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Trenin Assesses That ‘Russia Is Making Its Biggest Geopolitical Shift in 300 Years’

Aug. 1, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Dmitri Trenin, a research professor at the National Research University–Higher School of Economics, Moscow; fellow at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), and member of the Russian International Affairs Council, wrote an article for RT today with the above title, pointing to the dramatic change represented by the July 27-28 Second Russia-Africa Forum in St. Petersburg.

“Essentially, the meeting, with the bureaucratic preparation and the wide public coverage it has received within Russia, testifies to a sea change in Moscow’s worldview and international positioning toward the world’s rising non-Western majority, as laid down in the recently adopted Foreign Policy Concept,”

Trenin writes, referring to the March 31 document released by the Foreign Ministry and approved by President Putin.

In a reference to last week’s summit, he says “St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in the early 18th century as a ‘window to Europe,’ and last week, it served the same purpose for Africa.” Russia was historically a Eurocentric nation, and has spent the recent centuries behaving as such. However with the onset of hostilities against it from NATO and Western countries, especially following the 2014 Maidan coup d’état and now today’s overt Russophobia, it is shifting its identity. “This has produced a historic shift in Moscow’s policies, comparable to the time of Peter the Great in its significance, though in a wholly different direction,” Trenin writes.

Africa’s position, Trenin says, has also changed. “No longer a curious and skeptical observer, as during the Sochi summit [First Russia-Africa Summit in 2019] four years ago, the West this time made a determined effort, advising, cajoling or threatening African leaders against going to Russia and dealing directly with President Putin.”

Therefore, Russia is seeing Africa, as well as other members of the Global South, in a new light. “In more strategic terms, Russian policymakers increasingly see Africa—along with Asia and Latin America—as part of the rising wave that will help replace the current Western-dominated world order with a more diversified construct built around a number of civilizations.”

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