Olaf Scholz says a multipolar world will emerge with many influential countries pursuing their own interests

The world in 2050 will be multipolar, with many influential countries, including Russia, pursuing their own interests, so the “big task” for the West is “to make this work,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday.

Speaking to CBS News, Scholz said the key thing now is to do business “with many countries so that you can live with a situation when trouble comes up with one.”

I think the world we are going to live in [in] 2050 will be multipolar,” he added. “Many countries will be important. The United States, Russia, China, the European Union and the countries in this Union, but also Indonesia and India, or South Africa, countries from [South America].”

The chancellor argued that “the big task” now is “to make this work,” adding that “multipolar is not enough. Multilateral, working together for a better future, this is what we should aim for.”

Commenting on the recent NATO summit, which identified China as a threat, Scholz said the statement was fully in line with the strategy he described. He explained that it only means that the bloc “is aware of the problems that might come up.” Scholz stressed that NATO members are democracies and therefore are not aggressive “to the rest of the world,” but are simply working “for a world where aggression is not working,” adding that democracies remain “very strong” because they are supported by the people.

“But we should be clear about these threats that are coming to our future. And this is coming from autocracies… because they tend to be aggressive,” he said.

Scholz considers the launch of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine “a watershed moment of international politics.” Before February, he said, “too many in the world” hoped that the modern world would be different than it was in the past, when “might and power were deciding on the future of countries and not the rules and the agreements we have between states.” 

Since those times in the past, there has been “an agreement that there should be no attempt to change territory… to change borders, to invade the neighbor. And this agreement is now canceled by Putin,” he said.

Moscow claims that its military operation was necessary, as all attempts to reach out to the West and to agree on security guarantees had failed – and as a result, the very existence of the Russian state was threatened.

Following the launch of the operation in Ukraine, Germany reversed its longstanding policy of not providing weapons to countries in conflict, in order to begin arming Kiev.

Scholz’s remarks, however, echo recent statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said that since the end of the Cold War, new centers of power have emerged, and they have the right to protect their own systems, economic models, and sovereignty.

These “truly revolutionary, tectonic changes in geopolitics, the global economy, in the technological sphere, in the entire system of international relations,” are “fundamental, pivotal and inexorable,” he said, adding that the EU and US leaders’ “detachment from reality” will eventually lead to degradation.

German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung recently reported that China and Russia want the BRICS group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to become a counterweight to the Western-dominated Group of Seven (G7).