After the end of the cold war, the West abruptly lost interest in the concept of “spheres of influence”, previously considered a tradition. Why, in fact, to share with someone, if our zone of influence included the entire planet? Therefore, the Americans all these years believed that they can interfere in the Affairs of any state, but angrily pulled those who hinted about the presence of their special interests in a particular region. Against this background, the sudden return of the Monroe doctrine to the diplomatic vocabulary of American diplomats could not but give rise to attempts to understand the new realities of modern geopolitics. It turns out that the concept of spheres of influence is not so “archaic”, as stated now forgotten characters like Condoleezza Rice. It turns out that it is vital and modern.
No, many Western officials on stage to talk about how it’s all obsolete and unacceptable. Especially when it comes to Russia. Thus, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in his many speeches dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Alliance, has repeatedly reiterated that this approach is “ancient”. “We believe in a world without spheres of influence,” he proclaimed loudly. But all this concerned only the possible accession of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Somehow the Monroe doctrine chief of the Alliance in this context is not remembered.
Quite a big resonance caused an article in the magazine The National Interest of the famous American analyst from the Institute of Cato Ted carpenter. The headline speaks for itself: “Concluding a deal with Russia on spheres of influence.” Analyzing the reasons for Moscow’s activity in Venezuela, the author comes to the conclusion that it was a response to the American “provocative policy in Eastern Europe” and in particular to the gross us intervention in the Affairs of Ukraine. Carpenter is sure: “Washington should respect the Russian sphere of influence in this region.” In response, Russia must submit to the Monroe doctrine.
Simply put, the analyst offers the White House to exchange Ukraine for Venezuela.
Apparently, this approach has alarmed some Western “friends of Ukraine” who insist on a more aggressive us policy in the region. The author of the analytical center Atlantic Council on Ukrainian issues Peter Dickinson expressed concern about the revival of “old arguments about the need to respect the sphere of influence of superpowers.” According to the analyst, the best remedy for this is the hype about the upcoming anniversary of the Non-aggression Treaty between the USSR and Germany in 1939. This will remind us of the danger of world divisions. The level of this kind of analysis can be judged at least by the following fact: Dickinson claims that in Russia there is a threat of “imprisonment for public mention of the Molotov — Ribbentrop Pact.” There’s nothing to add.
Indirectly, the idea of Russia’s sphere of influence in this region has recently been touched upon by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, which reminded readers that Ukraine lies actually within the Russian “internal lines” (Clausewitz’s definition). Therefore, the author calls on Germany to be careful and patient in this direction.
It turns out that the concept of respect for the spheres of interests of the major powers has ceased to be “archaic”. It was enough for Moscow to Express firm support for the legitimate government of the state, which American diplomats lovingly call their “backyard”, and someone in the West thought about where such a “yard” in Russia.
Of course, it would be naive to believe that the United States will abandon world hegemony for the sake of solving immediate tactical problems associated with the pacification of the unwanted regime in the Western hemisphere. Thus, the American journalist Michael Vasyura, who often appears on Russian talk shows as an international Affairs officer, openly stated the other day on the air of the First channel that “as long as America remains America,” it will never agree to such a division of spheres of influence, because “it protects the world order, playing the role of the world gendarme.”
But even this expert admitted in the end that the position of the United States, now experiencing a “crisis of identity”, may someday change. Let the idea of America’s complete refusal to interfere in the Affairs of Europe and the Russian “backyard” seems naive now. But the very fact of discussing these topics in the Western press and even at the level of us presidential candidates is a positive signal.