(Paris) Lula advocates negotiations in Ukraine under Chinese aegis, while the G7 threatens the countries which would support Russia: the divide widens between the West, in close ranks behind Kyiv, and the rest of the world, more flexible with Moscow.
“65% of the world’s population lives in countries that are neutral or leaning towards Russia”, recalled in early April The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), research unit of the British weekly The Economist.
“Among developing countries, there is often either neutrality or support for Russia, and this is an element that is poorly taken into account by Western democracies”, summarizes Agathe Demarais, director of the EIU forecast.
And the further the war progresses, the more this difference in perception is glaring. Non-Western countries, for whom the war in Ukraine is one crisis among others, are calling much more for a rapid peace negotiation, even if Ukraine has not recovered its territory.
“Non-Western countries are increasingly interested in peace options,” said Richard Gowan of the NGO Crisis Group in early March.
On Sunday evening, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva accused “Europe and the United States” of “contributing to the continuation of the war.” So they have to sit around the table and say, ‘That’s enough. He advocated for a peace initiative with the United Arab Emirates and China.
“Russian and Chinese propaganda,” Washington slammed. “Brazil’s recent comments” on Ukraine “are simply misguided,” said John Kirby, a senior US official.
A few hours later, the Western multilateral order, materialized by the G7 foreign ministers, condemned “the war of aggression waged by Russia”.
“We again call on third parties to stop aiding Russia’s war, if they do not want to incur severe costs,” the G7 threatened.
From Lula to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who believes that NATO is partly responsible for the war, passing through Turkey, a member of the Atlantic Alliance, but which serves as a platform for circumventing Western sanctions, very many countries are not aligned with the Western position.
“Turkey has recently become a very big exporter of semiconductors,” a senior European official cringed this week on condition of anonymity, referring to strategies for supplying Moscow.
“Countries used to circumvent sanctions include Turkey, the Emirates, Serbia and Kazakhstan, among others,” Demarais said.
“Whether it is called the Global South, the rest of the world, the majority of the world, there is a desacralization of the West on their part,” French diplomat Michel Duclos recently analyzed.
“Emerging powers don’t hate areas of influence. For them, a Yalta where there would be China, India, Russia and the United States would be acceptable,” he recalls.
Washington, Brussels and their allies point to votes condemning Russian aggression at the United Nations to assert their majority position. But you have to go further and “look at who imposes sanctions, official statements and economic, political and historical ties” to get a fair idea of the balance of power, says the EIU.
For Lula, “the objective is to make Brazil a major international player, relevant,” said Argentinian researcher Carlos Malamud, of the Spanish institute Real Instituto Elcano. “It’s not so much about repeating the Chinese position, but about urgently getting out of a complicated economic situation and China may be their leverage.”
Because these non-aligned countries each pursue their own goals and “have a very wide range of views on how we should achieve peace in Ukraine”, according to Mr. Gowan.
And their positions are not fixed. For example, according to the Washington Post, recent leaks of secret US documents have brought to light the following episode: Cairo, under US pressure, withdrew from supplying arms to Russia, deciding instead to produce ammunition for Ukraine.