What Russia may seek in the long term in Southeast Asia is a position of a respected and seemingly disinterested outside power helping maintain an equilibrium in a potentially highly volatile region.
Russia badly needs to produce a long-term strategy towards India and the region of south Asia, and to stop thinking about India and Pakistan tactically and separately.
The “turn to the East” has dramatically changed Russia’s strategy towards China and many underlying assumptions. It has also dramatically influenced the mainstream analysis of Chinese security intentions in Northeast Asia. The influence of this major shift in national policy, as well as policymakers’ and scholars’ perceptions of China, was felt throughout 2015.
Russia's recent military exercises with Pakistan showed that Moscow still views many international issues through the prism of its relations with the U.S. Such a position might put Russia-India relations at risk.
Before India and Pakistan enter the SCO, Russia and China should make an effort to help them prevent future conflicts. Failing to help manage the relationship now carries a serious risk for the entire SCO project started by Beijing and Moscow 15 years ago. So, China and Russia owe it to themselves to begin defusing tensions between their partners.
So far, Moscow and Washington have proved incapable of ending Syria’s civil war. But a settlement is impossible without them.
Modern western leaders might wish to consider that, in the end, what killed the Soviet system was not Reagan’s Star Wars, or even the scarcity of goods in the shops. What actually did it was the loss of public faith in the domestic political system. So, improve or beware of exposure.
Moscow should reconsider its own position in the region and within the EEU. Central Asian republics are not passive actors anymore, vying for advantageous bargaining positions with China.
Chinese and Russians now better understand both the potential and the limitations of their relationship. They need to move ahead on concrete issues, making sure that what is agreed upon at the top actually gets implemented.
The presidency is the only institution in Russia today that has not been hollowed out, so it is the president who will make all major political decisions. Everyone else is just a liaison officer.
After more than two decades during which Cold War-era visions of nuclear Armageddon faded from public consciousness, alarms are sounding anew as a result of tense relations between Russia and the West.
Position of Russia in India is strong in certain niches. At the same time, even in those spheres of the Indian-arms market in which Russia feels quite surely today and it will do both countries good if they maintain it.
Today, we have vast nuclear arsenals and the number of countries with nuclear capabilities have increased around the world. Current threats are being addressed with temporary solutions. In an even more alarming prospect, the possibility of using nuclear weapons in Europe due to a local conflict is now on the table.
Putin drew several conclusions from the mass protests of 2011-2012. They convinced him that the mandate he received from “the people,” is much more important than the views of the small and overly outspoken segment of progressive citizens.
What is the worst and dangerous for Russia is the feeling of self-assured satisfaction and perception that it is a great, powerful and invincible country with unlimited resources. It can lead to another stagnation.
Even as Russia is again engaged in a confrontation with the West, it is confronted by very real threats coming from the south.
Russia clearly needs China much more than China needs Russia. China has a diversified economy, including multiple sources of hydrocarbons, and therefore Russia is definitely the dependent partner.
Russian society should pay more attention to the Kremlin’s foreign policy agenda and have a better understanding of the nation’s actions abroad. Russia should identify itself as a Euro-Pacific country rather than a Eurasian country as it seeks out new opportunities to become better integrated in the globalized world.
The growing Sino-Russian partnership is spurred not only by growing anti-Americanism, but more importantly by Russia’s quest for external economic support to keep the regime afloat in the wake of Western sanctions.
The Moscow-Beijing partnership is stalling. But Xi is winning over the Russian president’s inner circle with favorable loans and sweetheart energy deals.