Russia strongly opposes the Western approach to the situation in Syria and its stance has largely been echoed by its partners within the BRICS. Some experts believe that BRICS is the only group that can stand against the West’s hegemonic ambitions.
“If the BRICS countries have anything to do with it, the Libyan scenario will not be put into practice in Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday after a meeting with his Brazilian counterpart, Antonio Patriota.
Dr Sreeram Chaulia, a professor at the Jindal School of International Affairs in India – one of the bloc’s members – believes that BRICS nations have learned their lessons from the lack of democratic consensus on Libya.
“It is important that BRICS nations put up this stand, a united front, and try to prevent UN resolutions as well as multilateral sanctions that could be the slippery slope leading to full-fledged war and another major imbroglio in the Middle East,” he said.
As the Libyan Transitional National Council appears to be pushing for maximal influence of the Western powers that backed it, Chaulia wonders: “Are we entering a new neo-colonial era?“
“We need to prevent that and the only way to do it is for BRICS to put up a united front,” he said. “It is necessary to contest hegemonic ambitions.”
He believes that BRICS is a microcosm of the movement towards a genuine multi-polar world.
“And you can only have genuine multi-polarity through joint action by BRICS nations to prevent this,” he said. “But whether they can succeed or not is a matter of also of power projection on the ground. Diplomatically, yes – Russia, China, India, Brazil, even South Africa have sent emissaries to Syria and they are all involved behind the scenes.”
But at the end of the day the situation could boil down to direct military pressure, and that, Chaulia believes, will be the time for Iran to take to the stage.
“The only deterrent preventing another Libya-like intervention from the West is the fact that Iran supports the Syrian regime,” he said. “They will materially prevent a takeover of Syria the way the Western powers have now pretty much taken over Libya – by hijacking the UN resolutions to protect civilians.”
Chaulia believes that it is important for BRICS to co-ordinate with Iran and make sure that there is a “peaceful transition of power” and move to democracy, which is the main message the bloc’s members are sending.
“And in fact that is a better message than the ‘big stick method’ of imposing immediate sanctions to ‘save lives’ the Europeans and Americans are talking about,” Chaulia concluded.