U.S. efforts to isolate Russia from the world scene as punishment for invading Ukraine may not be going as planned as Russian President Vladimir Putin will host two major international summits in Russia this week.
The summits and their attendees represent nearly two thirds of the world’s population - BRICS -Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) whose members are Russia, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. It is expected Putin will also hold sideline talks with leaders of member countries as well as Iran's President Rouhani, who will be an observer, and is a known aspiring member of SCO.
It could also be seen as ironic that both summits are being held in a city that sounds like USA - Ufa.
Not only has U.S. and European Union (EU) placed sanctions on Russia for meddling in Ukraine's civil war, and they also kicked Russia out of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized countries ( now known as the G7 ). As a result, relations between NATO and Russia are nearly back to Cold War status.
US officials have claimed the sanctions and the G8 expulsion have worked and Russia is increasingly being “isolated". President Obama has claimed also the U.S. has “mobilized the international community to apply pressure on Russia'.
However Putin’s hosting of the two Ufa summits tells another story.
The Russian President said recently the sanctions have been a failure and unnecessary as his country continues supporting “economic integration” and “expanding political, business and humanitarian ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS group”.
Some political analysts believe Russia is also waiting in the wings to offer economic assistance to Greece if it leaves the Eurozone and abandons the Euro, though this outcome appears increasingly unlikely given Sunday’s ‘No’ vote.