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Analysis
29-10-2014
The idea of ​​isolating Russia from G20 paralyzes BRICS economic cooperation scheme for developing countries
Author : Hendrajit, geopolitical analyst of the Global Future Institute (GFI)

The Australia's decision to prevent Russia's participation in the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, could certainly affect the strategic value of the forum in the international community. If we take into account the Russian strategic move in the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, in September 2013, Russia has demonstrated its strategic role as a balancing power between the G8 (U.S. and the EU strategic alliance) and a group of developing countries, including Indonesia.


In the St. Petersburg's summit, Russia put forward a few strategic agenda that seem aligned with the national interests of developing countries, including Indonesia. Such as:

1.    Focusing on global economic and financial recovery that is currently bad.
2.    Stimulating economic growth and job creation.
3.    Offering a joint meeting of finance ministers and manpower in order to assess the global economic issues from the labor's point of view.
4.    Preparing plans of holding seperate meetings of the leaders of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa), to discuss the strengthening of the role of the Bloc in making the International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies.
5.    Considering the benefit of meeting with non-G20 countries in addition to holding meetings with the youth, civil society, the business community, as well as labor unions of the G20 member countries.

From these facts it is clear that Russia is the driving force of the formation of a counterforce to garner possible strategic alliances with developing countries based on the BRICS scheme.
 
As we all know, the G8 member countries are, among others, the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Russia. If without Russia, they are known as the G7. In later development, the idea of establishing the G20 emerged as the U.S. was hit by economic crisis. The initiative to establish the G20 came from the U.S.. At this point, the U.S. intends to share economic hardship burden with other countries. Thus, the establishment of the G20 is actually aimed at saving the G7 economies, especially the U.S.
 
But it turns out, through the G20 it has actually used it to share the economic hardship burden with countries outside the G8. Thus, the Russia's decision at the St. Peterburg's summit in September 2013 launched a separate conference of the leaders of BRICS for it is seen as a strategic breakthrough for neutralizing the dominance of the U.S. and its G7 member allies. So the initiative and the active role of Russia through the G20 could be such a driving force to raise aspirations and its own economic scheme that is free from the influence of the United States and Western European countries which are the members of the G7 having so far dominated the G20.
 
Moreover, in the strategic context, although Russia has joined together with the U.S. and the European Union through the G8, Russia is outside the scheme of the strategic alliance of the U.S.-UK and Western European countries that joined the European Union.
 
Interestingly, Russia has lately been increasingly interested in Asia Pacific and even looked forward to working closely with countries in the region. In the last decades, Russia has taken part with neighboring countries in Asia Pacific in building multilateral cooperation and economic integration. This is a clear evidence of cross border project with strategic partners from countries in Asia. For example, the railroad project linking Moscow with the Russian Far East region and the Sea of ​​Japan and also penetrating China and North Korea through the inter-Korean railway.
 
Even, Russia also has approved plans of exploring gas pipelines through North Korea, which aim to supply Russian gas to South Korea. Through a series of cross-border projects, it will certainly increase the value of Russia's strategic geopolitics in the region. Therefore, it is hard to understand and very unfortunate if Indonesia could not take advantage of Russia's strategic value in the Asia Pacific region for its national interests, especially in the fields of economy and trade.
 
In this regard, the idea to exclude and isolate Russia from the G20 as wanted by Australia will, in turn, be capable weakening economic cooperation between developing countries based on the BRICS scheme that would require the involvement and active role of Russia as the initiator and driving force of the emergence of balancing power of developing countries in the face of strong domination and influence of the U.S.-EU in the G20 forum.
 
If the Australia's consideration to isolate Russia  is based on its involvement in Ukraine for supporting pro-Russian citizens in the former Soviet Union state, it seems also not well-founded. A few days ago, President Vladimir Putin made a good-faith effort to soon resolve the Ukraine's crisis. The Putin's visit to Milan for a meeting with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, sould be greatly appreciated for being able to prevent Ukraine from being trapped into a worse situation.
 
Therefore, the Putin's strategic move to be willing to negotiate in dealing with the Ukraine's crisis should appropriately be addressed positively by the U.S. and the European Union as a step forward of Putin and Russia's intentions for peace that benefit all parties. Moreover, Putin is believed to have a major influence on the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) insurgents who want to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.



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