The Kremlin needs to understand clearly that it is up against not just Japan but also the Russian public—and based on public opinion surveys, two-thirds of Russians do not want to hand over the Kuril Islands. The Kremlin will not be able to coerce the people into accepting its point of view.
Chinese participation in Vostok-2018 is groundbreaking. It sends a powerful message about the evolving relationship between the great Eurasian powers, which just a couple of decades ago viewed each other as adversaries.
China and Russia have been cooperating closely over the past three decades. But since the Ukraine crisis, the process has become more dynamic. Moscow and Beijing are now coordinating their policies on a wider range of issues.
Carnegie Moscow Center hosted a seminar on U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific region under the Donald Trump administration and the new challenges it might bring to the system of checks and balances in regional security.
In theory, the seizure of a greater share of Sakhalin’s resource wealth by the federal authorities could lead to a fairer distribution of wealth throughout the Russian Far East. The fear, however, is that further centralization of budgetary revenues will merely encourage the pursuit of vanity projects that will not come to fruition for over a decade, if ever.
Recent US sanctions against China and Russia are signs of the Trump administration’s toughening approach to North Korea. Ironically, these sanctions come on the heels of a UN Security Council resolution imposing new measures against North Korea that the US, China and Russia voted in favor of.
Mr Putin and Mr Xi have found an unlikely ally in Mr Trump. The latter’s clumsy approach to foreign policy and fractious relations with long-time allies leave the west poorly equipped to push back.
While Russia repositions itself as a stand-alone power in the north-central portion of the world’s largest continent, its leaders are seeking to create a distinct national entity amid a vast and highly diverse neighborhood.
It is not enough for China and Russia to work to reduce US dominance in “the grand Eurasian chessboard.” They have to work on a new continental order that other countries, not just the two of them, would find an improvement over the current situation.