Munich Conference signals Western isolation, advent of multipolarity
The Munich Conference not only failed to produce the desired results (Russia supposedly isolated), but it even strengthened the multipolar world, as neither India nor China proved malleable in any way, showing their sovereignty is untouched by the political West’s pressure.
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
Although it has been only 16 years since President Putin’s historical speech at the 2007 Munich Conference, that event now seems like a distant past of a long-lost world. Back then, Russia was warning the political West that further NATO aggression would inevitably lead to the revival of the Cold War.
However, Washington DC and Brussels seem to have wanted exactly that. The political West has tried to present the 2023 Munich Security Conference as some sort of a groundbreaking global event that “sent a strong signal” and showed “just how isolated” Russia is. However, nothing could be further from the truth, given the comments of some of the most prominent participants, including NATO and EU member states.
For instance, during a Saturday meeting with US State Secretary Anthony Blinken, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that Beijing finds Washington DC’s attempts to threaten Sino-Russian relations completely unacceptable, emphasizing that the relationship between the two superpowers is their sovereign right and that it is not aimed against any third party.
“We will never accept the instructions of the United States and even threats to put pressure on Russian-Chinese relations,” Wang was quoted as saying in a statement published on Sunday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “The Sino-Russian relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation are based on non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting against third parties. They are within the framework of the sovereignty of two independent states,” he added.
The comments were made in response to US accusations that China will “increase its support for Russia”. Wang also warned his American counterpart against the continued melodramatic reaction to the “balloon controversy”, which the US has been (ab)using lately to ensure detente between the two countries is virtually impossible. Beijing said that American high-altitude balloons have illegally entered China’s airspace many times over the last several decades, but the government chose not to cause panic and simply used existing diplomatic channels to communicate with their US counterparts.
“If the US continues to use this as an excuse, to promote further escalation and aggravate the situation, then China will definitely go to the very end. All the consequences of this will be borne by the American side,” Wang said.
China also called on the US to stop escalating the Ukrainian crisis and start promoting a peaceful settlement. Wang said that “Washington DC should stop adding fuel to the fire”. He noted that China’s position is constructive and called for the negotiation process to continue.
“Being a great power, the United States should contribute to the political settlement of the crisis, and not add fuel to the fire and look for opportunities to extract its own benefits,” Wang was quoted as saying.
Hungary also called for the de-escalation of the crisis and insisted on maintaining economic relations with Russia. During the traditional annual address to his fellow citizens, Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated that “the only way for Hungary to live peacefully is to stay out of the conflict, as it is not our war”.
“We will maintain our economic relations with Russia, and we advise the entire Western world to do the same, because without relations there will be no ceasefire or peace talks,” Orban said.
On the other hand, the European Union is doing exactly the opposite. The bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrel called Russia “an existential threat” and urged all member states not to continue supporting the Kiev regime, but “help more”. He also insisted that “the EU should start an industrial techno-blitzkrieg to produce more weapons“, effectively nullifying the claim that the bloc was an economic union. Borrel added that member states will spend an additional €70 billion on defense by 2025.
“In the next two years, the EU countries intend to spend an additional €70 billion on defense. France will increase defense spending by 40%, while Poland will double it,” he stated.
Interestingly, India was also targeted. George Soros, a controversial oligarch infamous for providing financial backing for various groups responsible for destabilization and undermining of countries the political West sees as “uncooperative”, stated the following:
“India is an interesting case. It’s a democracy, but its leader Narendra Modi is no democrat. Inciting violence against Muslims was an important factor in his meteoric rise. Modi maintains close relations with both open and closed societies. India is a member of the Quad (which also includes Australia, the US, and Japan), but it buys a lot of Russian oil at a steep discount and makes a lot of money on it… …Modi and business tycoon Adani are close allies; their fate is intertwined. Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market, but he failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament. This will significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government and open the door to push for much-needed institutional reforms. I may be naive, but I expect a democratic revival in India.”
In response to the accusations, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar brushed Soros off and (quite accurately) described him as “old, rich, opinionated and dangerous”. Considering Soros has a history of Nazi collaboration, it can be argued that his attack could even be considered a compliment of sorts for Prime Minister Modi and India as a whole.
In essence, the Munich Conference not only failed to produce the desired results (Russia supposedly isolated), but it even strengthened the multipolar world, as neither India nor China proved malleable in any way, showing their sovereignty isuntouched by the political West’s pressure. On the other hand, many Europeans are extremely unhappy by the EU’s militarization. According to varying estimates, the huge crowd of protesters in Munich numbered up to 50,000 people. In conclusion, while there are massive differences between Munich 2007 and Munich 2023, the latest conference is somewhat similar to the 1938 Munich Agreement between Nazi Germany and Western allies. Considering how that ended (along with any other invasion of Russia), the political West’s prospects against Moscow look rather grim, to say the least.