Friday, April 1, 2011

US compliments Russia's "non-aligned" foreign policy

Howsoever Russia strains to show it is critical of the US-led military intervention in Libya, Americans keep complimenting Moscow for its accommodative attitude. Barack Obama phones up Kremlin, actually, to compliment. A Russian friend wrote to me yesterday that two-thirds of Russian people oppose the western attack on Libya. But Americans know it is often the remaining one-third who call the shots in policy-making, especially in times of war. Voice of America has featured a commentary profusely complimenting Russia for its newfound "non-aligned" foreign policy. Of course, VOA unilaterally defines "non-alignment" as a foreign policy that puts primacy on 'interests' [read trade-offs] rather than high principles or ideology, as it used to be understood in the bipolar world in the last century. VOA explains: "Many analysts see Russia as seeking a post-Imperial role in the world. No longer a superpower, it has decided to try to maintain good relations with key countries around the globe. In Soviet days, Russian diplomats routinely vetoed Security Council resolutions supported by the United States. By abstaining in its UN vote, Russia joined China, Brazil and India. Fyodor Lyukanov edits Russia in Global Affairs magazine. 'Russia does not see itself any more as part of a global power which should participate in everything. Rather, the country focuses interests much more on spheres of most vital interest,' Lyukanov said."
But there is always a tragi-comic twist to such tales. So, VOA concludes: "On Friday, Mikhail Margelov, the Russian government’s top representative to Africa, gave a series of interviews, predicting that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi would be out of power by June. The Russian official said he was sending aides to Benghazi to forge contacts with the opposition. At the end of the day on Libya, Russian officials may have tried to please everyone, but ended up pleasing no one."

1 comment:

tick said...

The typical moves to control the narrative needs to be warded off with an Indian initiative for just information order.

The clever device to hollow out the meaning of non-alignment may have many motives.

The unexpected and interesting fall out of the Libyan Security Council decision is the abstain vote of Germany. Whether this signals convergence of continental European powers, as distinct from Atlantic alliance, long feared as fall out from the Soviet meltdown is not clear. This fear, it was concluded a decade later as unfounded. But capabilities to forestall such a development would perhaps be still in place.

As India develops stronger relationship with US, UK and France, balancing it with proximity to not with just Russia but Germany and other Central European powers would help avoid the risk of unchecked interventions in Middle East. It may also help internally in avoiding the lopsided growth of English in shaping Indian narrative at the expense of our vernacular linguistic sensibilities.