Russia’s ‘Vaccine Diplomacy’ Is the Basis of Its New Global Outreach Campaign

Russia is arguably beating the US, the Gates Foundation, and every other competitor by far in in the so-called “vaccine race”, especially as regards the growing number of partnerships that it’s clinched across the world to produce and distribute the Sputnik V vaccine, which is entirely due to it prioritizing “vaccine diplomacy” as the basis of its new global outreach campaign.

The Alt-Media Community’s Confusion

Vaccines are a very controversial topic nowadays because of questions about their safety and concerns that mandating inoculation infringes on people’s human rights. The issue is obviously all the more acute because of COVID-19, which has resulted in practically everyone on the planet developing an opinion about this topic. There’s been a noticeable trend of vaccine skepticism in the Alt-Media Community (AMC), especially after many independent writers unearthed startling facts about their composition, some of the reported side effects of their use, and the ulterior motives that might be behind their widespread popularization by the Gates Foundation and other shadowy global actors. Curiously, however, there’s barely any discussion among these same AMC folks about Russia’s Sputnik V except perhaps to praise it as the world’s first such vaccine against this virus. The noticeable contradiction between many people’s skepticism about everyone else’s vaccines and their support for Russia’s suggests that they’re very confused about this topic, perhaps among other things that can only be speculated upon. In any case, this analysis isn’t about vaccines in and of themselves per se, but about how Russia plans to instrumentalize their export as the basis of its new global outreach campaign.


Before proceeding, a few words need to be said in order for the forthcoming analysis not to be dismissed outright by all manner of critics. Firstly, COVID-19 is real and it’s very dangerous for at-risk members of the population, but it’s unquestionably been politicized by practically every force capable of doing so in order to advance whatever their particular interests may be. The author elaborated more on this provocative observation in his earlier analysis about how “The Connection Between World War C & Psychological Processes Is Seriously Concerning”. That, however, shouldn’t be interpreted as imposing a negative value judgement upon everything that everyone does concerning COVID-19 and its related vaccine, but just to remind everyone that self-interests mustn’t ever be forgotten. Secondly, correlation doesn’t mean causation as they say, so Russia’s superficially similar strategy of exporting vaccines across the world to advance its interests doesn’t mean that it’s “in cahoots” with the Gates Foundation or anyone else for that matter. Actually, Russia is arguably the US and the Gates Foundation’s top competitors in this sphere. And thirdly, nobody should read into the author’s words for any hidden meaning since he’s always explicit about whatever it is that he wants to say in any article.

The Basics Of Russia’s “Vaccine Diplomacy”

Having gotten the disclaimer out of the way, it’s now time to discuss the basics of what the author describes as Russia’s “vaccine diplomacy”. Just like its earlier “military diplomacy” aims to leverage the export of military equipment for strategic ends aimed at expanding Russian influence within the recipient state just like it’s sought to do with Turkey vis-a-vis the S-400s, so too does its export of vaccines aim to do the same. It’s thought by Russian strategists that the very close and trusted partnership that develops between their country and others in this sphere can easily lead to partnerships in other such as the economic, political, and military ones as well. The reasoning behind this strategy is simple enough and it’s that no country would reasonably cooperate with any other on an issue as sensitive as vaccines unless they truly trusted them. The rapid establishment of trust can then be used as the grounds upon which to comprehensively expand their partnerships in all other directions as was explained. In other words, Russia’s worldwide export of vaccines is a means to an end, one which doesn’t deal solely with saving lives, but is also intended to have far-reaching political ramifications especially if carried out simultaneously across the world with four key countries among dozens of others.

Four Key Gateways For Moscow’s Global Access

With the above-mentioned insight in mind, it’s worth pointing out the four key gateways for Moscow’s global access. Russia’s “vaccine diplomacy” with South Korea, India, Morocco, and Brazil could in theory open up the possibility for it to export the Sputnik V vaccines that it aims to produce in those countries throughout the larger Asia-Pacific region covered by the newly created Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the North African state’s quadi-continental free trade partners (the US, EU, and some African and Arab countries), and Mercosur, respectively. Other countries might end up producing the vaccine as well, but those four are Russia’s most important partners since they each regard Moscow as a pivotal component of their corresponding “balancing” strategies, which complements Russia’s own such strategy. To put it another way, those four countries believe that they can increase their strategic significances by exporting Russia’s vaccines throughout their larger regions, which is mutually beneficial for Moscow as well and thus incentivizes both sides to further expand their relations like was earlier explained per the basics of its “vaccine diplomacy”.

Counterproductive Pandemic Politicization

Russia’s aiming big with its “vaccine diplomacy” after recently announcing that it plans to produce over one billion doses by the end of next year. This speaks to the fact that its decision makers acutely understand their competitive edge in this sphere and the strategic importance of such a worldwide market. Their earlier “energy diplomacy” was limited due to pipeline geopolitics, advances in LNG technology, and the US’ shale gas revolution, while their “military diplomacy” was aggressively countered by the US’ “secondary sanctions” threats. Russia’s “vaccine diplomacy”, however, is much more difficult for its competitors to “contain” since they themselves made the pursuit of this medical development such a big deal over the past year and thus can’t credibly pressure other countries not to purchase it from Moscow since that implies (in accordance with their messaging over nearly the past nine months, whether accurately or not) that they’d therefore “want everyone to die” by depriving them of the best vaccine on the global market. Any efforts in that direction would thus be counterproductive in terms of their prior politicization of the pandemic, something that they’d likely not risk. For these reasons, Russia’s “vaccine diplomacy” has a very high chance of succeeding as intended.

Concluding Thoughts

Regardless of whatever one’s personal views are towards the pandemic, vaccines, and their related politicization, it must be objectively recognized that Russia has a distinct edge over its competitors when it comes to “vaccine diplomacy”. Denying the existence of Moscow’s new global outreach campaign damages the credibility of all those who do so within the Alt-Media Community, the same as if they remain silent on the matter. There’s no shame in recognizing that Russia’s “vaccine diplomacy” has strategic motivations behind its publicly presented humanitarian ones. In fact, it would be strange if the Kremlin wasn’t calculating how it could turn this global crisis into a geopolitical advantage, the same as it would be equally strange to pretend that no other country is thinking the same. That’s just the way that the world works, for better or for worse, since International Relations are in the midst of what the author describes as hyper-realism wherein everything possible is being used in pursuit of self-interests. That, however, doesn’t mean that Russia’s grand strategy is selfish since its envisioned outcome is intended to facilitate the emerging Multipolar World Order, which could in effect help restore some “balance” to the world if successful and thus improve other states’ positions as well.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

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