Source: wechat official account: Bu Yidao has been authorized to reprint
Writing / Hu Yidao, Dao Xiaohu & zanbakutou
“The United States is urging Russia to form a ‘new G8’ with some countries.”
Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) President vorokin recently made this statement, which attracted the attention of public opinion. Does Russia really intend to take the lead in promoting the establishment of an organization to confront the G7 organization now dominated by the west?
The eight countries mentioned by vorokin are Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Turkey.
Some Russian domestic experts believe that if the “new G8” is established, it will pose a great challenge to the hegemony of the United States, and the United States will completely lose its position of world hegemony.
However, some scholars believe that if the “new G8” is to be truly implemented, it still faces many institutional problems, and many developing countries do not want to break away from the existing international system and choose sides between the United States, Europe and Russia.
So, what are the reasons for volokin’s idea?
According to volokin, the destruction of the existing economic relations in the world by the United States and its allies has led to the formation of new economic growth points in the world. At the same time, the Western anti Russian sanctions have hit the economies of the G7 countries. This act of the United States and other countries has created conditions for countries that wish to establish equal dialogue and mutually beneficial relations to form a “new G8” group.
Since the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, volokin, as a hardliner against the West in Russia, has also made many voices before. Some domestic views in Russia believe that volokin, after all, is the president of the Russian State Duma and has a special status, so his words are not intended to be quick.
Volokin was born in February 1964. He served as vice president of the State Duma from 1999 to 2011, and served as the 10th president of the State Duma since october5,2016.
He used to be an assistant of Russian President Vladimir Putin and served as the party chairman of the United Russia party. Volokin often publicized the policy of the United Russia party in public and also debated with the opposition, which was very popular in Russia. From 2010 to 2012, he also served as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia. He is also the first deputy director of the Russian presidential office.
Therefore, some Russian media said that some Putin’s “shadow” could be seen from volokin.
Putin also appreciated volokin. On december27,2011, Putin asked volokin to take over as the “grey cardinal” Surkov of the Kremlin and serve as the first deputy director of the presidential office. The director is Ivanov, an old friend of Putin. The two helped Putin and cleared away various obstacles before the 2012 general election.
For example, in 2011, during the Duma election in Russia, many people took to the streets to demonstrate and demand re-election. Volokin simplified the procedure of party registration, allowing a number of new parties to be established and a number of old parties to be re registered. Volokin’s demand to resume the direct election of 225 delegates divided the votes of the opposition. This has also been proved since then. Most people in the regions with single seat elections support the United Russia party.
Through volokin’s reform, the United Russia Party creatively won 195 seats in the Duma, and also received the support of other political parties.
Volokin has always believed that it is very necessary to deeply publicize Russian values and patriotism. As deputy director of the presidential office, he advocated legislation to crack down on unauthorized protests and demonstrations. He also promoted the introduction of the “foreign agent law” in Russia, suggesting that more monitoring powers be given to the security sector.
In fact, since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, although volokin is the president of the State Duma, he has made a lot of voices on Russia’s foreign relations.
For example, on April 20, volokin said that the relevant Duma committees began to study the necessity for Russia to remain in the WTO, IMF and who. Volokin said that in the Russian Ukrainian conflict, China and the West impose sanctions on Russia. Some international organizations are the hegemonic tools of the United States. The United States will modify the established rules at any time, but only if it is beneficial to the West.
One day later, volokin said on the freezing of the assets of the Central Bank of Russia: “we will not lose our property. Now it is frozen. We must set a task to get the property back. Otherwise, they think that the country is getting back the things it has taken from Russia, including assets and territory.”.
According to “Russian TV today”, the GDP of the eight countries mentioned by vorokin, including Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Turkey, in terms of purchasing power parity, exceeded 24.4% of that of the G7 group. Although the United States is currently facing serious economic difficulties, it continues to create tension in the world to solve its own problems at the expense of the interests of other countries.
Berek, a member of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, supported volodyn’s statement. He believes that with the passage of time, the “new G8” will be further expanded. Although Russia faces the pressure of sanctions from western countries, about 2/3 of the world’s residents live in countries that support Russia or maintain neutrality.
Russian political scientist balibek said that in the “new G8”, the rights of all participants will be equal.
According to the comments of “Russian TV today”, volokin believes that the reason why the United States creates conditions for the formation of a “new G8” for countries that want to establish equal dialogue and mutually beneficial relations with Russia is that the United States is trying to adopt a “comprehensive containment strategy” against Russia, but it has the opposite effect. At the same time, countries under military and political pressure from the United States have become more united.
Felidman, deputy director of the Institute of strategic research and prediction of the Russian people’s Friendship University, believes that volodyn’s view reflects an objective reality: many countries still have great development potential after leaving the United States. Of course, the “new G8” countries he referred to still lack cohesion and mutual coordination of actions. But in the future, the potential “new G8” may become a viable integration alliance, focusing not only on creating free Eurasian markets, but also on collective self-defense.
Interestingly, the western media showed little interest in the new concept of “new G8” proposed by Russia.
Not only have there been no media reports, but also no politicians to refute.
This is related to the mentality behind them.
In fact, the G7 has briefly experienced the “G8” era. Russia has participated in some meetings of the G7 summit since 1991. Until 1997, it was admitted as the eighth member state and officially became the group of eight. In 2014, due to the Crimea incident, seven western countries in the G8 suspended Russia’s membership, and the G8, which has existed for 17 years, returned to the G7 again.
Today, the western world has to face the fact that the influence of the G7 is constantly collapsing. The share of the G7 in the world economy has dropped from 80% in the 1970s to about 40% today. In the first quarter of this year, the US GDP fell by 1.5%, and the inflation rate reached the highest level since december1981, rising to 8.6%.
Born during the oil crisis in the 1970s, G7 was initially the economic coordination platform of the seven industrial countries, known as the “rich country club”.
However, in recent years, the differences among member states have deepened, and the G7 summit has witnessed constant disturbances.
In 2018, the then US President trump publicly refused to sign the joint statement; In 2019, the summit achieved very few results and only issued a one page statement; In 2020, affected by the COVID-19, the offline summit was forced to be cancelled.
In 2021, with the global epidemic slowing down, after the change of the US government, the G7 summit seems to have found some “comfort” to keep warm together.
After Biden came to power, he regained the US European alliance, and the atmosphere of the transatlantic alliance continued to heat up. Prior to the Cornwall summit in July last year, the G7 had held intensive consultations through foreign ministers’ meeting, finance ministers’ meeting, health ministers’ meeting and other channels.
The highlight of the summit last year was Biden’s first visit as president. The US and European leaders had their first face-to-face talks since the outbreak. In addition, Biden also played a combination of punches during the visit. After meeting the leaders of the group of seven, he then attended the NATO summit, the US Europe summit and the US Russia summit, which became a great gimmick in Biden’s team’s boasting of “diplomatic report card”.
This year’s G7 summit will be held in Germany on June 26. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has become the theme of the summit. However, against the background of high global inflation, high oil prices and the impact on the supply chain, the outside world is generally skeptical about what practical results the summit can achieve.
Where will G7 go? In fact, this problem has been puzzling the West since the beginning of this century.
The Genoa summit in 2001 encountered large-scale anti globalization protests; The Alberta summit in 2002 was shrouded in the “9.11” terrorist attacks; The Gleneagles summit in 2004 was interrupted by the London bombings.
The glorious moment of G7 seems to be gone forever.
Can the G7 continue to stand at the center of the world stage with its eyes closed in the future? Although the importance of the G7 has declined significantly, it is still a ready-made starting point for the United States to win over its allies and achieve its goals. The biggest difference between the Biden administration and the trump period is that trump pursued foreign policy independently regardless of the alliance relationship; Biden is trying to mobilize all mechanisms and measures that can win over allies at any cost. He hoped to deal with China and Russia from the “strength status”, but this strength is not the United States, but “the United States +n”. Although the allies may not be able to be fully dispatched by him, the G7 is still an important mechanism that cannot be let go.
It is at the request of the Biden administration to expand the “circle of friends”, the leaders of Australia, South Korea, India and South Africa were also invited to the G7 summit in 2021.
Therefore, although the G7 was mainly faced with economic issues at the beginning of its establishment, it is now trying to extend its tentacles to the political field. The future influence of the G7 may become more and more inadequate with the decline of its strength, which will become the anxiety of the G7. However, the more anxious it is, the more it needs to keep warm.
One of the backgrounds of the proposal of the president of the Russian State Duma to establish the “new G8” is that the western world led by the United States carries out layout planning based on ideological alliance and camp logic in both the security and economic fields. This means that countries other than the United States and its allies have become “second-class countries” and even “marginal countries”.
From this perspective, volokin’s idea has certain enthusiasm and strategic hedging significance. In fact, not only Russia, but also many emerging economies and developing countries hope to innovate cooperation mechanisms at the economic and security levels, so as to promote the global economic pattern to develop in a more fair and reasonable direction.
But even so, if the “new G8” concept is to be implemented, the work to be done and the challenges to be faced are still very large.
According to the Russian Federal news agency reported on the 12th, Russian economist Mironov said that GDP calculated at purchasing power parity is indeed used to measure the economic strength of countries, but it is too early to talk about creating a “new G8”. In comparison, the G7 group has been institutionalized.
An international scholar said that the “new G8” is a novel statement, but it is highly likely that it was proposed by the president of the Russian Duma in an emergency.
After all, in the context of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the United States and other western countries have completely torn their faces with Russia and imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia. Today, Russia faces certain difficulties at both the economic and diplomatic levels, and is relatively more motivated to promote.
However, the implementation of this proposition will face great resistance:
First, the United States will certainly do its utmost to obstruct. In the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, most developing countries did not “choose sides” and participated in the anti Russian camp built by the United States. This has already put them under great pressure. If they show their intention to join the “new G8” again, they will inevitably incur more pressure from the United States and the West.
Secondly, the concept of “new G8” has a certain meaning of “leveraging strength”. For Russia, the benefits are obvious, but it ignores one fact: the world is still in the era of globalization, and most emerging economies are closely linked with the western economy. If we promote the “new G8” at this time, the price we will pay will be to cut off the ties with the west, which is obviously not in line with the national interests of all countries.
As a matter of fact, for most developing countries, the choice most in line with their national interests is not to choose sides or engage in camp confrontation.
A scholar on Latin American issues said that over the years, more and more developing countries are disgusted with the hegemonism and power politics of the United States. As the United States occupies a monopoly position in many global institutions such as economy and finance, it is difficult to protect the development interests of many emerging economies.
For these countries, the greatest wish at present is not to completely overthrow the existing international system and order, but rather to improve it.
Over the years, developing countries have made a series of practical efforts to promote the reform of the global economic governance mechanism, and have achieved some results. For example, after the quota reform of the International Monetary Fund, the voice of the BRICs countries has been significantly improved.
Although developing countries will still face constant obstruction from the United States and the West in the future, they will still rise to the difficulties and try their best to promote the development of the international order in a more balanced, just and reasonable direction.
Therefore, in this sense, on some important platforms within the existing international system, the voice of emerging economies is rising, and they hope to safeguard their rights and interests under this relatively familiar system and fight against the hegemonic acts of the United States.
The current situation in Russia is different. Moscow may need a new platform to hedge and balance with the United States and the West. Of course, the impact of public opinion may be realized in the shortest time.
Therefore, we can maintain a wait-and-see attitude towards the next development of the “new G8” concept.