However, this applies to all states — big and small, rich and poor, in the West and in the East. So far, no one can convincingly claim that their country has learned the uneasy art of multilateralism. Even the European Union — the leader of multilateral diplomacy — faces serious and diverse challenges. We should study multilateralism jointly, not in isolation.
This might sound unrealistic under the dire political circumstances, but I see no other way — neither for Europe, nor for the world at large. In the world of today, security is indivisible, and so is prosperity.
The emerging international system should reflect the changing balance of powers. Western-centric institutions should either undergo a profound transformation or be replaced by more inclusive, representative organizations. We should fully reject the concept of Western, or liberal, universalism in favor of developmental pluralism.
In 2019, the glass looks half-empty if you are trying to drain it. But it will look half-full if you are filling it.
Igor Ivanov was Russia’s Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2004. The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Moscow Times.
A version of this article appeared in our special “Russia in 2019” print issue. For more in the series, click here.