- Türkiye is a member of Nato, a transatlantic security alliance composed of thirty-one member countries, including the US.
- It was the first Nato country to provide Ukraine with the much-vaunted Bayraktar combat drones during the early stage of the Ukraine war, when other Nato partners were still hesitant about their military aid.
- Türkiye also contributed equipment including Kirpi armoured troop carriers and body armour to Ukraine. Last October, the first of four Ada-class corvettes built for Ukraine was launched at an Istanbul shipyard.
- As the country given the responsibility over the Black Sea entrance, Türkiye closed its straits to military vessels within days of the start of the war, preventing Moscow from reinforcing its fleet.
- So the score then was 2-0 against Russia.
- Ankara’s decision to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits for Russian warships also helped prevent escalation in the Black Sea.
- But before the Ukraine war, Türkiye has had very good relations with Russia, and continues to have excellent relations now despite the Ukraine war.
- It also refuses to take part in the shock and awe sanctions against Russia introduced by the US and EU to put the Russian economy, in the words of EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, “in tatters” as a prelude to a regime change in Russia.
- This is in line with Türkiye’s policy of only following UN Security Council-approved sanctions, and hence, it has continued to maintain economic ties with Russia as the West turned its back on Russia.
- Much to the consternation of the US and its allies, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also maintained regular contact with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.
- Türkiye has argued that there is a need for a Nato country to remain neutral so that the communication lines between Russia and Nato remain open during the Ukraine war, just in case a negotiation to end the war is needed.
- After all, all wars were always upended via negotiation. This made the score 2-2, very much neutral to Russia.
- Since the start of the war on Feb 24 last year, Ankara has carefully balanced relations with both sides in the war.
- This brinkmanship has put Türkiye and Erdogan in good stead. Trusted by both, it was to Türkiye that the warring countries sought for peace talks in March 2022, just about a month after the war commenced.
- And so Istanbul became the venue for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine mediated by Türkiye.
- These peace talks in Istanbul would have ended the war as Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky appeared ready for peace, but just as Moscow and Kyiv almost reached an agreement, former British prime minister Boris Johnson visited Kyiv and sabotaged the peace deal.
- Speaking to Newsweek in September, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov said the prospect of peace between Russia and Ukraine had so “obviously frightened the Americans and the British, so they actually forbade Ukraine to conduct further dialogue with Russia”.
- This was a reference to revelations at that time by pro-government media in Kyiv that Boris Johnson had brought such a message to Zelensky in that sinister visit to Kyiv.
- “It is objectively not possible to maintain normal communication with Washington” after the US declared “the strategic defeat of Russia” as its policy goal, Lavrov told Newsweek then.
- Had the peace deal became a reality then, not only Russia and Ukraine but the world too would be indebted to Türkiye and Erdogan for eliminating the sufferings worldwide brought about by the war.
- So Boris Johnson really did a disservice to the world by prolonging the war and he deserves a condemnation from all peace loving people in the world.
- There is another important thing to the world that Erdogan did. Together with the UN, Türkiye brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative to reintroduce vital food and fertiliser exports from Ukraine to the rest of the world.
- In the wake of the Ukraine war in Feb 2022, mountains of grains built up in silos in Ukraine, with ships unable to secure safe passage to and from Ukrainian ports, and land routes unable to compensate.
- This contributed to a jump in the price of staple foods around the world. Combined with increases in the cost of energy, developing countries were pushed to the brink of debt default and increasing numbers of people found themselves on the brink of famine.
- On July 22, the UN, Türkiye, the Russian Federation and Ukraine agreed to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, at a signing ceremony in Istanbul.
- The deal allowed exports from Ukraine of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertiliser, including ammonia, to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports: Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, to the rest of the world.
- To implement the deal, a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was established in Istanbul, comprising senior representatives from the three countries and the UN.
- According to procedures issued by the JCC, vessels wishing to participate in the Initiative will undergo inspection off Istanbul to ensure they are empty of cargo, then sail through the maritime humanitarian corridor to Ukrainian ports to load.
- The corridor is established by the JCC and monitored 24/7 to ensure the safe passage of vessels. Vessels on the return journey will also be inspected at the inspection area off Istanbul.
- Shipments monitored by the Initiative began leaving from August 1. By the end of the month, over 100 ships, laden with more than one million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs, had left Ukraine.
- By mid-September the JCC reported that some three million tonnes had left Ukraine, signalling positive progress. It is hoped that, eventually, up to five million tonnes will be exported monthly.
- According to UN figures, 51% of the cargo so far (as of mid-September) has been corn, 25% wheat, 11% sunflower products, 6% rapeseed, 5% barley, 1% soya beans, and 1% other foodstuffs.
- There are strong signs that the Initiative is succeeding in one of its key aims – getting food prices down.
- At a press briefing in September 2022, Rebeca Grynspan, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development and Amir Abdulla, the UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative welcomed the fact prices have come down five months in a row: the Food Price Index has decreased nearly 14% from its peak in March of 2022.
- Abdulla explained falling prices meant that those who had been hoarding grain, in the hope of selling at a greater profit, were now selling, which meant that there is now more food supply in the markets, leading to further price drops.
- Grynspan, who is also coordinator of the UN global Task Team set up to help support countries deal with the triple economic shocks worsened by the effects of the war in Ukraine, pointed out that this is making a huge difference in a global cost of living crisis.
- Globally, a record 345 million people in more than 80 countries are currently facing acute food insecurity, while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are at risk of being pushed into famine without humanitarian support.
- In August, the UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley declared getting the Black Sea Ports open to be “the single most important thing we can do right now to help the world’s hungry”.
- He warned that, whilst this would not, on its own, stop world hunger, bringing Ukrainian grain back on global markets would improve the chance of preventing the global food crisis from spiralling even further
- But Russia bemoaned the fact that the Initiative didn’t really help poorer countries, as the bulk of the deliveries (73%) went to the upper middle and high-income countries (See Figure below).
- Russia had also criticised the deal because another part of the agreement in which Russian grains and fertilisers were to be accorded the same delivery as the Ukraine’s without any hindrance were not observed by the European countries.
- On Oct 29, Russia suspended participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative due to the drone attack by Ukraine on the Russian Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula, and that British navy “specialists” had helped coordinate the “terrorist” attack.
- Responding to the Russian suspension, Türkiye, which helped broker the agreement, remained committed to the deal.
- “Even if Russia behaves hesitantly because it didn’t receive the same benefits, we will continue decisively our efforts to serve humanity,” Erdogan said.
- Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu that Moscow should re-evaluate the suspension of its participation.
- In a phone call between the two ministers, Akar told Shoigu it was extremely important for the grain deal to continue, and added it should be implemented separately from the conflict in Ukraine, Türkiye’s defence ministry said.
- What is important however is that after four days of telephone diplomacy between Erdogan and Putin, as well as other officials on both sides, Moscow announced on November 2 it was rejoining the pact originally brokered by Türkiye and the UN.
- “He [Putin] doesn’t agree to open this grain corridor through others. But with me, when I call … straight away he opened the grain corridor,” Erdogan said.
- Just imagine had this been Biden or Blinken or Ursula von der Leyen or Joseph Borrell calling in Putin, the Russian leader would definitely have not picked up the phone.
- It goes to show how the US and EU leaders have lost their diplomacy skills and were useless leaders when it comes to diplomacy because of their war-mongering stance in their refusal to let peace negotiations to take place in order to end the Ukraine War.
- It is very important for world leaders especially a superpower like the US to have a top-notch diplomacy skill so that the lines of communication would still be open with leaders of countries that have shown hostilities to them so that war or hostilities can be mediated or ended.
- Erdogan’s skill in diplomacy is once again up in the air for everyone to see when in March, Moscow agreed to extend the Black Sea pact for only a further 60 days until May 18 instead of 120 days unless a list of demands regarding its own agricultural exports was met.
- As May 18 approaches, the world was on its nerve to see whether Russia will extend the deal beyond May 18.
- Again, it was Erdogan who stepped in with a phone diplomacy with Putin, and announced on May 17 the Ukraine Black Sea grain deal has been extended for two more months, one day before Russia could have quit the pact over obstacles to its grain and fertiliser exports.
- “The Black Sea grain corridor deal has been extended by two months with the efforts of Turkey,” Erdogan said in his televised speech, also thanking the Russian and Ukrainian leaders and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres for their help.
- Erdogan’s comments, made in a speech to officials of his ruling AK Party, came after the last ship left a Ukrainian port under the deal.
- In an interview with CNN on May 19, Erdogan said this “was possible because of our special relationship with President Putin.”
- “The West is not leading a very balanced approach. You need a balanced approach towards a country such as Russia, which would have been a much more fortunate approach,” he said.
- He also added that Türkiye is “not at a point where we would impose sanctions on Russia like the West have done. We are not bound by the West’s sanctions,” Erdogan told CNN. “We are a strong state and we have a positive relationship with Russia.”
- “Russia and Turkey need each other in every field possible,” Erdogan said.
- Türkiye’s balancing act by not taking sides in the Ukraine war is an excellent example of how a country should behave in a multipolar world.
- Way back on Sep 20 in an interview with the PBS news outlet, President Erdogan said a settlement in the Ukrainian conflict would require Russia to return all “invaded” lands to Ukraine.
- “If a peace is going to be established in Ukraine, of course, the returning of the land that was invaded will become really important. This is what is expected. This is what is wanted,” he said.
- Adding that “no invasion can be justified,” but acknowledging that at the same time, “prior to the breaking out of this conflict, many things had happened, a solution therefore won’t be found in “person to the one side entirely and defending the other,” Erdogan said.
- “We are not going to defend a single leader. But, instead, we have to be looking for a conclusion that will satisfy all parties involved,” he stressed.
- At the start of the war, Türkiye was the first to contribute arms and equipment to Ukraine, in line with its responsibility as a Nato member country, and also of the good bilateral relation it has had with Ukraine since before the war.
- Also, it quickly closed the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to military vessels within days of the start of the war, not so much to prevent Moscow from reinforcing its fleet, but rather to prevent escalation in the Black Sea.
- It refuses until today to participate in the sanctions against Russia because of its belief that the only legitimate sanctions Türkiye will observe are sanctions that are mandated by the UN Security Council, and not the US-mandated or EU-mandated ones.
- Erdogan seems to understand that sanctions that are solely based on ruining a country’s economy so that colour revolution can take place which will pave the way for a regime change is an undemocratic and unjust sanctions that will not only cause the innocent citizens of the country concerned to suffer but will also boomerang on the countries that initiate and participate in that sanctions.
- In doing all these we can see that Erdogan is just doing what a leader should do – taking care of Türkiye’s interest so that the well being of each and every Turkish citizens are guaranteed.
- And he doesn’t do all these at the expense of other countries. He even has humanity in mind when he initiated the Black Sea Grain Initiative with the UN, and playing a mediator role to end the Ukraine war.
- While the US has been plotting for his downfall based on a video which resurfaced recently where US president Joe Biden has detailed out what looks like a “handbook” for a regime change in Turkey via the electoral process, as far back as late last year, Ankara was chosen as the venue for the heads of the American and Russian foreign intelligence services – the CIA’s Bill Burns and Sergey Nariskin of the SVR – to discuss “threats against international security, starting with the use of nuclear weapons”, Erdogan’s office has said then.
- But instead of recognising the useful, neutral role that Türkiye has played all this while, the US and its western allies are hell-bent to see Erdogan go.
- A few week before the May 14 election, the mainstream US and western media turned out in full force and had a field day in meddling in the election by running anti-Erdogan articles, which more or less looked like the implementation of Joe Biden’s “handbook” of a regime change in Türkiye through the election process.
- In particular, the cover story of the London-based magazine, the Economist, with its front cover picture of pins that said “Save Democracy” and “Erdogan Must Go” was patently anti-Erdogan.
- For weeks before the election, opinion polls of the West that were manipulated to show opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu winning the election were trumpeted throughout Türkiye and the world.
- Views of US and western analysts that predicted the two powerful earthquakes which struck southern Türkiye in February, killing more than 50,000 people, would hurt Erdogan’s chances of re-election on May 14 gained prominence as the election date neared.
- But in the aftermath of the election, figures showed that out of 11 provinces affected by the earthquakes, Erdogan and his AK Party were ahead in eight provinces in both the presidential and parliamentary elections, while Kilicdaroglu of the Nation Alliance and the leftist main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader were well ahead only in two earthquake provinces.
- Without this meddling from the US and western media, Erdogan would have easily won the election without the necessity of a runoff on May 28. Strange that the US and its allies are hell-bent in plotting the downfall of even its own ally, Erdogan.
- In fact, according to Alexander Mercouris of the Duran, an independent news channel, this meddling especially the Economist cover story and its pictures had the opposite effect of galvanising the Turkish population to come out in droves as shown by the more than good voters turnout to vote for Erdogan, which gave him a slight lead in winning the first round of the election on May 14.
- Now most analysts including the US and western ones are predicting an easy victory for Erdogan in the runoff on May 28.
- But can we really believe and underestimate the neo-cons in the Biden administration and their allies in Europe to just surrender without trying their best to unseat Erdogan?
- Only time will tell.
Read more on Turkiye’s May 14 election, US plotting for Erdogan’s downfall, and the Black Sea Grain Initiative:
In modern time, the world has never seen unipolarity until the demise of the Cold War when the Soviet Union due to internal factors was dismembered in 1991, which caught everyone by surprise.
If ever unipolarity existed, it was in ancient times where first the Persian (Achaemenid Empire) became a superpower followed consecutively by the Greek (Macedonian Empire), and the Romans and then the Muslims (Islamic Caliphate).
In modern time, if we go as far back in history to the Ottoman Caliphate before reaching its zenith in the 16th century where much of Asia and Europe were under its control, the Ottomans then had to contend with its two rivals on its backyard in the form of the Safavid Dynasty in Persia (present day Iran) and the Mughal Empire in India.
Even at the height of the colonial period in the 18th century where Europe reigned supreme, the power that be, i.e. the British Empire was constrained and balanced by France; and the British and French in turn were constrained and balanced by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
By the early 20th century, the British Empire had to face off twice with another superpower, Germany, which led to two world wars – World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945).
Out of the ashes of World War II, Pax Americana was born – a term widely used after WWII when the US overcame Nazi forces, ushering in a period of relative peace in the Western world, which coincided with the military and economic dominance of the US.
But this was not unipolarity, as US hegemony then was constrained and balanced by a new superpower, the Soviet Union, which later led to the Cold War engagement or détente, thus creating a bipolar world.
At the core of détente is a related concept of the balance of power, which suggests that states may secure their survival by preventing any ONE state from gaining enough military power to dominate all others.
If one state becomes much stronger, the theory predicts it will take advantage of its weaker neighbours, thereby driving them to unite in a defensive coalition.
Some realists maintain a balance-of-power system is more stable than one with a dominant state (unipolarity), as aggression is unprofitable when there seems to be equilibrium in the balance of power among rival coalitions.
But today this theory is discredited. References to it, even by professional historians and international lawyers, commonly imply either that it was a system for war, which repeatedly failed or that it was a system for making war, which often succeeded in its purpose.
However, the acid test for its usefulness lies in not so much whether it is a system of war or a system for making war; rather it should be evaluated in term of its utility in preventing the occurrence of a world war, and not just any war.
It took an intervening 21 years for WWII to occur after WWI, but up till today i.e. 78 years after WWII, there’s no WWIII yet.
No doubt this has put us on a nerve as never before because with the existence of nuclear weapons it means the threat of WWIII with its concomitant horrific destruction and annihilation will always be there and seems imminent.
Surely, the principle of balance of power and détente must have played some part in preventing WWIII all these while.
Also, it is a misnomer to call the period after 1945 as Pax (the Latin for peace) Americana. It is Pax Americana only in so far as the US and Europe is concerned where there was relative peace there.
In other parts of the world then, peace has become a rare commodity, beginning with the Arab Israeli conflict in 1948, which is still on going, instigated by the Zionist movement, France and Britain via the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration, and later with complicity of the US and the Soviet Union.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a 1916 secret treaty between the UK and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire.
While the Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during WWI announcing its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority of Jewish population.
This was later followed by:
- Korean War in 1950-53 instigated by both US and China,
- Overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 (instigated by the US),
- Vietnam War in 1955-75 (instigated by France and later the US and Soviet Union),
- Invasion of Afghanistan in 1979-89 by the Soviet Union,
- Iran-Iraq War in 1980-88 (instigated by the US), and
- First Gulf War in Iraq in 1990-91 (instigated by the US).
One cannot be blamed for thinking that Pax Americana was a sort of gang-up between the US and Europe to transfer the core geopolitical problems of the European colonial period to Asia and the Middle East.
What finally killed bipolarity then was not wars, détente or balance of power, but the failure of the Soviet Union to manage its centrally planned economy, as the empire has grown too big for its economy to be manageable, which in the past was the initial faux pas of the decline of all empires.
We already had an inkling of the emergence of unipolarity with the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when an American neo-con, Francis Fukuyama gleefully wrote that this marked the “end of history”.
“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government,” said Fukuyama in his 1989 essay.
Oh, how off the mark Fukuyama was, as to this day Western liberal democracy is still not the norm in many parts of the world.
It only gave President George W Bush in 2003 an excuse to invade Iraq under the pretext of spreading democracy to the Iraqis, in addition to punishing Saddam Hussain for stockpiling non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
Herein lies the credo of the neo-con – the supremacy of western liberal democracy, with its concomitant regime change via colour revolution also known as meddling in the affairs of other sovereign countries.
And they’re so fixated with it that there’s no reverse gear whenever things went wrong after they had embarked on this journey of regime change.
It is as if these neo-cons are being conned (pun intended) by their own ideology that they become so impervious to all the painful lessons of their failed adventures of the past that have put the US and its empire to what it is now today – declining considerably.
Neo-conservatism (neo-con) is a political movement that began in the US during the 1960s among liberal hawks who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party, and with the growing New Left and counterculture of the 1960s, particularly the Vietnam protests.
They typically advocate the promotion of democracy and interventionism in international affairs including peace through strength, and espousing disdain for communism and political radicalism.
They became politically influential during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, peaking in influence during the administration of George W Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2002 invasion of Iraq.
While not identifying as neo-cons, senior officials like Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld listened closely to neo-con advisers regarding foreign policy, especially the defence of Israel and the promotion of American influence in the Middle East.
From the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, and the Arab Spring in early 2010s (read: the mayhem in Syria and Libya), to the Maidan revolution in Ukraine in 2014, and the recent escalation in Taiwan, the world has not seen protracted peace for far too long at the hands of US hegemony.
And in concert with adopting the economic liberalisation policies like privatisation, deregulation and globalisation, among others, the damage to the world economy that the neo-cons had wreaked is devastating.
These economic policies in essence are something neutral but they are being harnessed effectively by the neo-cons in the corridors of power to serve their overarching credo of attaining the supremacy of western liberal democracy, with regime change via colour revolution at its core.
And they have upped the ante in unravelling the usefulness of all these economic policies by “weaponising” the dollar via a shock and awe sanction on their enemies.
We are seeing the reaction now in term of the boomerang effect of the sanction, and most importantly, the move to a multipolar world with one aspect of multipolarity gaining traction – the dedollarisation attempt of many countries.
This will surely erode the eminent position of the US dollar as the reserve currency of the world in the near future.
Dollarisation represents US domination in global finances. It started in the 1920s when the US dollar began to displace the pound sterling as an international reserve currency.
After the US emerged as an even stronger superpower during WWII, the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 established the post-war international monetary system, with the US dollar ascending to become the world’s primary reserve currency for international trade, and the only post-war currency linked to gold at US$35 per troy ounce.
The US Treasury exercises considerable oversight over the SWIFT financial transfers network, and consequently has a huge sway on the global financial transactions systems, with the ability to impose sanctions on foreign entities and individuals.
SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications system and it powers most international money and security transfers.
It is a vast messaging network used by financial institutions to quickly, accurately, and securely send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions.
However, rising government spending in the 1960s, led to doubts about the US’ ability to maintain this gold convertibility, and gold stocks dwindled as banks and international investors began to convert dollars to gold, resulting in the decline of the dollar.
Facing an emerging currency crisis and the imminent danger that it would no longer be able to redeem dollars for gold, this convertibility was finally terminated in 1971 by President Richard Nixon, culminating in the “Nixon shock”.
This refers to a series of economic measures in 1971 in response to increasing inflation, the most significant of which were wage and price freezes, surcharges on imports, and the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the US dollar to gold.
By 1973, the current regime based on the de facto freely floating fiat currencies replaced the Bretton Woods system.
Another related concept to the dollarisation is the petrodollar where all international trading in oil must use US dollar.
Conspiracy theories abound Saddam and Gaddafi were murdered because they had the temerity to refute the petrodollar by advocating the dinar as the currency for their oil trading (petrodinar).
Hence Iraq and Libya, on the instigation of the neo-cons were reduced to rubbles via regime change and become failed states to this day.
But when China and Russia dared to refute the petrodollar by using the yuan (petroyuan) and the roubles (petroroubles) in their oil trading, the US is powerless to turn the yuan or roubles into rubbles.
The dollar’s ubiquitous presence in global trade, finance, and investment has endowed it with significant advantages, such as lower transaction costs, reduced exchange rate risk, and the ability to finance deficits at relatively lower costs.
Also, its prominence has been underpinned by the size and strength of the US economy, the deep and liquid US financial markets, and the perception of the US as a bastion of stability.
Nonetheless, the US dollar has its own set of drawbacks, as it affords the US the “exorbitant privilege” to maintain large current account deficits and accumulate significant amounts of debt, which can contribute to global imbalances and economic instability.
In other words, this allows the US to spend huge amount of monies like water to become powerful and filthy rich at the expense of everyone else in the world.
Most of the monies had gone and will continue to go to its military-industrial complex and funding regime change adventures.
The reckoning time for US will come when its debt has become so super astronomical that its fate as an economic superpower will be gone soon after.
The dollar’s dominance also renders other economies susceptible to fluctuations in US monetary policy, often leading to spillover effects that may not align with their domestic economic conditions.
Furthermore, countries with substantial dollar-denominated debt may face heightened vulnerability to currency fluctuations and capital flow reversals, exacerbating the risk of financial crises.
These factors, combined with the growing economic power of emerging markets and their desire for a more diversified and resilient financial architecture, have spurred many countries’ interest in going ahead with dedollarisation.
In recent years, several countries and regions have embarked on the path towards dedollarisation, driven by a combination of geopolitical, economic, and strategic considerations.
Way back in 2020, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained Moscow is continuing “its policy aimed at gradual dedollarization” and is looking to make deals in local currencies, where possible.
Lavrov called the rejection of the greenback “an objective response to the unpredictability of US economic policy and the outright abuse by Washington of the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency.”
He was more forthright on April 26, when he said the US has proven they were not telling the truth for many decades after Nixon’s abolishment of the gold standard when it claimed: “Well, don’t worry, even without being backed by gold, this isn’t our dollar. This is our shared common global currency that will ensure the functioning of all mechanisms of the global economies.”
Lavrov went on to reiterate the trend of abandoning the use of US dollars for settlement in international trade and switching to domestic currency is irreversible.
As emerging economies, oil-producing countries in the Middle East and even Europe try to innovate cross-border payment and settlement mechanisms, sign bilateral currency agreements, and promote the diversification of foreign exchange reserves, the pace of global “dedollarisation” is accelerating, he said.
The Russian diplomat also added there is a “big question” of what will happen with the international financial system, “including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank”.
In late March, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim weighed in on the issue by advocating the establishment of an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) to reduce dependency on the US dollar.
The IMF, under the influence of the US and EU, seems to be too fixated with propping up financially the Kiev regime in order to prolong the Ukraine war.
According to Anwar, China is open to talks with Malaysia on forming an AMF, amid the world’s growing impatience with the dominance of the US dollar.
The Malaysian leader’s comments came just months after former officials in Singapore discussed what economies in the region should be doing to mitigate risks of a still-strong dollar that’s weakened local currencies.
Some analysts are concerned as countries reduce their reliance on the US dollar, adjustments in the composition of global reserve assets may lead to shifts in capital flows and changes in asset prices.
In the absence of adequate policy coordination and risk management, these could create financial instability, particularly in emerging markets and countries with substantial dollar-denominated debt.
Consequently, policymakers must be vigilant in monitoring these dynamics and taking appropriate measures to safeguard financial stability.
US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen while admitting the role of the US dollar as the world reserve currency could diminish due to Washington using its leverage over the global financial system to pursue its geopolitical goals through sanctions, she however insisted rather smugly there is no obvious candidate to replace it.
Yellen said this when asked during an interview on April 16 by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about the efficiency of the anti-Russia sanctions and about Washington’s track record of what he described as the “weaponisation of the dollar.”
Yellen acknowledged use of financial sanctions “could undermine the hegemony of the dollar” in the long run, but promised that Washington was using this “important tool” judiciously and with the backing of its allies.
Regardless, she added, the role of the US dollar is explained by factors such as the volume of the US treasuries market, its wide use in international trade, and a “rule of law” in the US that other nations cannot offer.
“We haven’t seen any other country that has this basic infrastructure and institutional infrastructure that would enable its currency to serve the world like this,” she explained.
In this regard, she is missing the point because opponents of US domination in global finances are not necessarily advocating replacing the dollar with another currency serving the same role.
They are in fact prioritising a transition away from the dollar and into regional currencies. An absence of a single global reserve currency would be a natural element of multipolarity, supporters of such a model say.
The West’s use of unprecedented sanctions against Russia, including bans on trade, seizure of national reserves and denial of financial services to Russian companies, has merely sped up the transition, in their view.
“It’s not a coincidence that the talk about a switch to national currencies have been spurred now,” Lavrov remarked in February during a discussion on Russia-Brazil trade. “Nobody knows who the US president could find unappealing after getting up on the wrong side of the bed.”
Typical of a neo-con, Yellen’s focus in the CNN interview was not on the faltering dollar but regime change in Russia via the Ukraine war.
As Alex Christofouro of the Duran, an independent news channel, said rather in jest, “these neo-cons, they live, eat and breathe every single moment of their lives with regime change. They even splattered the menu with very spicey colour revolution.”
And in doing this, they don’t even care that they are dragging their fellow citizens and their country down the drain.
In future editions of Let’s Talk! your Editor will be touching on other aspects of multipolarity that are beginning to take shape which will end the US tragic dominance as the sole superpower in this unipolar world.
Editor, Let’s Talk!
* Read our two op-eds published by MalaysiaNow and the Vibes on May 10 and May 11 respectively.
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