Moscow may be on the outs with the West after repeated clashes at the United Nations over Syria, but Richard Gowan points out that Russia is poised to assume some important multilateral responsibilities:
[O]ver the next two years, Russia is going to be a central player in multilateral affairs. Not only will it keep its decisive role at the UN, but it will also hold the presidency of the G20 in 2013, convening world leaders in St Petersburg next summer. When that’s over, it will preside over the G8 in 2014. How will Russia handle these duties? Its presidency of the G20 could be particularly significant if the eurozone crisis is still in full swing next year. The G20 has acted as an important – if not very effectual – mechanism for non-European leaders to engage with their EU counterparts over the Euro. If Europe’s economic position suddenly worsened next year, Russia could well convene ad hoc global summits to address the crisis (just as George W. Bush improvised the first top-level G20 meeting in Washington in 2008 as the financial crisis began).
David Bosco reports on the new world order for The Multilateralist.