ASEAN: Seeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine through a glass darkly

LSE IDEAS Strategic Update by Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid

  1. Double standards, especially by the US, which has a long history of invasion and intervention in other countries — and so many are coming out, whether in the Americas such as Guatemala or in the Middle East, such as in Iraq.
  2. Expansion of NATO despite promises made in 1990 not to do so following the collapse of the Soviet Union, resulting now in Ukraine potentially becoming a member, right on Russia’s doorstep, with overwhelming buy-in of Putin’s claim that Russia is facing an existential threat.
  3. Religion and race: the double-standard of Muslim lives and suffering counting so much less, if at all, and of white refugees from Ukraine, who are accepted so willingly in Europe while those from Africa and Asia are not.
  4. The United States and the West have no business talking about how a country should be or should not be run, especially as they now are failing so badly in managing their own countries.
  5. China is becoming the poster child of the future, with its economic success and political stability. Beijing is riding on this through its propaganda machine, which sits well particularly with the ASEAN business community, including in Singapore where there is restrained disquiet among business leaders over the strong stand the island republic has taken on Russian aggression in Ukraine.

About the author

Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid is currently Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council Malaysia, of CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy (formerly known as CIMB ASEAN Research Institute), as well as President of the ASEAN Business Club. He also sits on the board of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, Board Chairman of the Institute for Capital Market Research Malaysia (ICMR) and serve as the Independent NonExecutive Director of the Silverlake Axis.

References

[1]ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on The Situation in Ukraine”, ASEAN, 26 February 2022.

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LSE IDEAS is LSE’s foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.

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LSE IDEAS

LSE IDEAS is LSE’s foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.