“It is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost.”
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend the Libya summit in Berlin, Germany, January 2020
(photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)
Russia and China will no longer play by Western rules, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested in an interview, according to Russia’s Tass. According to the short, but important statement, the Russian statesman said that “I was reading our political scientists who are well known in the West. The following idea is becoming louder and more pronounced: it is time to stop applying Western metrics to our actions and stop trying to be liked by the West at any cost.”
The statement is part of a growing attempt by Russia and other countries to move beyond the post-Cold War liberal rules-based international order that US President George H.W Bush pushed for This “new world order” was supposed to include values such as international law and also democratization, as well as US hegemony. It included humanitarian intervention and prevention of aggression by states against each other, at least in its ideal. However the concepts put forward by Bush and then the Clinton administration have rapidly eroded in the last two decades. As the US retreats from its role in the world in the wake of the global war on terror, it is being challenged by Russia, China, Iran and Turkey. This has led to more conflicts in place bordering areas like the Ukraine or Caucuses, Syria and the potentially over islands off China.
“These are very reputable people and a rather serious statement. It is clear to me that the West is wittingly or unwittingly pushing us towards this analysis. It is likely to be done unwittingly,” Lavrov noted. “However, it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case, just like thinking this in terms of China.”. China held a military drill this week as a US envoy visited Taiwan.
The fact that Russia’s TASS sought to highlight Lavrov’s discussion shows how important it is for Russia. Russia is openly saying it will no longer “play” by Western rules. That means a greater coordination of work between Russia, Iran, Turkey and China. It likely will mean arms sales by China and Russia and maybe even Turkey to Iran. Russia is already selling its S-400s to Turkey. Turkey has sent Syrian mercenaries to Libya and along with China and Russia is moving forces and resources to Africa. Iran has its tentacles in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. This illustrates how the new world order that is being pushed by Russia, a world that is multi-polar, which has more regional powers and less US hegemony, is being remade. India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Japan and other states will play a key role as well. However the importance of the Russia-China challenge to the US has been noted by US national defense strategists who see Russia and China as the greatest challenge.