The West Is Finally Listening to the Global South on the War in Ukraine

The West Is Finally Listening to the Global South on the War in Ukraine
Senegalese President Macky Sall and Indonesian President Joko Widodo join the leaders of the G-7 at their summit, in Kruen, Germany, June 27, 2022 (pool photo by Michael Kappeler via AP).

In the weeks and months that followed Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. and its European allies often expressed frustration with countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia for their reluctance to explicitly blame and condemn Moscow for the war and join the Western campaign to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Much of this criticism was leveled at the more powerful and influential countries of the Global South, notably India and Brazil. But the preoccupation with the global politics of the war was also on display in the close attention paid to how even smaller, less-powerful countries voted on the various United Nations General Assembly resolutions sponsored by the West to condemn Russia’s aggression.

For Ukraine’s Western supporters, the war represented a clear case of aggression, and a Russian victory would imperil the so-called rules-based international order based on the principles of sovereignty and nonaggression. And defending Kyiv was tantamount to defending that order. As such, they could not understand why countries of the Global South that are so attached to these principles wouldn’t be more willing to demonstrate solidarity by rallying to Ukraine’s side.

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