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Ufa - The Summit That Is Re-Making the World

The coming summit underlines the gap that is emerging between East and West; whilst the West squabbles over Greece, in the Russian city of Ufa a new world is being made

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

This week the Russian city of Ufa will witness what will be by far the most important summit of 2015.

This summit is in theory a joint summit of two different organisations -- the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS.

It will also be an informal summit of a third organisation -- the Eurasian Union.

The reason for these curious arrangements is that certain states whose leaders will be attending the summit are members of one of these organisations but not of others.

For example, Brazil and South Africa are members of the BRICS but are not members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or of the Eurasian Union.

Uzbekistan is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation but is not a member of the Eurasian Union or the BRICS.

Russian spokesman have also made it clear that one other country that is not a member of any of these organisations - Iran - will shortly be invited to join them.

Only one country - Russia - is a member of all three organisations that are meeting in Ufa. That makes Russia the hinge of the whole grouping, though the most powerful state represented in Ufa and the one that is busy forging the new economic linkages via the BRICS and the Silk Road initiatives that will underpin the whole emerging system is China.

What we are seeing in Ufa is the coalescing of the new power centre that is challenging the historic hegemony of the US and the European states.

At its core is the alliance (or “strategic partnership”) of China and Russia, who are now busy forging a full spectrum relationship with each other covering all aspects of their relations: political, diplomatic, economic and military.

Coalescing around this core are the Eurasian states (including Belarus and Iran) who are being drawn into a Eurasian system that integrates them politically, militarily and economically with the core. These together with the Russian-Chinese core will form the Eurasian heartland.

Beyond the heartland there is a group of other states linked to the heartland by a web of political, economic and security linkages.  Of these the giants are India, Pakistan and Brazil.

The key security organisation is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.  The key economic organisation is the BRICS, now being underpinned by the new financial institutions being forged by China.  The inner political grouping will be the Eurasian Union of which China --- via its alliance with Russia --- is a not so secret partner. The economic and trade linkages tying together the Eurasian heartland are the Eurasian Union and the Silk Road.

Whilst the West seems incapable of resolving a crisis in little Greece, in Ufa a new world is being made.

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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