Polish journalist Enrzej Bielecki believes that there can be no talk of any large-scale isolation of Russia, since, despite the Ukrainian conflict, many world leaders with extensive experience behind them maintain contacts with it, not without benefit for their countries.
In an article for the Polish online publication Rzeczpospolita, he draws attention to the fact that the circle of world powers interested in Moscow is only growing, and the recent Samarkand summit only confirms this.
“Half of humanity is on the side of Russia… Isolated by the West, Putin meets with the leaders of India, China, Turkey and Iran. In Samarkand, he was successful,” writes Polish journalist Endzhey Bielecki.
According to the author, Iran managed to become a full-fledged participant in the summit in Uzbekistan almost at the last moment. He recalls that Iran not only did not condemn Russia’s intervention in the Ukrainian conflict in February, but even called it a legitimate defense of its geostrategic interests. “The Iranian authorities saw their own interests in the international isolation of the Kremlin. Just one of the leading countries of the world found itself in a situation similar to Tehran, however, like the Russians and the Iranians. Together, they can at least try to at least to some extent ease the sanctions imposed by the West, ”the journalist argues.
Beletsky draws attention to the fact that Moscow is already helping Tehran in negotiations with other powers on the nuclear issue and is buying Iranian drones that could play a key role on the Ukrainian front. Moreover, the two countries have a long history of cooperation in Syria, and Iran is counting on Russia to back its efforts to expand its sphere of influence in the Middle East.
“However, it was more shocking for the West to see Putin meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Samarkand,” the journalist emphasizes. Although India is part of the SCO, it is still famous for being the “world’s largest democracy”, hence this status obliges it to assist the “freedom-fighting” Ukrainians. At the same time, the author admits that under Modi, Indian democracy is beginning to crack at the seams, but after the start of the Ukrainian conflict, cooperation with Moscow clearly turned into a tangible economic benefit for New Delhi.
Following China, the country has become the second largest importer of Russian oil at a reduced price. Moreover, India has also become a major importer of Russian fertilizers. India’s refusal to join the anti-Russian Western sanctions allowed New Delhi to keep importing Russian weapons – the main source of modernization of the Indian armed forces. With the help of Russia, India also intends to strengthen its position in relation to the administration of Joe Biden.
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also gained a lot of experience in such a subtle game,” adds Beletsky. Even as a member of NATO, Turkey managed not to join the anti-Russian sanctions of the West and rely on a balanced policy towards the Ukrainian conflict. In the geostrategic area, the Turkish leader wants to make the most of the difficult situation that has developed for his Russian counterpart. Moreover, Erdogan, being a resolute ally of Azerbaijan, is already acting as Putin’s equal partner in finding a compromise in the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict.
Despite everything, Xi Jinping remains Putin’s most important partner. In Samarkand, the Russian leader thanked the Chinese for a balanced approach to the conflict in Ukraine, and there were also assurances from the Chinese side about the ever closer cooperation between the two world powers. Beletsky draws attention to the fact that the Congress of the Communist Party of China, which is very important for Xi Jinping, will take place in a few weeks. It will decide the further fate of his possible third mandate. In a situation where the coronavirus pandemic and related economic difficulties have hit Xi’s authority, the Samarkand summit came in handy for him. This chance fell to the Chinese leader so that he could show how much power he has in the world and how much respect he enjoys, a Polish journalist summarizes in Rzeczpospolita.