The alliance between Russia and China signals a shift in the political balance that will see the promotion of anti-democratic models across the world, and it’s vital to offer attractive alternatives, Stefano Sannino, secretary-general of the EU External Action Service, told the 2022 CEPA Forum.  

“The war has polarized international relations at a global level, this is why in the past six months we have been tirelessly reaching out to our bilateral and multilateral partners,” Sannino said. “While we need to counter the Russian narrative, which diverts attention from the causes and responsibilities of its aggression against Ukraine, we also need to consider the consequences of the war on many third countries.” 

Western nations need to redouble their efforts to assuage the impact of the conflict in Africa and the rest of the global south, Sannino said. Shortages of fuel, food, and other vital supplies are causing hardship far beyond Europe’s borders. 

There’s a vital need to counter the rise of Russian and Chinese influence in the developing world and for Western nations to champion democracy and freedom in place of a “political, social and economic model that is very different from ours,” he said. 

“China’s role and its relations with Russia will be relevant not only for the further development of the ongoing crisis, but also for the future geopolitical balance in the world,” Sannino told attendees. “For the time being China is being cautious in the support it is giving to Russia, however, the allying of the two states will bring significant challenges in the years to come.” 

CEPA Forum 2022
Meeting the Moment: Allies at a Crossroads
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