Russia is abandoning its strategy of aligning itself with the West in favor of becoming a part of the East, according to a commentary from Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.
This push towards Asia and the abandoning of the “Western path” has been spurred by Russia’s nationalist scholars such as political scientist Alexander Dugin, believed to be an important influence on President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy. Dugin, who founded and heads Russia’s Eurasia Movement, has long envisioned a strategic bloc that would join the former Soviet Union to Middle Eastern countries, including Iran.
Moscow’s focus on Asia is not just an impulsive response to Western sanctions and has been brewing for several years, Duowei said. In May 2012, Putin’s administration established the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, and is preparing a national program for the Socio-Economic Development of the Far East and the Baikal region until 2025.
Apart from Japan, Russia has also been cooperating with China and Singapore — two countries whose policies are not dictated by the United States. While Russia is only ranked ninth among China’s trade partners, China has long been Russia’s largest trade partner and the country wielding the most influence on its economy. On the other hand, Russia remains confident of its ability to explore Asian markets because it knows of Asian countries’s reliance on Russia’s resources.
Full article: Russian alignment with Asia to be fixed foreign policy: Duowei (Want China Times)