EIRNS—An article by Alexander Korolev, a Junior Research Fellow at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies (CCEIS) at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, had a special op-ed in Russia Direct, reprinted in Russia Beyond The Headlines, today. It said the recent efforts by Russia to make inroads into the ASEAN open up the possibility of Russia, China, and India coming together to shape the future of greater Eurasia. Korolev’s op-ed concludes,
"It is vital to note that Russia has every intention to become a true Asia-Pacific nation, it seeks to reevaluate past approaches and its current resources. ... How integrated Russia will be into the Asia-Pacific economic region will depend on how productive Russia’s dialogue is with the main decision-makers."
The "main decision-makers" are ostensibly China and India.
Korolev wrote that Russia’s lack of economic presence in greater Eurasia stems not only from
"the presence of U.S. influence in the region, relatively weak level of infrastructural development in Russia’s eastern territories, and Russia’s limited export potential to the countries in the region,"
but also from the Euro-centric outlook of Russian elites.
"The elites did not wish to see that the socio-economic rise of Asia made land beyond the Urals much more relevant in world politics."
However, he suggested that the situation is ripe for Russian participation:
"Following the 2015 announcement of cooperation in integrating the two projects of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Silk Road Economic Belt, Russia’s political elite was able to strengthen relations with partners in Southeast Asia. The May 2016 Russia-ASEAN summit, which was held in Sochi, marked the emergence of a strategic partnership between sides that resulted in the cooperation agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and ASEAN. ... The promotion of these flagship initiatives is a symbol of Russia’s turn to the East. It sets the stage for a greater Eurasia with new economic and geo-strategic goals, in which Russia, along with China, India and Iran must play a leading role. This format is universal and serves the interests of all major parties,"