May 29, 2022
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It was not possible to expand Ukraine to the Pacific Ocean

Washington’s attempt to impose a Ukrainian agenda on Tokyo failed

The face-to-face summit of the Quad grouping (Australia, USA, India, Japan) held in Tokyo was marked by the failure of Washington’s attempts to link Ukrainian and Chinese issues into a single geopolitical knot.

Australian Prime Minister E. Albanese, US President Joe Biden, Prime Ministers of India N. Modi and Japan F. Kishida at the Tokyo Summit on May 24, 2022

Australian Prime Minister E. Albanese, US President Joe Biden, Prime Ministers of India N. Modi and Japan F. Kishida at the Tokyo Summit on May 24, 2022

The goal of the Americans was to involve the rest of the Quad participants in their policy on Ukraine, primarily India, which avoids this in every possible way. The bait was the concern of these powers about the growth of China’s potential. Joe Biden bluntly stated interlocutors that one of the reasons why Russia, in the eyes of the White House, should “pay a heavy price” for the conflict with Ukraine is to prevent China from repeating the same with respect to Taiwan.

Joe Biden in Tokyo

Joe Biden in Tokyo

The American delegation led by Biden made serious efforts to make the unification of the two topics the central issue of the meeting and its final document. In Beijing, these actions of the Americans were assessed as an untenable “cognitive battle” in an attempt to connect the incompatible. Chinese Global Times wrotethat by intentionally uniting Ukraine and Taiwan, “The US is trying to mislead the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and make them think that this region is under the threat of a similar conflict”. In Kyiv, such a link was regarded as proof of its own significance and the realization of the dream of a “globe of Ukraine” to the Pacific Ocean. However, this quirk of American diplomacy rather speaks of approaching Ukraine only as an auxiliary tool for solving higher-order strategic tasks.

Biden, knowing the Indians’ concern about food problems, in a speech at the summit accused Russia of provoking world hunger. “Putin is just trying to extinguish culture. This is more than just a European problem, it is a global problem. The global food crisis could be exacerbated by Russia blocking grain exports from Ukraine.”.

On the eve of the summit, Washington, judging by the statements of US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, demonstrated confidence that the Americans in Tokyo will be able to “fully demonstrate” their leadership.

However, something went wrong. Complete solidarity with the “senior comrade” was demonstrated only by the Japanese Prime Minister Kishida. Even Albanese, who recently headed the Australian government, showed no interest in creating a dual “Ukraine-Taiwan issue.” Unlike Canada, the Australian continent does not have a significant Ukrainian diaspora. And the rise in grain prices in Australia as one of its leading exporters is only on hand.

Narendra Modi and Joe Biden

Narendra Modi and Joe Biden

However, the main failure awaited the Americans in their attempts to win over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in favor of the “Ukrainian-Taiwanese formula”. He not only did not mention in his speech about the “responsibility of Russia” for the events in Ukraine, but also categorically opposed the appearance of personalized attacks on Moscow in a joint statement following the summit. New Delhi’s equidistant attitude towards the parties to the Ukrainian conflict and refraining from any anti-Russian sanctions remain unchanged. And the Indians cannot be deceived by stories about Russia’s “blockade” of grain exports from Ukraine. Until recently, only with the help of Moscow, they with great difficulty managed to evacuate their citizens from there, despite the fact that Kyiv put up all sorts of obstacles to this.

Narendra Modi arrives in New Delhi after participating in the Quad summit -

Narendra Modi arrives in New Delhi after participating in the Quad summit – “with his own”

As a result, the Americans, who did not want the failure of the Quad summit, agreed not to unite Ukraine and China in the final communiqué in a “one package”. And the assessments of the Ukrainian crisis, almost one to one, repeat the Indian positions. Apparently, it was so important for Washington to “fasten” New Delhi to the “anti-Chinese quadriga” that it had to give up Ukraine. Indian experts write: the bone of contention that arose at the meeting over Russia’s war with Ukraine and India’s decisive refusal to choose a side came to naught; other leaders thought it prudent not to irritate India and put a pause in the dispute. Her longstanding view that the Quad agenda should not be blurred won out.”

The section of the final document concerning the Ukrainian theme, according to the official American version, reads: “We discussed our respective responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the ongoing tragic humanitarian crisis and assessed its implications for the Indo-Pacific region. The Leaders of the Four Nations reaffirmed our firm determination to maintain peace and stability in the region. We unequivocally stressed that the basis of the international order is international law, including the UN Charter, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. We also stressed that all countries should strive for the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law.”. An alternative to this wording, which in principle suits Moscow, could be that India would not sign the document or section at all, in which Russia would be mentioned.

The developments around the discussion on Ukraine at the Quad summit in Tokyo should serve as a warning to Washington about whether “the whole world is on its side,” as they claim. It would be nice for Kyiv to think about pairing its virtual “globe” and the real alignment of forces.

Even many Japanese, whose representatives at the summit were ready to please the visiting guest under a hail of his compliments in everything, preferred restraint towards Ukraine. The leading newspaper of the country, Asahi Shimbun, noted that “although the Russian military special operation in Ukraine has no legitimacy,” but if the West and, above all, NATO managed to create a security structure in Europe with the participation of Russia, the development of events here, perhaps it would have taken a different direction. “This is what can happen to security if the two opposing sides do not take into account the mutual interests of each other … Japan should learn important lessons from what is happening now in Europe”. Responsibility for the crisis is assigned by Japanese analysts to both sides – Russia and the West, although from the content of the publication it clearly follows that the root cause of what is happening is NATO expansionism.

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