November 29, 2022


Українська світова інформаційна мережа | Ukrainian Worldwide Information Network


8 min read

Almost half of the “Big 20” turned away from Kyiv

The article with this title was published on August 25th of this year by “Ukrainian” Ukrainian-language publication with the catchy name “Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine”. The raised topic does not seem to have interested other mass media in Ukraine, primarily Ukrainocentric ones (are there any?). Since we consider this topic to be of highly importance, we have decided to republish this article in its entirety in English translatioband offer it for discussion. After this discussion, we will offer our vision of the problem.

UWIN Editorial Staff

It seems that the thesis that the world is getting cold and tired of the war in Ukraine is getting its practical confirmation. On August 24, following the results of the UN Security Council meeting, 58 countries signed a statement on the half-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Why are there so few and why are there not many of the world’s leading countries among them?

Only a third of the UN countries see Russian aggression

As reported by the permanent representative of Ukraine at the UN, it expresses regret that the Russian Federation did not stop the “special operation”, recognizes Ukrainian sovereignty within the recognized borders and expresses commitment to the independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

But for Kyiv, this is more of a sad fact than a positive one. There are 193 states in the UN, and only 58 of them signed the statement. That is, the statement in favor of Ukraine was signed by less than a third of the countries that are part of the United Nations Organization.

Among the 58 countries, the statement was supported by almost all of Ukraine’s neighbors — Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. The joint statement was also supported by the United States and the European Union. Apart from them, Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Federated States of Micronesia and Great Britain. Of course, Russia did not support this statement.

If everything is more or less clear with the friends of Kyiv, then the countries that refused to sign the UN statement cause great concern in Ukraine. The fact that almost half of the large G20 countries — China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa — did not support the UN statement is particularly disturbing. And this is all the more alarming because the G20 summit will be held in Bali this November. And the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, will also be present at it. Most European countries and representatives of the United States intend to boycott his presence at this forum, but the vote at the UN shows that at least half of the “Twenty” are favorable to him. And this means that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, invited to the summit, will not be completely comfortable there.

China and India receive Russian energy carriers at a discount

Why did some of the world’s leading countries refuse to support Ukraine? The fact is that each of them has mutually beneficial and special relations with Russia.

China and India have been helping to keep Russia’s economy afloat since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Beijing, for example, has increased trade with Russia by almost 30% since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. It supplies him with oil, gas, coal and petroleum products, and buys engineering products, transport equipment, cars and mobile phones. In addition, according to Jude Blanchett, an expert on Chinese politics at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, Beijing believes that the defeat of Russia threatens its own territorial security and its ability to compete in the geopolitical struggle with the US. And China simply cannot allow this.

India has also multiplied its purchases of Russian oil and trades with Russia in its products. Having received the opportunity to buy raw materials at a discounted price, after February 24, India ordered at least 16 million barrels of oil from Russia. This is more than it purchased in 2021 (12 million). India also bought more than a million tons of coal from Russia, which was embargoed by the United States and Great Britain. In other words, China and India’s support for Russia is based on economic benefit.

Brazil was tempted by Russian fertilizers

This country formally belongs to the so-called “hesitant countries”, which have not yet decided on their position regarding Russian aggression. Bolsonaro visited Moscow a week before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and declared “solidarity” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And a couple of days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said that Brazil would take a neutral position in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and oppose the imposition of sanctions.

“We will not take anyone’s side, we will continue to maintain neutrality,” said the head of Brazil. And he assured that Brazil will oppose the sanctions at the UN and has no intention of condemning the actions of the Russian leadership in relation to Ukraine.

And this summer, Bolsonaro explained the real reason for refusing to support sanctions against Russia. He stated that his country will not join the anti-Russian sanctions for aggression against Ukraine because of the dependence of the Brazilian economy on Russian fertilizers.

— We will not support these economic sanctions, we will support the balance. If we didn’t keep the balance, do you think we would be able to get the fertilizer that Brazil so desperately needs? – he noted.

Russia “won” the Arab world from the United States

The Arab world and its leader, Saudi Arabia, also reacted with restraint to the war in Ukraine, did not support sanctions against Russia and did not cut ties with it.

“Despite the fact that many countries in the region have historically had closer ties with the United States, Russia has recently become a much more important partner both commercially and militarily,” says Kelly Petillo, coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa program of the European Council on International Relations.

“We do not choose anyone’s side, we act within the framework of our business interests,” said Qatari Minister of Energy Saad al-Kaabi. The Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz bin Salman, said that the ban of the European Union on the import of Russian oil and the sanctions pressure of the Western countries will not stand in the way of Saudi Arabia’s support for Russia.

It is worth noting that in recent years, even the traditional ally of the United States — Saudi Arabia — has tried to diversify ties, building relations with other countries, in particular with Russia, especially against the background of the gradual withdrawal of the Americans from the region.

— Many countries have realized that they need to diversify their ties and “put their eggs in different baskets”, Russia is one of these “baskets”, – says Merissa Hurma, director of the Middle East program of the Woodrow Wilson Center. In addition, about 60% of Arab youth under the age of 25 use Facebook and Twitter, where information in Arabic about the Ukrainian conflict comes mostly from Russian-related channels. — This means that young Arabs read the interpretation of events offered to them by Russia, not Ukraine and the Western world. There is almost no alternative point of view, and the minimum that appears from independent channels is drowned in thousands of messages from Russian Arabic-language mass media, the BBC writes.

Mexico, Indonesia: money does not smell of Ukrainian blood

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said since the start of the war that his country does not plan to introduce sanctions against Russia. “We want to remain neutral,” he said. And he announced the refusal to introduce economic sanctions against Russia. He emphasized that the country wants to maintain good relations with all governments of the world. It should be noted that Mexico’s trade with Russia is estimated at billions of dollars.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Mexico, Oksana Dramaretska, handed President Obrador a letter requesting military support, but was refused.

“Mexico does not supply weapons to conflict regions, but we provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In general, Indonesia openly reaps the fruits of the war in Ukraine. According to Bloomberg, Indonesia’s exports rose 44.36% year-on-year in March as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up global commodity prices and boosted supplies of steel, coal and palm oil.

— On the other hand, the war in Ukraine also increases our oil and gas imports. The impact on our trade in the future will depend on how long the Russian-Ukrainian war will last, said the head of the Indonesian Statistical Office, Margo Yuwono. This is probably why the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, personally invited Vladimir Putin to the G20 summit, which will take place in November this year on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Expert opinion

Taras Zahorodniy, political scientist:

— Here we need to look not at the number, but at the quality of the signatories. Well, what about the fact that less than a third of the countries signed the UN statement. However, these countries produce 60 percent of the world’s GDP, that’s what is important for us. It is important that they do not get tired of Ukraine. And the fact that half of the G20 countries did not support the statement means that they had previously opposed sanctions against Russia. China shows a front against the Americans, who support Ukraine, and positions itself as the second pole of power. India is also a growing power, with strong anti-American relations and economic ties to Russia. The Arabs are currently also friends with the Russians, as they came under pressure from the USA after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Brazil is Latin America, where since the time of the USSR, there are strong left-wing movements and views that bring them closer to Russia. Indonesia is also interested in economic cooperation with Moscow. But the important thing here is that their support for Russia is mainly limited to words. They, for example, did not give and do not give Moscow weapons for the war with Ukraine.

Viktor Timofeev

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