Autor: admin
Datum objave: 23.09.2020

Is the world entering a new Cold War?

Russia's Putin urges end to sanctions to boost world economy

Is the world entering a new Cold War?

The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary as the post-World War Two global order which created it is on shaky foundations.

Multilateralism is in serious disarray, as the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has observed.
President Donald Trump's America First foreign policy has seen the US thumb its nose at multilateral agreements from the Paris Climate accord to the Iran nuclear deal, while China is visibly positioning itself as the new supporter of the United Nations.

But growing Chinese influence comes at a price, and if Beijing is devoting more money to fund UN agencies like the World Health Organization then it will want more say as a result.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke of a foundational moment facing the UN - those who built the United Nations knew the value of unity, he noted, since they had lived through war and an earlier pandemic.

Anxieties about what the US China rivalry means for global stability abounded at this remote gathering of world leaders.

There was no disguising the urgency of French President Emmanuel Macron's tone, as he said in his pre-recorded remarks that today's world can't be left to the rivalry between China and the US.

That rivalry, which has seen the two countries lock horns on everything from trade to technology, is becoming increasingly acrimonious - and President Trump dialled up the rhetoric, using his platform on the world stage to rail against what he called the China virus. 

With less than 40 days to go until the US election, Bejing bashing is central to the Trump campaign. It appears there is a concerted effort under way to deflect criticism of the president's handling of the outbreak by slamming China for exporting the virus.

Would a bi-polar world in which the US and China vie for supremacy eventually lead to military conflict? Clearly the UN Secretary General is concerned about what lies ahead, warning of another "Cold War".

"We are moving in a very dangerous direction," Mr Guterres said. "Our world cannot afford a future where the two largest economies split the globe in a Great Fracture - each with its own trade and financial rules and internet and artificial intelligence capacities. A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geostrategic and military divide. We must avoid this at all costs."

This open discussion about the consequences of a "great fracture " shows how rapidly the world is changing, and how diplomats are scrambling to keep up.

China's President Xi Jinping actually declared at the virtual general debate that "China has no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot one with any country."

That statement was telling. The presidency of Donald Trump has heightened tensions with China, to the point where speculation about where all this leads is rife.

An experienced diplomat told me on Tuesday that the general debate at the UN was always seen as creative chaos.

As world leaders came together and glad handed and met in private, real diplomacy was done. Now, it's just chaos, said this old hand sadly, asking rhetorically who's in charge, and which world leader has more than just narrow self interest at heart.

The pandemic has exploited the injustices of the world, observed the UN secretary general. People are hurting, our planet is burning, he said, imploring world leaders to see Covid-19 as a wake up call and a dress rehearsal for the challenges ahead.

Yet within an hour of Mr Guterres saying solidarity is self-interest, President Trump declared that all world leaders should follow his example and put their countries first.

If he is re-elected, his unilateralism will become more pronounced, and the United Nations will probably be further marginalised by Washington.

Would the US commitment to NATO weaken too? Were Joe Biden to be elected president, the tension between Washington and Beijing might be lessened, but the fundamental US China rivalry would remain.

The world is realigning, and the question now is how the old multilateral order adapts - and who will lead it.

Russia's Putin urges end to sanctions to boost world economy

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin argued Tuesday that ending “illegitimate sanctions” against countries like his could boost the coronavirus-hit global economy and create jobs, using his annual speech at the U.N. General Assembly to stress the need for multilateral cooperation against the pandemic.

In a somewhat muted speech for the often tough-talking Russian leader, Putin told the U.N.’s 75th anniversary gathering that countries need to work together better to fight the virus and other global problems.

“Freeing world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions and illegitimate sanctions would be a great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment," he said.

Putin has been pushing for years to end U.S. and European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, was accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections, and other actions. Moscow views the Crimea annexation as legitimate, and denies meddling in the vote that gave Donald Trump the U.S. presidency.

Putin warned other countries against unspecified “interference” in domestic affairs, and said “cybersecurity also deserves most serious deliberation within the U.N.” — without mentioning the Russian trolls and hackers accused of manipulating U.S. public opinion in 2016.

Putin’s speech came amid tensions between Russia and the West over Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is being treated in Berlin for what German authorities said was a nerve agent poisoning, and as the EU ponders imposing sanctions over Belarus’ disputed presidential election and crackdowns on protesters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Navalny’s poisoning an attempted murder that was intended to silence Putin’s most prominent political foe. Merkel’s office indicated she may be willing to rethink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which would bring Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
EU foreign ministers failed to agree Monday on imposing sanctions on Belarusian officials suspected of rigging the Aug. 9 election that kept authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in power. A security crackdown on anti-government protests followed the vote. However, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said there was “clear will to adopt those sanctions.”

Russia also has drawn international criticism for speedily approving a COVID-19 vaccine, and some Western experts said it cut corners during testing. Putin has touted the vaccine on national television and said that one of his adult daughters had already been inoculated - and on Tuesday, he offered to provide the vaccine free to all U.N. staff.

However, both Russian and Western experts insist that further studies are needed to determine the vaccine's effectiveness and safety.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said some countries “are seeking to impose concepts and standards like the ‘rules-based world order’ while trying to meddle in the domestic affairs of other states, using unilateral sanctions in violation of the U.N. Security Council prerogatives, and exhibiting intolerance and hatred."

Putin called for unity and urged countries to reaffirm their commitment to the U.N. charter and international law, lamenting a “deficit of humanity and kindness” between countries amid the pandemic.

He repeatedly stressed the Soviet Union's role in helping vanquish the Nazis in World War II — the conflict that gave birth to the United Nations. Despite calls for deep reform of the U.N., Putin said the Security Council's five permanent members should keep their veto power, and said their leaders agreed to an in-person meeting once the pandemic allows.

“In an interconnected, interdependent world, in the whirlpool of international events, it is necessary to act together and rely on the principles of international law enshrined in the U.N. charter,” he said.

Kategorije: Društvo
Developed by LELOO. All rights reserved.