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Vladimir Putin’s plans on dismantling Western alliances have “backfired dramatically” as countries unite to oppose the Russian leader and his growing nuclear threats.

Writing in the Telegraph, columnist Fraser Nelson described how countries that previously espoused military neutrality turned their backs on that principle to look at Russia.

He wrote: “Sweden and Finland both accepted that there could be no closure while Ukraine was fighting for its life.

“Even Switzerland is moving away from neutrality, discussing military exercises with NATO.

“Micheál Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland, said Dublin’s position of neutrality could change at any time.”

But shifts in mindsets are being seen from afar, he added, as some of the “most significant shifts are those taking place in East Asia”.

He continued: “So the countries joining the Western anti-Putin alliance are – for now – from East Asia. Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan together account for 9% of the world economy – about half the size of Europe, so quite a reinforcement.

“The rallying of Asian democracies in defense of Europe is not something politicians here have demanded or even expected.

“But a new alliance has nevertheless taken shape – an alliance that sees things not as West and East, but on the free world and its enemies.

“When the conflict in Ukraine ends, a lot of things will be gone forever. The old idea of ​​’the West’ may be one of them.”

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Christi C. Elwood