Russia’s Pivot to Asia: Myth or Reality?

Prof Alexander Lukin is Head of the Department of International Relations at the National Research University—Higher School of Economics, Moscow. The views expressed are personal.
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  • November 2016

    The article discusses the changes in Russia’s policy towards Asia, arguing that Russia’s pivot to Asia is a reality, one that is motivated by both political and economic interests. And although that shift is not progressing as quickly as some might want and occasionally encounters difficulties, the process has definitely begun and is in all likelihood irreversible. Only a small, marginal segment of Russian society continues to dream of unity with Europe—which itself has entered a period of severe crisis. Most of the Russian elite as well as the majority of Russian citizens understand that nobody is waiting for them with open arms. Therefore, not wanting a confrontation and in an effort to maintain working relations, Russia—under any leader—is unlikely to seek a relationship based on a common outlook. That will move Russia ever closer to the non-Western world, primarily the Asian giants.