emergence of a new unipolar world order, shaped to the ideals and interests of the Western world broadly and the United States narrowly. This phenomenon of Western political, economic and military hegemony was called globalization.

But the liberal history of humanity is, rather, a novel story, written to suit the interests of the Anglo-Saxon nations and their occasional historical allies (The European Union; Japan and South Korea; among others of lesser importance). For the last four centuries, the history of humanity has been the history of the course of its empires. Just as the American academic wrote Robert Kagan Back in 2008, sooner or later, we will wake up to realize that there never was a last man and that history is back.

In the last 30 years, the most transcendental political change has been the process of recovery and concentration of Eurasian power. The alliance between Russia and China knew how to take advantage of the massive influx of foreign capital to modernize their economies and rebuild their power base. The strategy of the “peaceful rise” of China Its purpose was to appease the distrust of Western elites regarding their true interests in disputing the leadership of the world order.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin

The presidents of China, Xi Jinping, and of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Photo: AP

The BRICS, the “New” Silk Road; Trade Agreements and other economic initiatives made the Western world understand that they were going for a peaceful leadership “more of butter than of cannons” in which Western investors would be the main beneficiaries.

At the same time RussiaAfter the Soviet dissolution, a process of modernization of its economy began, but also of concentration of political power and integration with China. A kind of trust for the leadership of a Eurasian bloc with global projection. This project allowed them to build a political structure capable of negotiating their interests, on an equal footing with Western powers. The consolidation process of this bloc marks the turning point in globalization and Anglo-Saxon hegemonic leadership at a global level.

The Ukrainian War It is a demonstration of how history is back, but this time, dressed in new clothes. The region of “Eastern Europe” From the time of the Russian Empire until 1991, it had been under the orbit of the power of Moscow and Saint PetersburgHowever, the advance of the European Union was including in its process nations that had historically been under the Russian orbit. But of all the nations and regions over which Russia has exerted its influence, few have been more conflictive than Ukraine.

Are we on the verge of a new Cold War?

Except for Russia’s ambitions for power, which have been a constant throughout its history, there are few points of comparison with the period of the Cold War. The current global interdependence of economies in their production, trade, investments and finances pose a much more complex scenario than the Cold War.

In turn, Western economies should take into account that applying economic sanctions to Russia They have always been counterproductive. Paraphrasing Nye and Keohane in their classic “Power and Interdependence”while in the short term the economy of Russia may be sensitive to Western sanctions, European countries are structurally vulnerable to shortages of fuel, energy and food that they cannot replace competitively, pushing their economy towards stagnation and rising inflation. The asymmetric power of economic interdependence between Russia and Europe greatly favors Russia.

Finally, although the nuclear threat has been a constant during the Cold War, it was never used. In the strategic game, the threat of nuclear weapons is useful against opponents who do not possess them, but it is a “lose-lose” game against nuclear rivals. The Russians are skilled negotiators, they know their strength, that of their rivals, and they do not spare resources and determination when negotiating, even using the nuclear threat.

Some days ago Joseph Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs in Security Policy, stated in Brussels “The era of Western dominance is over.” It’s true, everything indicates that history is back.

Candidate for Doctor in International Relations (IRI-UNLP) and Professor of the Department of Social Sciences at UNDAV.

Source: Ambito

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