Prof. Mehmet Seyfettin EROL
In this new international environment where geopolitics is experiencing a sharp turn, the Russia-Ukraine War stands out as an “anxiety-fear address” for all actors, from small to large. “Demands” based on “threats” have led to “hesitancy”- “vigilance” even for countries that are not directly involved in the issue, and as a result of this situation, these countries have seeking security in the context of “preferences”, and accordingly has produced new formations which are changing the existing balances and status quo.
In this chaotic environment where the threat of “Third World War” and “nuclear war” can be used easily, the fact that the issue turns into a showdown, irrationality, and a mood that cannot be considered healthy, beyond deterrence, undoubtedly strikes the ground of dialogue and the pursuit of diplomacy. As a matter of fact, a peace-building problem-difficulty emerges as the most fundamental problem of the whole world.
As stated above, one of the most concrete examples of this is the Russia-Ukraine War. In this ambience where the crisis is escalating day by day, negotiations are held between the two states one after the other. It is almost a search for a negotiation built on failure. Indeed, after the first three negotiations, the fourth one being described as unsuccessful already points to the 5th negotiation and others.
Antalya Meeting on the Road to Peace
In this context, it is very significant that the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey will come together in Antalya on March 10. Although the tripartite meeting seems most likely will not bring a ceasefire, on the other side, it immediately draws attention that the process has moved to a higher stage in terms of participation in the said meeting. This shows us that both sides understand that they cannot bring peace by fighting, and therefore they have begun to attach give more weight to diplomacy.
In another saying, even though both sides have tried to generate pressure on the other by saying that there has been no result from the talks so far, this tactic itself essentially has indicated to us that the parties still give the negotiations a chance. Along the same line, Ukraine’s constant calls to the West for assistance, inviting them to their countries, and Russia’s harsh approach to the related countries, especially the surrounding states, in fact, reveals their desire, of the parties to settle the dispute by themselves and, of the bring peace.
To put it bluntly, it has both means trouble for Russia, to enter Kyiv, and or not. Because even a person who has a little knowledge of this subject can easily say that there will be no winner. Therefore, Russia is literally in a dilemma, in a dead-end. Due to this, the Antalya meeting will open a new door to the path to peace in the Russia-Ukraine War.
Geopolitical Fault Lines
The Russia-Ukraine War has undoubtedly triggered geopolitical fault lines on a wide line that is stretching from Europe to Asia. The current-potential crises in question also give substantial clues about the future, especially the war. When we consider these developments, the following issues confront us in general terms:
- Germany’s decision to allocate an additional 100 billion Euros for its defense budget and to strengthen its army
- The rapprochement of Europe, the European Union (EU) and NATO
- Iran’s Vienna talks
- The current state of the relationship between China and Russia
- New energy supply exercises
- New swap agreements
- Taiwan and Kuril Islands issues are coming to the agenda again
- More prominently, sanctions and consequences
Undoubtedly, these items can be multiplied further. However, these developments, each of which is a candidate for analysis in terms of their results, are more than enough to understand the subject. Hence, when we look at these items, we witness the intense return of the Cold War. We see the beginning of a Cold War whose methods, tools, and actors have changed.
Chinese “Ambiguity” and Taking a Break from the Silk Road
In the presence of the events We are faced with a China that supports one of the parties one day, and the next day is opposed to this side, and at the very least tried to remain neutral. This issue, which can also be explained as fishing in turbid water, undoubtedly withdraws China from among reliable actors and also outrages its image.
The effect of uncertainty in Afghanistan, and the Russian-Ukrainian War, on China, has not been escaped attention. In an atmosphere where the perception that Beijing is not giving a quite accomplished test against regional crises is growing stronger as days pass, it is seen that geopolitical uncertainties put a brake on China’s projects. For instance, in the Silk Road Project, China gives the impression of taking a break.
Seeking for a Common Future on Central Asia and South Asia Line
The policy pursued by the Central Asian and South Asian states as of today (silent policy), the cooperation based on a win-win understanding, aiming to take a strong position against the uncertain future and possible geopolitical earthquakes in the construction process of the New World Order and to get out of the process successfully, and the policies followed in this context, preemptive indicate constructive diplomacy.
It is seen that this new policy will directly affect the whole geography from Asia to Europe, especially the problems of the economy, energy, and security of supply routes in the short-medium term.
Reasserting The Understanding Of “Us” Not “I”
The time to answer the question of how to dispose of this crisis in an atmosphere of such uncertainties, geopolitical challenges, and reckonings with “we” rather than “I” appears as the main formula of salvation.
No crisis cannot be overcome in cases where countries, starting from their own close circles, respect their independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and display a collective stance, regardless of a large or small state.
Together with the incidents in Ukraine, we are witnessing the disappearance of the “small state” concept. Moreover, the resistance (However, it is a question of how it will turn out), given by Ukraine against Russia which is a superpower is also significant in terms of showing that the war does not provide any benefit in solving the problems ahead.
In short, now is the time for every country, from Japan to England, to open the gate of dialogue for current-potential crises and to act together to overcome these difficulties. All the states of the world should build peace hand in hand before it is too late. It is possible!