Global Business and Economics Program Assistant Director Andrew Chrismer writes for The Hill’s Congress Blog on why the growing divide between the BRICS countries and the West over Ukraine could lead to a new era of bipolarity:
The divide between the West and the BRICS countries over the conflict in Ukraine is the latest indication that the world might be entering a new era of bipolarity.
While the Group of Seven (G7) further isolates Russia with talks of broader western sanctions, the BRICS have been constructing their own institutions to counter western dominance. The recent series of actions from the West to stand up to Russian aggression in Ukraine have been followed by a set of calculated reactions from Russian President Vladimir Putin that, while largely symbolic, signal that Russia and other BRICS countries are willing and ready to band together and build an alternative option to the Western model that would challenge institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the G7 in coming decades. How the West reacts to this challenge will determine how fractured or united the world’s economic political landscape will be in the future.
The G7’s meeting in Brussels marked a stark dichotomy between a western consensus and Russia. This line in the sand could perpetuate an alarming trend that has politically banded the BRICS countries closer together in recent months. It is understandable for the G7 countries to call for the deceleration of Russian forces and illicit arms trades over the Ukrainian border, but it has also accelerated an already growing trend, one that pits the BRICS against the West.