Amid the Ukraine Crisis, Qatar emerged as a new player in the game from nowhere and the negotiation is going on among the US, Europe and Qatar. Qatar has become the most important player aside the US, Russia and Ukraine in this crisis. In a crisis, the emergence of a third player is not an isolate incident but it is happening regularly nowadays in a conflict, crisis or rivalry. Third players are acting as a balancer, mediator, supplier or an option to bypass the major players. Qatar’s emergence in the conflict will play as an option to bypass the major player Russia in the conflict.
There are several reasons that all the experts are explaining regarding to the development of the Ukraine Crisis. But this article will only try to describe the role of Qatar and other similar issues. Russia is on the verge of attacking Ukraine. Will Russia really attack? That is a deferent question. If Russia attacks Ukraine or the conflict escalates or if there is rift between the Western Europe and Russia, the loser will be the Western Europe.
Russia has the largest gas reserves in the world and the major supplier or the gas to the international market. Russia supplies gas to the Western Europe and they are the leading importer of Russian gas beating China by miles. Gas is used in the household, industries and electricity sectors. If conflict escalates, if Europe needs to take a side or if NATO does anything that might harm Russia’s interest, Russia might stop supplying gas to the European continent. To counter the backlash and creating an option to counter Russia’s energy supremacy, Qatar became and option.
Western leaders are discussing about the potential gas supply to Europe. If the Western leaders and delegates could break a deal with Qatar, that will reduce Europe’s energy dependency to Russia. Qatar has one of the largest gas reserves in the world which could be used as a balancer to the Russian energy might. The less Europe relies on Russia’s energy, the faster they can act again any Russian aggression to any of the European countries near future. As India has nothing to do with the Crisis and Russia is a friend, India did not even release a press release regarding to it and remains neutral.
The importance of a third party does not end here. In the Sino-India conflict, especially after the Galwan Crisis, when the chance of a Sino-Indian war, Russia played a vital role. Indian high rank leaders and officials started to visit Russia just after the crisis. They signed some defense deal where some of them were disclosed like military purchases and some were undisclosed. Later Russia invited delegates of the both countries and in public showed neutrality in the conflict though China and Russia are one of the closest allies. Here Russia was brought here by India as a supplier and neutral player or a mediator. In the Sino-Indian crisis, USA showed that it is in side of India yet it remains in the sidelines like Europe.
The US-China rivalry is labeled as the “New Cold War”. USA is trying to counter the rise of China, and China is trying to catch up with USA in every sector. Starting a trade war is not the only option to counter China, but USA must need to counter China from all direction. During the superpower rivalry, balance of power is very important. States will balance, rebalance and counterbalance each other’s power for a preventing a conflict, or at least have a fighting chance. As China is very close ally to Russia, USA also needs an ally like that. As India is in the close proximity to China and also has a rivalry, India could become a great power to counter China in the Indo-Pacific and joining to the US side, it could be a very strong balancer against growing Sino-Russian power. As Europe is far from China and does not feel immediately threats from China, it wants to stay out of trouble till China knocks at the door.
Previously, during the cold war or other major events like Napoleonic War, WWI, WWII, countries took a side or remained neutral. Now, as the globe is complex, states are more pursuing their self-interests and the interdependence is on the top, no country particularly try to take a side rather they are approaching it case by case basis. As a result, a third party is in the rise and will be vital for international politics in the near future.