Sunday, October 2

Russia also has friends, by Jorge Dezcallar


You are mistaken if you think that the whole world is against Russia these days. We tend to see the invasion of Ukraine as a fight between good and evil and, although the barbarities that television shows us daily and the suffering of so many innocent people can support this interpretation, it would be very naive to pretend that the whole world sees it this way because that is not what happens and there are many countries that contemplate this war as something alien and distant, something that does not concern them directly and where they do not want to portray themselves and take sides… because of what may happen later.

It is true that when the UN General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the Russian invasion, 145 countries voted in favor and only four opposed and sided with Russia, but it is a misleading result. North Korea, Iran, Belarus, and Eritrea are not particularly admirable countries. (even Cuba avoided siding with Moscow) and all four have good reasons to vote as they did: Belarus, because it is already a de facto protectorate and is on its way to being swallowed up by Russia; North Korea, because trade with Russia (and China) prevents its total isolation and its population literally starving to death; Iran, because it unites Russia with its confrontation with the United States, and also needs Russia in the war in Syria and to revive the Nuclear Agreement and be able to export oil again; Eritrea relies on weapons sent by Moscow. But it should not be forgotten that another 35 countries abstained and some, like Morocco, absented themselves from the room in order to avoid having their picture taken; and that the number of abstentions rose quite a bit a few days later when the Human Rights Council voted expulsion from Russia.

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These figures show that many countries see this war as a distant problem, something that does not affect them, while others think that Russia is a nuclear power with a permanent seat in the Security Council and the right of veto, and that they are not interested in fighting with it because it will always have influence in world affairs; Y there are also those who depend on trade with Russia and, above all, on its arms sales. They are good reasons for not wanting to antagonize her.

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The case of countries such as China, India, Algeria, South Africa, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Israel is interesting, very different from each other but united in their decision not to condemn Russia and not to impose sanctions on it for different but coincident reasons: China considers Russia as a “strategic partner” (not an ally) in its opposition to the US and it cannot abandon it in this situation despite not being at all comfortable with the violation by Moscow of principles so dear to Chinese diplomacy such as the inviolability of borders, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in Chinese affairs. internal to the states. Even so, China does not send weapons to it nor does it violate – at least openly – the sanctions regime. India needs Russia in its disputes with China and depends on the weapons traditionally sent by Moscow, something in which it agrees with Algeria. Brazil and South Africa see the invasion as something distant and think that the US also invaded Iraq, that this is not very different and that the West applies a double moral standard with which they do not agree. Both blame NATO and sanctions for aggravating the situation. Israel needs the security guarantees that Russia gives it in the complex scenario of Syria, where it controls Iran, and it has to take into account the sensitivity of the many Jews of Russian origin within its borders. Y Saudi Arabia For obvious reasons, it fears that confrontation between democracies and authoritarian systems that the war in Ukraine heralds.

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The end result is that Most of the 195 UN member states have neither sent aid to Ukraine nor joined the sanctions against Russia. And they avoid criticizing the invasion. Not because of ideology but because of stark national interest and because they see the problem as something distant, partly the product of our double standards and where the blame is spread. It is what it is.


www.elperiodico.com

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