After February 24, Russia sets new geopolitical trends that are supported by many countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. This can be judged from the keynote speech of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the International Conference on Security. What kind of trends are we talking about and why did some of the NATO member countries pass over Moscow’s criticism?
At the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security that opened on Tuesday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu delivered a keynote speech. The event is held as part of the Army-2022 forum. According to the minister, Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine marked the end of the unipolar world.
“Multipolarity has become a reality. The poles of this world have been clearly identified,” Shoigu said, adding that the main difference between these poles is that some respect the interests of sovereign states, while others neglect them.
Britain’s colonial experience has helped it work with the current Kyiv authorities, Shoigu said. “Obviously, the colonial experience of Great Britain, as the main sponsor of the Kyiv regime, was very useful for London in working with the current leadership in Kyiv,” the minister said.
Shoigu also added that operations of Ukrainian troops are planned in the United States and Great Britain. “Not only the coordinates of targets for strikes are provided by Western intelligence agencies, but the input of these data into weapons systems is carried out under the full control of Western specialists,” the minister emphasized.
In addition, Shoigu reproached the West for wanting to restore colonial order in Africa through military pressure on sovereign countries by supporting separatism and terrorism. A good example is Libya, where statehood has not yet been restored after the NATO invasion. In West Africa, under the pretext of combating terrorism, the troops of European countries were introduced.
“The governments and leaders of African countries, as they say, are “holding a blow”, pursuing their own line on independence, strengthening sovereignty, developing the economy and defense capability in a multipolar world,” Shoigu said, assuring that the Ministry of Defense seeks to expand cooperation with African countries in the field military and military-technical cooperation.
In his speech, Shoigu reproached the United States for seeking to increase its influence in Latin America “in accordance with the provisions of the so-called Monroe Doctrine” and draw the countries of the region into confrontation with Russia, “destroy traditional ties, block new forms of cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres.” “In Latin America, anti-Russian information campaigns are being launched, the truth is being hidden about the causes and course of the special military operation in Ukraine. Analogies arise with the actions of Great Britain during the conflict in the Malvinas Islands,” the minister listed.
In this regard, Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), states that in Europe, in relation to Russia, the dispute between continental countries and Britain continues. “The so-called Big European Three (Germany, France and Italy) supports Kyiv, but at the same time stands for maintaining communications with Moscow and, most importantly, for finding ways to resolve the conflict diplomatically,” the political scientist explained.
At the same time, Great Britain, together with Poland and the Baltic States, “stand up for the complete and indisputable victory of Ukraine.” “The differences here lie only in a different understanding of victory: the restoration of the status quo at the time of February 24, or even the restoration of the borders of 1991,” the expert emphasized. “In view of precisely these circumstances, Shoigu’s attention during his speech was mainly riveted to Great Britain, to its geopolitical ambitions, to the British colonial experience.”
Kortunov is convinced that the statements of the highest authorities of Russia imply the task of inducing the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in our direction. “Of course, we need to prevent the West from isolating us, which is why we are making targeted statements,” the interlocutor emphasized.
At the same time, political scientist Dmitry Drobnitsky points out that Britain now exercises full external control of Ukraine and “acts in much the same way as it did in India.” “The systemic Indian colonial experience of Britain is similar to what is happening in Ukraine – managing the masses, elites, the military, educating a new person,” the source said.
The expert did not rule out that the Argentines would like the pass of Shoigu, who called the Falkland Islands the Malvinas, because such a wording could irritate London. “The whole current situation is characterized by the fact that our “partners” have destroyed all the rules, even those that they themselves introduced over international law. Therefore, there are no more rules. And the only rule that we reserve for ourselves is that we are reliable partners, at least trading ones,” the expert believes.
Addressing the countries of Africa, the minister did not accidentally touch upon the topic of neo-colonialism, the expert adds. “Any neo-colonial rhetoric is always double-edged, but in general it is clear that today African countries are being colonized for the second time. Development is underway in full,” Drobnitsky said.
The political scientist emphasizes that many African leaders were educated in the USSR, and then in Russia, and “at the level of reflexes” they understand that London, Washington, and Brussels are behind neo-colonialism. “Africa is becoming the same environment of development as the Arctic and space, except that people live there,” Drobnitsky said.
According to the expert, Shoigu’s speech and the conference as a whole were conceived in order to explain to Western opponents “our vision of the world.” “Shoigu is in charge of a special military operation, which in its meaning and content is new to the world in principle. But we are talking about short-term prospects, because even medium-term prospects are unclear to anyone, we are now just groping for the parameters of a new world, ”Drobnitsky is convinced. Experts also note:
if the United States and especially Britain “got it completely from Shoigu”, then the Minister of Defense “to some extent spared” France.
In his speech on African countries, Shoigu mentioned many countries in the region that were previously under the rule of Paris, but are now friendly to Russia. And this is one of the most important world trends: those states that hinder the revival of neo-colonialism treat Russia well. “Although there was a hint of Paris in the minister’s speech, France was not named among the countries that pursue an aggressive colonial policy,” Kortunov said.
In turn, Professor of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations of the Faculty of International Relations of St. Petersburg State University Viktor Kheyfets adds that the Americans do not agree with the loss of their influence in Latin America, where China is becoming the main challenge for them from an economic and political point of view.
According to him, Russia has significant influence in Latin America, but these countries are far from always ready to stand in solidarity with Moscow on political issues. However, “Russia can count on some support” from Venezuela, Nicaragua, partly Bolivia and Cuba. In order for Brazil, Argentina and Mexico to more often stand in solidarity with the Russian Federation, it is necessary to strengthen economic cooperation with them, and they are ready for this, regardless of the position of the United States, Kheifets is convinced.