Tuesday, September 04, 2007

World Without the West Watch Continued

Two items:

Vladimir Frolov, who moderates the Russia Profile experts' group, takes Russia's defiance of a long-standing tradition that the European states can name the head of the International Monetary Fund (with the United States able to do so for the head of the World Bank) by nominating Czech economist and former head of that country's central bank Joseph Tosovsky. Moreover, Tosovsky's candidacy was endorsed by the other members of the BRIC grouping (meaning Brazil, India and China). While everyone expects that the EU-nominated candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn to win, many observers feel that he will be the last IMF director who can be unilaterally selected by the Europeans without any consultation.

The second, based on a comment made at TWR last week, concerns ALBA--the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. This is a grouping set up by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and encompasses Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba. Today Iran asked for observer status!

I think that it is far too earlier to begin comparing ALBA to the Shangahi grouping--if for no other reason that ALBA has very weak foundations (electoral changes in Nicaragua or Bolivia, for instance, would change the composition of the group). But perhaps this is a development that bears some closer observation.

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