Photo: Getty the conflict in the Donbass remains a major cause of disagreement between the West and Russia

The probability of a major armed conflict over the past year have only intensified. Ukraine, Syria, North Korea, strained US relations with Russia and China. What to expect in the world this year?

The world in 2017 came very close to the edge, where a serious armed conflict. This is stated in the annual report of the Munich security conference entitled “On the edge of the abyss – and back?”issued on 8 Feb.

Over the past year, the crisis of the so-called liberal world order only intensified the importance of international rules is reduced, and the current global world order is on the verge of collapse.

Among the main risks for peace – a trade war between the US and China, a full-fledged war in Ukraine, the technological rivalry of the world powers . All the authors of the report have prepared a list of the ten most significant risks in 2018.

Корреспондент.net understood in detail, what threatens the world in 2018.


The Role Of Ukraine

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine remains the most important stumbling block on the path to de-escalation of tensions between Russia and the West, the report said.

“Without meaningful progress in realizatin of the Minsk agreements, the prospects for a political solution to remain vague,” the authors note.

Russia unexpectedly proposed to introduce a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbass, which have been previously offered by the Ukrainian authorities. However, the Kremlin’s initiative was not approved because it does not include control of the entire border between Ukraine and Russian peacekeepers.

At the same time, the administration of U.S. President Donald trump endorsed the delivery of Ukrainian authorities smertonosnoe weapons for protection – portable anti-tank missile systems Javelin.

The report’s authors believe that because of this impasse in which the conflict in the Donbass, will be cemented.

Analysts at the Munich security conference, also believes that the Eastern partnership is “exhausted”. The Eastern partnership is an EU project whose goal is the development of integration ties with the former Soviet republics – Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus.

“They are still sandwiched between EU and NATO on the one hand and Russia on the other… Despite the open doors policy pursued by NATO, most of the States concerned have no real chance to join the Alliance in the near future” – experts say.

The authors of the report note: according to the December opinion poll, 72 per cent of Russians consider their country a great power, while in 1991 thought so only 31 percent of respondents.

“In recent years, Moscow managed to expand its regional and global influence. From the point of view of Russia, she had a number of successes: the war in Ukraine that is being fomented by Moscow, contributed to the freezing of the aspirations of Kiev to join the EU and NATO”, – explained the authors of donalda the approval by the Russians Putin’s policies.


Who in the world of home?

The EU, USA, China and Russia, the authors of the report consider as the main world players.

Win Donald trump in the presidential election in the United States in the previous report was called the apogee of the epidemic in the world, isolationism and nationalism.

Now the report States that the United States at the trump refuse the role of guarantor of international security, demonstrating the lack of interest in strengthening regional and global institutions that set the rules of international relations.

The United States abandoned the policy based on common values, and take into account the common interests only in individual cases. The report quoted the words of an American foreign policy expert John Eikenberry, stated that “the most powerful country in the world began to sabotage the order, which itself created”.

Two minutes before the end. Saying the doomsday Clock

For the first year of his administration the experts identified three principles of the new authorities of the United States. First, they perceive international relations “as an arena of cooperation and competition of different forces in their interests.”

Second, we intend to strengthen the defense sector, reducing spending on international development programs and soft power, increasing defence spending.

The third principle is the administration of the tramp withdrew from the leadership (and therefore of responsibility) in some areas – from combating climate change to promote free trade.

China, experts note, stands in contrast to the US, as careful and experienced player, gradually and deliberately expanding their international influence, primarily due to the weakening of America.

The report predicts the creation of a “big two” world hegemony – America and China, who will be able to hold mutual claims and conflicts of interest due to strong interdependence.

The fourth global player, according to the authors of the report, is Russia, whose world and global influence has grown significantly in recent years.

“A striking example was Syria: with relatively little effort and resources, Russia was able to reverse the course of the long conflict,” the document says.


USA vs Russia

Over the past year the world has stepped closer – too close! – to the brink of a serious conflict, the report said.

Examples of conflict situations in the report referred to the exchange of U.S. and North Korean threats, the deterioration of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, tensions between Russia and NATO, as well as the fate of the Russian-American agreements on arms control.

The authors of the report noted the alarming situation around the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles and on the reduction of strategic offensive arms.

In the U.S. defense budget for the year 2018 provides for the allocation of funds for the development of new medium-range missiles, ground based, which may violate the provisions of treaties on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range.

Nuclear arms race the USA and Russia. What will happen after the start-3

The effect of the start-3 Treaty expires in February 2021, but may be extended for another five years. February 5, Russia and the United States reported full implementation of the terms of the agreement, however, about the possibility of starting negotiations on the extension or conclusion of a new agreement, the parties announced.

“Without these agreements after 2021, we for the first time in half a century find ourselves in a situation when Russian-American relations in the field of nuclear weapons would not be regulated by anything,” – is contained in the report of the MSC opinion of a senior researcher of the Brookings Institution Steven Pifer.

Ten major threats to 2018

1. Trade war between America and China seem all the more real against the background of a political crisis in Washington and the development of Chinese trade and investment expansion.

2. One of the existing crisis – Ukraine, Syria, the nuclear program of North Korea can develop into a full-fledged war.

3. The competition of world powers in the sphere of high technologies leads them to isolation, which hit on globalization, global trade and security.

4. Mexico threatens the economic crisis, if the USA will abandon a trade agreement with the Canadians and Mexicans.

5. In solche US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran might respond unpredictable.

6. Trust in public institutions decreases, which will lead to the inability to predict the global political and economic processes.

7. Protectionism 2.0 – there is the likelihood of inter-state barriers to the digital economy and innovation.

8. The prolongation of the negotiations on the withdrawal of Britain from the EU could lead to a political crisis in the country and the resignation of the government.

9. The probable future growth of nationalism in the countries of South-East Asia, which will lead to ethnic conflicts.

10. Destabilization throughout Africa due to the weakening of local authorities and strengthening of Islamic radicals.

The Factor Of Ukraine. Military budget of the countries of the West is growing


The full report of the Munich security conference