The unexpected and rapid developments of 2020 as a result of the spread of the new virus have led to unpredictable and tragic consequences on a global scale. A lot has been said about this, and most likely the topic of the consequences for the world’s population remains an urgent topic for modern and future scientists. In this article, we will consider only some aspects of the International relations during a pandemic in Eurasia.

Health diplomacy
The introduction of a general quarantine froze international relations in the classical sense. Forgotten in the 60s, the race of medical diplomacy to eradicate dangerous forms of disease in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East has acquired new features. As in classical international relations, we have seen outcasts with inappropriate behavior. Countries projecting power, countries that are equal and countries competing in medical technology. Access to advanced technology products – vaccines and drugs for Covid-19 – are dividing the world and regions, building new lines of rivalry. We are witnessing the formation of vaccine war in real time.

Global challenges
International challenges don’t disappear by themselves and continue, similar to other resource wars. From oil price wars between Russia and Saudi Arabia to competition over the EU gas market, between Russia and the U.S. Competition has seen direct clashes, such as the aggravation of Sino-Indian relations on the disputed border territories of Fergana in Central Asia. We witnessed a lightning-fast war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Countries competed for medical resources. The crisis has exacerbated humanitarian issues. The EU countries resorted to harsh measures such as border closures and administrative expulsion. The general deterioration of the economies in the countries of origin pushed new waves of refugees to migrate. In the EU these were spontaneous protests against lockdowns. In countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, acts of disobedience and protests have occurred as a result of falling living standards and reactions to growing injustice in society. We witnessed the share of small and medium-sized businesses in all countries was rapidly decreasing.
New accents in world politics and diplomacy
The quarantine and lockdowns have changed our world. With a decrease in consumption, transportation, and services, there was a simultaneous growth in medical services, pharmaceuticals, freight transport, communication services, software development and digital content. Despite the threatening trends in the global ecology, the pandemic has produced unexpected results. Such as reducing air emissions and reducing pollution of the world’s oceans. The striking self-purification of water in Venice, as well as the significant reduction in carbon emissions from the standstill of a multimillion army of private cars, improved air quality in cities and the overall emissions situation. Significant events with titanic consequences for the future world happened in 2020. These are the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) refusal to process foreign waste, the PRC’s plan to reduce its hydrocarbon dependence. Plans to phase out hydrocarbon fuels have intensified, for example Uzbekistan’s plans to soon reach 8GW of solar generation.

Modern Don Quixotes
Among the large amount of information about Covid-19 of a predominantly alarming nature, it is also worth noting the examples of high professionalism and the height of the human spirit. Chief Sanitary Doctor of Greece, Sotiris Tsodras, a man who recognized the danger of a new threat earlier than anyone else, did everything possible to save his country and helped other countries by transferring experience. Jack Ma, a man of great heart and modesty, who has helped every country affected by the virus and wished to remain in the shadows. Mr.Yavlon Vakhabov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United States and Canada, despite the developing global crisis, made titanic efforts to promote investment, ecology and improve relations between nations. Charles Garrett, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to the Kyrgyz Republic. During the peak of the Covid-10 crisis in Kyrgyzstan, he did not stand aside and in his free time with his wife, Véronique, prepared and delivered meals for doctors working in the “red zones” of hospitals.

What didn’t work?
At the beginning of the crisis, international co-operation was practically curtailed. International institutions that were largely unprepared for the Covid-19 situation were paralyzed and worked with limited resources. Sluggishness and bureaucracy in the EU in responding to the acute crisis in Italy, the untimely response of the EEU to the return of labour migrants to Central Asian countries from Russia etc. These events clearly demonstrated the poor efficiency of multilateral organizations. Narrow national policy among most countries did not allow widespread generation of physical material and intellectual resources in a response proportional to the crisis. Instead, countries themselves responded to the crisis individually, made their own errors and blamed others. We can say that multilateralism has largely failed in 2020. We hope not forever.

So what worked?
Sending doctors from China, Germany, Poland, Russia, etc. to the most affected countries, on the contrary, has shown its effectiveness. Sharing medical products, medical protocols and tests.
Countries and continents learned to how to trade in the Covid-19 era, which gives bright hope for the continued development of civilization. Countries actively developed bilateral relations as a result: Hungary and Uzbekistan are prime examples of effective diplomacy in Eurasia.
Hungarian “openness to the East” diplomacy achieved significant results in 2020 in the Central Asia. A New role has been added to Modern Uzbek Foreign Policy. It was the Republic of Uzbekistan that first began to send humanitarian aid to neighboring countries affected by Covid-19.

What needs to be done for the future?
It is already clear that the current and new mechanisms of international relations and diplomacy will continue. The good news is that international relations have returned somewhat and the intensity of international contacts, albeit with the use of modern communication technologies and the limitation of physical contacts, are growing. Work in the digital dimension and new communication systems will continue and after returning to offline life. This practice, although involuntarily, has confirmed its efficacy.

By Bakyt Kakchekeev