Transformation of accents

September 01, 2022

As we already noted in our previous publications, the struggle of Ukraine speeded up the formation of two civilisational groups — democratic and autocratic. At the same time, economic competition intensified, which also provokes political division. Large emerging countries (first of all, China) are increasingly trying to take a strong position in the development of the global "rules of the game", and also strengthen their influence on other emerging countries.

Global changes observed today often acquire unexpected traits. The trends emerging in a number of Asian countries should not be ignored.

From BRICS to TRICKS. Big emerging countries formed the BRICS alliance — Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa. However, it failed to become a significant global player, due to the absence of an officially recognised leader and blurred goals.

BRICS’ economic growth owes to China. The BRICS countries do not have significant common economic interests. Given the diversity of the participants and their political interests, it is difficult to expect any common ideological or political content of the alliance.

Along with this, activity of other large emerging countries attracts attention. Some of them were invited to the BRICS summit in the summer of 2022, just in order to demonstrate the growing influence and unity of the host countries. Although representatives of different continents were invited, the Asian "belt" strikes the eye. First of all, we should mention Turkey, which plays a significant role in European and Asian political and security processes, and Iran, which occupies a special niche in modern geopolitics.

Today, there are reasons to claim that another group made up of Turkey, Russia, Iran, China and North Korea — TRICKS — is gaining strength in Eurasia. These countries have a lot in common, which may become the basis of a really influential association, even if not formalised.

All these countries:

— did not support sanctions against Russia;

— to a greater or lesser extent, help Russia to circumvent sanctions;

— reduce reliance on international financial institutions, primarily IMF, and abandon dollar as a global reserve currency;

— have nuclear programs;

— have far from friendly relations with the US and its main allies;

— oppose liberal values ​​in emerging countries;

— are autocratic.

Index of democracy and main freedoms of TRICKs countries, 2021.


total — 167 countries

Human freedoms,

total — 162 countries

Political and civil freedoms, total — 209 countries































North Korea


North Korea


North Korea


For reference







These countries do not have strategically agreed common interests and tasks. However, if the political and economic trends continue, an alliance may be formed on the Asian continent, looking much more powerful politically and diplomatically.

South Korean "disappointment"? Another country that demonstrates a certain transformation of foreign policy is South Korea. For decades, the country lived under the US umbrella. The US umbrella allowed South Korea to pursue a flexible foreign policy, avoiding political and diplomatic "sharp corners". In 2014, when Western countries introduced sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Crimea, South Korea did not support them.

With the beginning of Russian aggression in February 2022, South Korea, following its Western partners, supported sanctions against Russia, which caused an ambiguous reaction from domestic political circles.

Along with this, one should mention parallel strengthening of the AUKUS alliance — Australia, UK and US, as an opposition to China. With the Russian aggression, all AUKUS member states staunchly supported Ukraine. 

The announcement of AUKUS came as a surprise to the European Union. It also disappointed South Korea, which was "not invited" by the US to participate. However, claims were not openly expressed, as South Korea had learned the lessons of the war in Ukraine:

  • rapid military interference of international forces to protect a country attacked by an enemy that possesses nuclear weapons is far from obvious;
  • authoritarian regimes are always ready to start violent military actions against countries that, in the opinion of the aggressor, conduct "unfriendly" policies.

South Korea's "disappointment" or increasing internal complications may shake the country's strong ties with the West.

Unexpectedly, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in did not personally meet with Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives speaker, against the background of China's outrage with Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

In August, South Korea signed a contract with a Russian company for the supply of components and construction of the first nuclear power plant in Egypt. Such a step runs contrary to measures of economic pressure on the aggressor.


Galloping inflation, rising energy prices, obstruction of the supply of agricultural products from Ukraine increased the global risk of slowdown in economic development.

In the spring of 2022, along with the rise in food and consumer prices, South Korea saw a new wave of coronavirus, which caused socio-economic and political tension.

Of course, South Korea is well aware that sanctions are important, although they cause damage to the global and national economies.

Summary. Ukraine’s struggle accelerated the formation of two civilisational groups — democratic and autocratic. The majority of countries have learned the lessons of the war in Ukraine. They also testify that authoritarian regimes are always ready to start violent military actions against countries that, in the opinion of the aggressor, pursue "unfriendly" policies.

Global political, economic, and humanitarian changes observed today can lead to misunderstanding among democratic countries. The trends towards aggression against neighbours, which are seen in a number of Asian countries, should not be ignored.

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Vasyl Yurchyshyn

Director, Economic Programmes

Born in 1955 in Kamyanets-Podilskyi.


T. Shevchenko Kyiv State University, Department of Cybernetics (1977).

Institute of Public Administration and Local Government at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (1994).

Professor in Public Administration. Author of nearly 100 scientific works.


In 1977–1993, worked at the Kyiv University as an engineer, research fellow and senior research fellow;

1994–1999 — head economic researcher at the International Centre for Policy Studies, Fund for Banking and Finance Development;

1999–2004 — Assistant Professor, Department of Economic Policy of the Ukrainian (currently, National) Academy of Public Administration, office of the President of Ukraine;

1999–2004 — Research Director at the Agency of Humanitarian Technologies, later — Agency for Social Analysis;

2002–2003 — advisor to the Minister of Economy of Ukraine;

since April, 2004 — Professor, Department of Economic Policy of the National Academy of Public Administration, office of the President of Ukraine;

since June, 2005 — Economic Programmes Director at Razumkov Centre.

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