The recent Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg and the consultations in Saudi Arabia last weekend on ending the Ukraine conflict, while different events, form part of a single phenomenon. Their significance lies in the growing importance on the international stage of states that prefer not to take sides in the confrontation between Russia and the West, but are guided by pragmatic interests.
This group of countries, known as the world majority, comprises most of Earth’s population. However, it is important to note that it is not a united bloc. Instead, it represents a new structural factor that imposes constraints on the great powers. These powers, accustomed to thinking that everything depends on them, now find that they cannot achieve their goals without the support of these previously overlooked countries.
The approach of the world majority is characterized by a desire to distance themselves from the political, economic, and ideological constructs of others. They see the current problems in the world as a result of constant fighting between white gentlemen who have been at the helm of global affairs for centuries. Russia, with its Soviet legacy, may be seen as part of the broader West, but it still retains a certain level of independent thinking.
For the developed community, which includes most of the first world, there is no incentive to help the minority deal with the problems it has created. Instead, it makes more sense for them to use the plight of the Global North to seek benefits for the Global South. This creates a sort of auction, where the highest bidder who can deliver better results gains the support of the world majority.
The United States and its allies were the first to face this situation, discovering that non-Western countries were unwilling to join their anti-Russian coalition. Now, Russia also realizes the limits of its options. While the majority of the world may accept Russia’s arguments about the causes of the conflict, they are not necessarily enthusiastic about its ongoing military campaign.
The position of the majority countries is primarily based on practical considerations, with ideological appeals and proposals for changing the world order playing a secondary role. The desire to borrow development models or adopt a specific ideology, as was seen in the 20th century, is no longer a priority. The international landscape has changed, and everyone is essentially on their own. This reflects the multipolar world that people envisioned when they sought to defeat hegemony.
Unlike the Western powers, Russia does not have a colonial legacy in the Global South. Additionally, Moscow possesses assets that these countries need. Given these objective circumstances, the opportunities for interaction with the world majority are favorable. However, achieving favorable conditions requires painstaking work, as the competition is not just with Western opponents, but also with the desires of partners to secure the best possible conditions for themselves.
While there may be some pathos involved, it is ultimately secondary. The focus is on practicality and finding common ground that benefits all parties involved. Russia, with its unique position, has the potential to form alliances and partnerships with the world majority based on mutual interests and pragmatic cooperation.
In conclusion, the rise of the world majority, which consists of countries that prefer not to take sides in the confrontation between Russia and the West, reflects a new structural factor on the international stage. These countries prioritize practicality over ideology and seek to distance themselves from the constructs of others. For Russia, this presents an opportunity to engage with the world majority based on mutual interests and cooperation. By understanding the dynamics and priorities of this new global majority, Russia can navigate international relations in a changing multipolar world.