Humanity is about to leave one more year behind. How have people who were witnesses of many different events throughout the history lived the last 365 days? We tried to determine general directions of ongoing developments in the world in the context of 10 events we have chosen on the basis of some criteria. Of course, it is too risky to make final conclusions. Nevertheless, the processes we cited as an example enable us to choose some trends and analyze their influence on a global scale. Of course, the departing year was accompanied by tension, standoff, conflicts, military clashes, terror. These factors led to formation of the overarching picture the humanity at large is concerned of. At the same time, there were also memorable events in science and sports in 2014. By underlining them separately, our aim is to show how much interested people are in peace, science, culture and other humanitarian aspects.
Geopolitics and leadership competition: heavy burden of the current year
We will remember the year 2014 with the events that caused serious and controversial changes on a global scale. We can even claim that this year was much tenser. By lingering around 10 events, which are considered more important among ongoing processes, we can share our views on what marks the outgoing year will leave on people`s mind.
First of all, we would like to highlight Crimea`s inclusion in Russia. It was very much unexpected event for the 21st century. However, it was preceded by the political crisis in Ukraine. The new situation was triggered by the Maidan events, change of government, occupation of the independence square by demonstrators, different approach of the West and Russia to these events.
At the same time, Russia accused the West of all these developments. Thus, the processes that seriously influence global geopolitics started in the post-Soviet area. These events were followed by Russia`s taking control over Crimea.
Official Moscow reaffirmed its intention that it is not going to be indifferent to the developments at its borders. On top of all, military operations began in the east of Ukraine. Fierce fighting broke out between the sides. The US-led West provided assistance to Ukraine but Russia did not retreat. As a result, interstate relations strained on a global scale and now experts forecast the possible advent of ”cold war”.
It means that Russia`s seizing control of Crimea is not the factor with local influence and is closely linked with the ongoing global geopolitical developments. The military clashes in the eastern part of Ukraine can give rise to serious changes in a world political landscape. This aspect gives grounds to accept the processes as important events of 2014.
We can highlight expanded operations of the terrorist group – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – in Iraq and Syria and the new wave of terror as another important event. This organization shook the world as a whole. The world was shocked by its method of conducting military operations and particular brutality. It is interesting that even the international anti-terror coalition cannot stop terror of the ISIS. These processes are forecast to last for many years. It appears that this topical issue will continue to be high on the agenda of the world politics.
The ISIS factor is not already considered the factor limited to the Middle East. The terror is reportedly spread on a global scale. The event that occurred in Australia was another evidence of this. ISIS can commit massacres in various regions of the world. It shows that 2014 year will enter the world history books as the period of expanded influence of terror on global geopolitics.
A number of international organizations held their events in 2014. Internationally important issues were discussed at these events. The high-level meeting on the occasion of the “opening of the second front” in the World War II in Normandy (France). Attending the event, heads of the western countries discussed the Ukraine issue with the Russian President. This showed that this is not symbolical but a serious problem. Discussion of the Ukraine problem once more showed that the world is set to face a new global military threat. It is noteworthy that major topic discussed between Russia and the West at all serious international events held in 2014 was related to Kyiv. Doesn’t it show that new situation is about to emerge in the world politics?
Energy security, science and football: which one is more important?
The Fortaleza (Brazil) summit of BRICS countries was also important in this context. What was interesting about the event held in July was the agreement to create a development bank. In addition, political coordination issues, global governance problems were discussed at the meeting. In conclusion, the Fortaleza declaration and action plan were adopted. Some experts estimate the summit as an attempt to establish alternative entities against the western-controlled international organizations. Russia is said to have been most active there. However, the following developments proved that it is referred to a very difficult task. Moreover, some member countries supported Moscow`s initiatives largely verbally. Nevertheless, the BRICS Fortaleza summit is accepted as the event with global influence.
The Beijing summit of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) as the organization not controlled by the West is considered the factor occupying a special place on a world scale. The summit discussed regional economic integration, reforms, innovative development and deepening of relations among the member countries. These issues found their way onto the 24-page declaration. Agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan on transportation of natural gas is regarded as a serious result of the event. As a whole, the Beijing meeting is assessed as the step taken against the political and economic hegemony of the USA and evidence of the 21st century`s being the centenary of Asia.
The most important events of the year include the summit of the G-20 held in the Australian city of Brisbane. It was the organization`s 9th high-level meeting. The summit was held against the backdrop of strong geopolitical and economic instability. The main point here was the West`s accusing Russia because of the Ukraine issue. Washington and Brussels seriously accused Moscow. This issue overshadowed the other matters of the event. In particular, the Canadian Prime Minister`s warning Putin that Russia must withdraw from Ukraine was a bombshell. German Chancellor Merkel also raised some claims at the meeting with the Russian leader. The Russian President`s leaving the event before it ended was surprising.
The Russian President`s statement on dropping the South Stream project on December 1 inTurkey seriously shook the global politics because Russia directly blamed the West. It appears that Kremlin tries to show its strength to the opponents. Putin openly stated in Ankara that Europe can buy gas from Turkey. He suggested calling the project that will replace the South Stream as the ”Turkish project”. This decision is expected to seriously affect the world`s energy security.
The year 2014 was memorable for not only politics, geopolitics, military, energy and economics. Interesting events occurred in science as well. In this context, Rosetta space probe landed on a Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, the first spacecraft ever to touch down on a comet. Scientists had been waiting for this event for ten years. Rosetta space probe successfully deployed its robotic lander Philae on the Comet and sent photographs from there. This is the great event in the world science.
The FIFA World Cup in Brazil can be considered the important event of the departing year too. Hundreds of millions of people watched this competition with interest. The World Cup as the cultural sport event proved to be very interesting. Mankind hit by political confrontations, geopolitical conflicts, military clashes and tension shifted their focus to a sporting bash for a while. For this reason, the World Cup is regarded as one of the vital events of the current year.
Presentation of the top 10 events, which are believed to be important for the world, showed that both interesting, and contradictory and dangerous processes took place in 2014. No doubt, other events can be included into this list too. However, the mentioned factors allow seeing the general picture. The great powers will hopefully take these events into account to take fair steps in 2015.