The window of opportunity for improving Russo-Japanese relations is still open, at least for now. Russia’s main objectives are to attract Japanese investment into its national economic development programs and to continue to diversify its policies in the Asia-Pacific and on the international stage, where Japan plays an important and increasingly independent role.
Sino-Russian relations do not constitute a new axis of like-minded authoritarian regimes that want to challenge the West by default. But it’s an example of how tactical and opportunistic cooperation of non-Western powers seeking to boost their influence on the international stage comes at expense of the Western-led international order.
The more realistic option would be increased information sharing between Moscow and Beijing on THAAD and the US military presence in Northeast Asia, as well as joint exercises like the one held in May 2016.
If explained in details and promoted by the Russian and Bangladeshi authorities, solutions about water supply, spent nuclear fuel, and security could end some concerns and fears about the Rooppur NPP and help create a friendly environment around this project.
Rather than forging an alliance against the third corner of the triangle, China and Russia should join forces in building a new regional system at the time when the global order is in transition.
Media reports about a rapprochement between Russia and the Taliban are not even close to reality. Moscow, however, has opened communication channels with the Afghan group, with an eye on protecting its own interests in the country.
Carnegie Moscow Center hosted a discussion on Japanese foreign and security policy.
Even if Moscow wisely avoids a bid for the mediator role in South Asia, behind the scenes it could facilitate dialogue between India and Pakistan on bilateral issues.
Recent developments in Russia-Pakistan relations seem to create a false impression of solid cooperation, which simultaneously irritates a few third countries. This is why Russia needs to rethink not only its policy towards Islamabad, but the region as a whole.
Speculations about the U.S. policy in South Asia may be right or wrong. But at least one thing is clear. In his policy toward South Asia, Trump will follow his understanding of pragmatic and realistic interests of the United States, and not seek how to please leaders of South Asian countries and beyond, including Russia.