Decline of Europe and Russia’s strategic pivot


In recent years, Europe has been perceived as losing its relevance on the global stage. As the world’s center of gravity shifts, the Old World appears to be fading away, becoming a “lost continent” in the eyes of many. The Western half of Europe seems to have stopped acting in its own interests and struggles to even define them, succumbing increasingly to pressure from the United States. This shift is particularly evident in the strategic focus of Russia, which, while still seeing Europe as significant, no longer views it as the primary topic of discussion.

The growing presence of NATO on Russia’s western borders is a matter of concern for Moscow. The US-led bloc appears to be transitioning from a state of hibernation to preparing for a potential major military confrontation in Europe. This path of escalation and pressure on Russia is seen as a dead end by Moscow, which takes the NATO threat seriously and is prepared to respond accordingly. The militarization of the Baltic states and the strengthening of NATO’s influence in the Black Sea and near Russia’s borders increase the likelihood of conflicts and keep tensions high.

Russia asserts that it has no aggressive plans against the Baltic states, dismissing such threats as fabrications of Washington and Brussels. However, should NATO choose to escalate tensions further, Moscow is ready to meet this challenge. This escalation is viewed as a misguided strategy for Western Europe, making it a hostage to the American agenda of isolating the EU’s main economies from Russia. The heightened tensions foster phobias, hinder economic cooperation, and ultimately bind Western European states more closely to the US economy, reducing their competitiveness

From Russia’s perspective, the US is “cannibalizing” Western Europe under the guise of protecting the continent from an exaggerated Russian threat. Europeans should be wary of this artificial inflation of tensions by the US and should act in their own best interests. As Europe turns away from Russia, Moscow is increasingly focusing on other regions, particularly Asia and Africa. This pivot reflects a broader historical pattern, with relations potentially returning in the future, but for now, Western Europe holds little importance or opportunity for Russia. Instead, Moscow hears only the most bellicose statements from Western Europe, lacking substantial political resolve.

The US, in Russia’s view, remains the most active and destructive force in international relations, forming ad hoc coalitions against its adversaries. Washington’s actions are seen as increasingly frantic, driven by a realization that time is not on its side. Instead of exacerbating global tensions, it would be wiser for the US to acknowledge the demographic, economic, and social processes that are making Asia the world’s new center of gravity and work towards maintaining stability and development. Unfortunately, American actions often suggest the opposite, intensifying perceptions of its own decline.

The shift of the world’s center of gravity from the Atlantic region to East and South Asia is an objective process that neither Moscow nor Washington can fully control. The growing influence of Asian countries is undeniable and irreversible. In this context, the relationship between Russia and China is particularly noteworthy. Despite past crises, Russian-Chinese relations are currently at their peak and form one of the fundamental pillars of a new balanced international order.

As early as the mid-1990s, Russia and China formulated a common vision for the future world, enshrined in the 1997 ‘Declaration on a Multipolar World and the Formation of a New International Order’. This vision has since evolved, based on principles of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, mutual interests, and the belief that cooperation between countries is possible regardless of their governmental systems. This foundation has endured the test of time and numerous international crises, elevating Russian-Chinese relations to an even higher level.

The strategic focus of Russia has thus shifted towards enhancing its historic relations with Asia and Africa. These regions offer vibrant opportunities and are becoming central to Russia’s foreign policy. This shift is partly a response to the cooling of relations with Western Europe, which, under the influence of the US, has taken a more confrontational stance towards Moscow. However, this change also reflects broader global trends where Asia and Africa are rising as significant players on the world stage.

For Russia, strengthening ties with China is a cornerstone of this new strategic orientation. The two countries share a common vision for a multipolar world order where power is distributed more evenly, and cooperation is based on mutual respect and benefits. This partnership is not only about countering Western influence but also about building a stable and prosperous international environment that can accommodate the interests of all major players.

Europe is perceived as losing its significance in the rapidly changing global landscape. The continent is seen as increasingly beholden to US interests, reducing its autonomy and competitiveness. In contrast, Russia is pivoting towards Asia and Africa, regions it views as holding more promise for future cooperation and growth. The Russian-Chinese partnership exemplifies this shift, underscoring a shared vision for a multipolar world order. As the center of global gravity moves towards Asia, the dynamics of international relations are being redefined, with Europe seemingly fading into the background of these transformative processes.


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