Russia’s Relations with Southeast Asia Russie.Nei.Reports, No. 26, Ifri, March 2019
In recent years, Russia has focused on developing its relations with Southeast Asia, particularly in the areas of economic ties and arms sales.
This effort is part of its ongoing turn to the East, intended to allow Russia to reduce its dependence on the West, while harnessing the dynamic growth of the Asia-Pacific region as a means to modernize the Russian Far East and ultimately Russia itself. While its relations with the region have been gradually improving, Russia is still not that significant a player in Southeast Asia. Moreover, relationships in the region generally take a backseat to the critical partnership with China. Vietnam and Myanmar continue to be the most important partners, although Russia has made efforts to develop closer ties with Malaysia, Indonesia and, most recently, the Philippines.
Dmitry Gorenburg is Senior Research Scientist in the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), and an associate at the Harvard University Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
Paul Schwartz is an analyst in the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA).