BRICS. When I first saw the expression BRIC, it seemed just a catchy name for an incidental grouping. But something is emerging. Emerging, I believe, largely in response to Washington's actions. After so many governments overthrown followed by the insouciant unconcern for the consequences (Libya is the paradigm), absolutely inexplicable (except to the direst conspiracy theorist) actions like supporting jihadists in one place and fighting them in another, more and more countries are coming to two conclusions. The first is that Washington is the cause of most of the world's instability and that, under present management at least, it simply cannot be trusted or relied on. And, some wonder who's next for a “colour revolution”. So the BRICS evolve: from a cliché, into a loose association, into a economic and political player. And not an insignificant player: the two most populous countries, two UNSC members, three nuclear powers, significant conventional military power, one economy the biggest or soon will be, three more in the top ten. Not insignificant at all. Yesterday they took another step against the Bretton Woods arrangement, which many see as the foundation of Washington's power, establishing a Development Bank and reserve currency pool. Their own World Bank and IMF. Early days to be sure, much can go wrong but a step towards a rather different power structure.
DIVISIONS. Washington issues more sanctions, but Europe lags. (Maybe I'm missing something, but the European Council conclusion sounds like the square route of nothing). Who would have thought, 20 years ago, that Ukraine would become so important.