The Future of Ukraine and How Middle Powers are Reshaping the World

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Observed from afar, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might appear to be a replay of the Cold War stand-off between Russia and the West. But according to political scientist Ivan Krastev a closer look complicates the picture. In a recent op-ed in the Financial Times Krastev argued that while America’s allies in Europe came together in support of Ukraine, other states, especially Turkey, India and Saudi Arabia have offered a different response. Turkey’s role in the Russia-Ukraine war is a classic example of middle power activism. President Tayyip Erdoğan has downplayed the country’s identity as a NATO member at the same time as he has positioned his country as a potential mediator between Moscow and Kyiv. India has used the war to capitalise on Western sanctions and import cheap Russian gas. And the Saudis have cosied up to Beijing and Moscow as a reminder to the United States that the US/Saudi security alliance is not unconditional. Middle powers have different goals and agendas but they all share one fundamental feature: they are determined to sit at the table of global politics and have a say in shaping their own regions. On this episode, Krastev, with journalist and academic Philippa Thomas, explores the rising activism of middle powers and how it is reshaping the world.

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