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Oct 14, 2020
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Brave new world. What has the coronavirus pandemic led to?

On October 13, the Valdai International Discussion Club presented the report “Utopia of a Diverse World: How History Continues”, the authors of which spoke about the main trends in international politics. The main conclusion of the document: the coronavirus pandemic has drawn a line under the existence of one world order and became the beginning of a new one. The main sign of the times, according to the Valdai, was uncertainty.

The person present at the presentation agreed with them Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov... He also pointed out one of the main culprits of this state of affairs.

"Erosion of rules and institutions"

The report was presented on the eve of the big annual conference of the club, which will be held on October 20-22. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took part in its presentation. The main topic was the impact of the coronavirus on international politics.

According to the authors, the COVID-19 pandemic was not so much a shock that brought down the foundations of the world order, but accelerated processes that began long before it. “The erosion of international rules and institutions, which were created in the second half of the last century and, slightly modified, survived after the Cold War, began with the onset of the 21st century,” the authors say. - The worldwide march of the coronavirus only stimulated the processes that arose before its appearance, spurred evolution, but did not bring anything fundamentally new to it. However, due to the scale and shocking impact on the usual socio-political relations, the pandemic drew a symbolic line under the existence of one world order and became the beginning of another. "

The fact that the world is at a turning point is evidenced by a large number of problems. International institutions are in crisis, alliances are bursting at the seams, individual states are increasingly thinking only of themselves. The experts say that the main feature of the present time is uncertainty. The world, which was previously regulated by various international organizations and general rules, is becoming a thing of the past.

However, can we say that this is bad? The authors think not: “The international agenda is exhausted. This is not a current crisis of growth and development that happens periodically, but the disappearance of a meaningful and universally recognized frame of reference. One can try to patch up the crumbling reality by manipulating artificial concepts, ideologies that have lost their vitality and decayed institutions. But this attempt to postpone only aggravates the state of affairs, makes the ongoing scrapping even more dramatic. "

No one undertakes to predict what the world will be like in five, ten, fifteen years, because a new world structure is in its infancy. However, experts from the Valdai Club suggested what a new ideal world order could be. They see it as diverse, with a lot of values ​​and ideas. Countries in this system will rather play for themselves than join alliances. And the unions themselves will become more momentary, in line with current interests.

The old world order, where the monopoly of individual countries was at the forefront, will be replaced by a more just order. “Its main features already now are not monopoly, but competition between development models, not the dominance of one power, but the struggle of centers of power, a flexible structure that allows the emergence of coalitions according to interests, but not within the framework of bloc discipline,” the authors of the report say.

Who is to blame and what to do?

An important conclusion made by the authors is the "end of history" predicted by the American philosopher and political scientist Francis Fukuyama after the end of the cold war, did not take place. This was especially noted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who was present at the presentation of the report.

He agreed with the authors of the report that international institutions are losing their capacity to function. The main reason for this, he called the actions of the American authorities. “The United States simply does not want to fulfill any agreements that somehow impose restrictions on Washington's freedom of action in the international arena, be it economic, trade, investment or any other sphere. The obvious tools are used - sanctions, threats, ultimatums, ”the minister said.

He recalled that recently the United States destroyed the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, the Open Skies Treaty, and the Treaty on Measures to Further Reduce and Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (START) is next. “The US has already left UNESCO, the World Health Organization, the UN Human Rights Council. They, in my opinion, are very substantively and seriously studying the possibility of withdrawing from the World Trade Organization, "Lavrov added.

According to the minister, the maximally selfish behavior of the leaders of individual states is more and more influencing real events in the international arena. “All this cannot please us. It cannot be gratifying that the culture of dialogue, the culture of compromise, the ability to listen to interlocutors in general, is being lost, often the desire to accuse, issue ultimatums, demand ... long-term, sometimes not very grateful, but ultimately yielding results in the search for common ground, the search for compromises, the coordination of positions, ”Lavrov summed up.

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