Enlargement of NATO and BRICS: The New “Bipolar Order”

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At the NATO Summit will be held in Madrid on 28-29 June 2022, some critical decisions are expected to be taken, particularly the “new security concept” that concerns both Russia and China. Just before that, at the G7 Leaders’ Summit will be held in Germany on 26-28 June, it is expected that harsh messages will be given to Russia and China in the same way. More importantly, the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand from Asia-Pacific countries will be present for the first time at the NATO Summit.[1] In this respect, it is argued that NATO will now deal with threats in Asia and the Pacific and develop a global concept.

China complains of NATO’s growing footprint in Asia. Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement last April, “NATO, a military organization in the North Atlantic, has come to the Asia-Pacific region in recent years to put its influence on it and increase conflicts. NATO messed up Europe. Is it now trying to turn the Asia-Pacific and even the world upside down?”[2] A month later, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who called for the expansion of BRICS and mentioned that the Global Security Initiative should be established in this direction,[3] opposed the Western-centered security system in the world with these words and suggested an alternative axis.

According to experts, China and Russia may be aiming to expand BRICS as an alternative platform to the G7, which represents Western actors.[4] Beijing and Moscow express that they want to establish multipolarity against and as an alternative to the Western axis by taking New Delhi with them.[5] However, the countries chasing after these two powers may be unwittingly joining the Eurasian-Eastern Axis that China and Russia have built together. Therefore, it can be said that with the expansion of NATO and BRICS, a new “bipolar era” has entered the world.

NATO Summit and Its Possible Consequences

At the NATO Summit will be held in Madrid, Spain on 28-29 June, it is expected that a new strategic concept will be adopted in which not only the security of Europe, but also the threats related to Asia and the Pacific will be addressed. For the last few months, Western leaders, notably British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, have been saying that NATO should have a “global concept”.[6] Because the Western powers, busy with Russia’s war in Ukraine, are worried about the possible intervention of China in Taiwan and the threats originating from Asia and the Pacific in general. In line with this idea, possible decisions may be taken at the NATO Summit and the importance of the Summit can be listed as follows:

• The enlargement of NATO and the establishment of new strategic partnerships with the Asia-Pacific countries in this context may be decided. This development could be the answer to China’s efforts to expand the BRICS. This will mean a deepening of the polarization between the West and the East. It also signifies the transition from multipolarity to bipolarity. It can be described as the beginning of the New Cold War.

• The concepts of “global threats” and “Asia Pacific” may be included in the NATO strategic concept for the first time. This could lead to the creation of the new NATO in the Pacific. The participation of the leaders of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand at the NATO Summit may be the first sign of this.

• While the leaders of Australia and Japan are expected to attend the NATO Summit; the point that draws attention here is that India, another QUAD country, did not participate in this summit. This could mean the failure of QUAD. In other words, it can cause for the QUAD to disintegrate.

• If new decisions regarding Asia Pacific are taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid; This will mean that India will be put under more pressure. India, which cannot keep up with the USA and other Western axis countries (Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand) in the Asia Pacific, may soon have to follow a different path from the West.

• Decisions can be taken, such as guarantees for Sweden and Finland’s membership in NATO, support for Lithuania’s embargo on Kaliningrad, and the establishment of new strategic partnerships with Pacific countries. In this context, in addition to the “Mediterranean Dialogue” and “Partnership for Peace” programs launched in 1994, the “Asia-Pacific Dialogue” program can now be established.

BRICS Summit and Results

The leaders of Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa came together at the 14th BRICS Countries Summit, hosted by Beijing on 23 June 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appeared in a forum for the first time with great heads of state since the Ukraine War, gave the message to the Western World that he was not alone with that meeting.[7] Because the fact that the BRICS leaders did not condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine censures positively to Putin’s image in the world. Russia, which is under the pressure of Western sanctions, aims to gain new supporters from the world through platforms such as BRICS. Beijing provides the greatest support to Moscow in this regard. Both countries aspire to benefit from the BRICS platform to multipolarity.[8] Making statements at the latest BRICS Summit, Putin said, “BRICS should lead multipolar interstate relations.”[9]

China and Russia consider the BRICS platform, which brings together the world’s fast-growing economies, as an alternative to the G7 dominated by Western democracies. The G7, on the other hand, aimed to bring together the world’s largest economies. Therefore, it is seen that polarization has increased between the Western World, led by NATO and G7 countries, and the Eurasian-Eastern World, which is taken place by as Russia, China and India, and advocates multipolarity. Russia and China say that they aim to establish multipolarity in the world by expanding platforms such as BRICS. However, while the censures to Russia are increasing rapidly in the world over the Ukraine War, it is not easy for the states to take a neutral attitude and be included in the platforms including Moscow. Due to the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, Moscow was expelled from the G8 and the platform became the G7. Today, Moscow aims to gain more supporters thanks to BRICS.

While the tendency of multipolarity is increasing in the world, states are turning to alternatives of institutions on the Western axis. For example, Argentina, Indonesia and Egypt are countries that have announced their intention to join the BRICS.[10] However, the point that draws attention here is that those states involuntarily or unintentionally, shifted to the Eurasian-Eastern Axis by being included in the platforms under the influence (led) of Russia and China. In short, states that set out to balance the West and build a multipolar world are at risk of being included in the axis of Russia and China. There is a polarization in the world over the expansion of NATO and BRICS. Pacific countries such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea are joining the Western camp by improving their cooperation with NATO. On the other hand, states that want to establish multipolarity and cooperate with rapidly growing economies, by joining BRISC, actually integrate into the Eastern axis, which is considered as an alternative to and against the West. As a result of this, while the Euro-Pacific partnership was born in the world; as a competitor, a new axis emerges, which we can characterize through the concepts of “Asia-Eurasia-East”. This could be the beginning of a new bipolar Cold War process.

[1] “G-7, NATO leaders to highlight China challenge, pressure Russia: U.S.”, Kyodo News,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[2] “China says Nato has ‘messed up Europe’ and warns over role in Asia-Pacific”, The Guardian,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022). 

[3] “G-7, NATO leaders to highlight China challenge, pressure Russia: U.S.”, Kyodo News,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[4] “In Beijing’s BRICS summit, Putin is back on the world stage”, CNN,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[5] “Wang Yi Attends Virtual Meeting of Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers”, FM PRC,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[6] “UK’s Liz Truss: NATO should protect Taiwan too”, Politico,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[7] “In Beijing’s BRICS summit, Putin is back on the world stage”, a.g.e., (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[8] “China calls for expanding BRICS bloc of emerging economies”, Nikkei Asia,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[9] “Putin: BRICS, çok kutuplu devletler arası ilişkilere öncülük etmeli”, AA,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

[10] “BRICS group may soon expand, says China”, The Hindu,, (Erişim Tarihi: 24.06.2022).

Dr. Cenk TAMER
Dr. Cenk Tamer, 2014 yılında Sakarya Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Aynı yıl Gazi Üniversitesi Ortadoğu ve Afrika Çalışmaları Bilim Dalı’nda yüksek lisans eğitimine başlamıştır. 2016 yılında “1990 Sonrası İran’ın Irak Politikası” başlıklı teziyle master eğitimini tamamlayan Tamer, 2017 yılında ANKASAM’da Araştırma Asistanı olarak göreve başlamış ve aynı yıl Gazi Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Doktora Programı’na kabul edilmiştir. Uzmanlık alanları İran, Mezhepler, Tasavvuf, Mehdilik, Kimlik Siyaseti ve Asya-Pasifik olan ve iyi derecede İngilizce bilen Tamer, Gazi Üniversitesindeki doktora eğitimini “Sosyal İnşacılık Teorisi ve Güvenlikleştirme Yaklaşımı Çerçevesinde İran İslam Cumhuriyeti’nde Kimlik İnşası Süreci ve Mehdilik” adlı tez çalışmasıyla 2022 yılında tamamlamıştır. Şu anda ise ANKASAM’da Asya-Pasifik Uzmanı olarak görev almaktadır.