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    Russia's Foreign Policy


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    Post  russianumber1 Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:53 am

    Russia's Strategy in Asia

    Read more at: Putin, Asia-Pacific, Pacific Rim

    12/19/2013 12:02

    FENENKO, Alexei

    Last November, could be called Asian Month in Russian foreign policy. The first Russian-Japanese negotiations in 2 +2 format were held in November 1-2. On November 12, President Putin visited Vietnam, where several inter-institutional cooperation projects and individual economic agreements were signed, including military and technological cooperation. Vietnam, Russia's president, went to South Korea, where he signed several innovative document: beyond economic cooperation agreements, the parties agreed to visa-free entry in both directions.

    These visits were crucial as Putin determined priorities of Russia's foreign policy in the Asia Pacific region. In his interview with South Korean KBS TV, he supported the initiative of Eurasia advanced by South Korean President Park Geun Hye. The initiative concerns a Eurasian economic union, part of which includes connecting the Korean railway system with the Trans-Siberian Railway. According to Putin, the next steps should include standardized between the DPRK and South Korea relations, and the construction of a Trans-Korean gas pipeline. American experts were quick to see an 'Asian offensive by the Kremlin "in the declaration of Putin. Historic with the early 20th century parallel, when the Russian Empire pursued a "great Asian strategy" as he tried to gain a foothold in Korea and ice-free port in the Pacific are becoming increasingly popular.

    Three turning points

    Indeed, the goals of Russia in the Pacific is not that ambitious. The search for a new Asian strategy is not proactive but rather a reaction to the weakening of its position in the Asia-Pacific region, which occurred around 2011-2012.

    Over the past twenty years, the Russian policy in the Asia-Pacific region has experienced decisive moments on three occasions. The first was during the visit of President Boris Yeltsin to Beijing in December 1992, when the leaders of Russia and China announced plans to build a strategic partnership. The next 10 years were an attempt to implement this objective and included the launch of Shanghai, demilitarization of the border process, signing the Joint Declaration on a Multipolar World (1997), and the Russian-Chinese Treaty (2001). The last mutual commitments in a similar matter to forge an alliance and cooperation included consultations on international issues, the development of common foreign policy strategies and mutual diplomatic support.

    The second turning point in Russia's Pacific policy came in the fall of 2002. By that time, the Kremlin realized that a strategic partnership with China was not enough. In order to build a more comprehensive policy, the Kremlin initiated dialogues with Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN. These hopes were not realized, and Russia failed to sign a single free trade area agreement, much less a consultative pact with any of these countries. Moscow did sign several joint declarations with ASEAN however. But still, Russia was not invited to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur in 2005, which meant that he was not recognized as a full member of the integration processes in the region Asia-Pacific. Efforts for the preferential partnership between Russia and ASEAN fell through.

    The third turning point came around in 2009, when the Kremlin introduced the concept of a pivot to Asia. This thesis was made public by President Dmitry Medvedev at the APEC Summit in Singapore in 2009. It has become very popular as various integration projects were becoming available. Moscow not only got accession East Asia Summit (2010), but she was assigned the chairmanship of APEC (2012). The idea of ​​investing in the modernization of the Russian Far East and to promote integration initiatives has been gaining popularity. Was extensively discussed the possibility of Russian participation in integration projects trans-Pacific APEC ranging from a hypothetical northern alternative to ASEAN. Notably, in 2012, the Presidential Council on Defense and Foreign Policy initiated discussions about the potential relocation of the Russian capital for a city in Siberia and the Russian Far East.

    The third stage of Russia's Pacific policy was ended in early 2012. The United States lost interest in APEC as a mechanism for building a free trade zone blocking trans-Pacific and China's economic initiatives. Washington has since accelerated the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is based on the integration of the Pacific without China Association. Initially, the TPP was supported by small South Pacific nations. However, in late 2011, the United States began negotiations with Vietnam, Japan and South Korea on the TPP accession to turn it into a viable alternative to the approach China with ASEAN.

    However, Russia has little presence in regional integration. Whatever the outcome of discussions on the TPP, Russia is unlikely to become a member of the association for the foreseeable future. A consultation mechanism favored between Russia and ASEAN also failed to materialize. Russia has only been a member of APEC since 1995 and that due to U.S. support. However, the role of APEC is decreasing. The development of Russian-Chinese relations is becoming a real alternative to Moscow, something that is being promoted as part of the treaty of 2001. But the political priority of building relations with someone other than China has so far been unsuccessful.

    Taken together, these predetermined circumstances underperformance of Russia in Vladivostok APEC Summit in September 2012. The real agenda was not energy initiatives from Moscow, but the establishment of the TPP. Russia filed its ambitious projects in the Asia-Pacific region immediately after the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin in the spring of 2012. An ambitious advancement in Asia has not been done.

    Window for dialogue

    Putin visits to Hanoi and Seoul revealed the foundations for a new strategy. Russia wants to maximize the window to a dialogue with other Pacific nations. The major economic projects of the early 2010s were postponed indefinitely. Instead, Moscow is building an economic dialogue with the countries of Asia-Pacific, without having to connect to all rigid mutual commitments. This approach allows four sets to solve the problems. Firstly, dialogue with the Pacific countries must demonstrate that Russia has an alternative to its relations with China in Asia. Of course, Beijing will be the next priority partner for Russia's future. But Moscow is seeking to create economic relationships that can compensate for the excessive dependence on the Russian Far East economic ties with China.

    Secondly, the Kremlin is using this dialogue to prove its foreign policy in Asia has been successful over the last 10 years. Moscow has a good chance to return to previously unrealized economic projects in the Pacific region.

    Thirdly, the fact that Moscow has more than one potential partner will ask China to pay more attention to the interests of Russia.

    Fourth, Russia is expanding its economic relations as a platform to attract investments. China imports raw materials and high-tech Russian (military and aerospace). However, Russia is seeking new partners who will be willing to invest in developing its infrastructure of transport and logistics in the Russian Far East.

    A puzzle

    However, the polarization of the Asia-Pacific region is on track to a new Asian strategy of Russia. The policy of the Obama administration to contain China will lead to a division in the region. This puts Russia in a difficult situation in which he will have to choose between a strategic partnership with China and advance its relations with the countries of Southeast Asia. Russian diplomacy has a lot of leeway here. The countries of Southeast Asia are beginning to realize Russia as an ally of China, cooperating with Beijing on military-technical programs and energy resources. China sees Russia's contacts with U.S. allies as a violation of the spirit of the treaty of 2001 (we recall that the contacts between the Russian Space Agency and Australia and New Zealand, in December 2010, were deprecated in Beijing).

    These variables raise doubts about the ability of the Kremlin to pursue a multi-vector policy in Asia. Sooner or later, Moscow will have to decide if its relations with U.S. allies are harmful to the Russian-Chinese Treaty of 2001.

    Alexei Fenenko leader is Research Fellow, Institute of International Security Studies of RAS, Russian Academy of Sciences. The opinions expressed are those of individual members and Contributors, rather than the club, unless otherwise indicated.

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    Post  LMFS Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:40 pm

    This is IMHO a must read for anyone willing to understand the fundamental elements of realpolitik linking the Russian Federation and the independent republics arising from the rests of the Russian Empire and USSR:

    Very relevant to understand Russia's approach to the conflict in NK too...

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    Post  kvs Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:51 pm

    LMFS wrote:This is IMHO a must read for anyone willing to understand the fundamental elements of realpolitik linking the Russian Federation and the independent republics arising from the rests of the Russian Empire and USSR:

    Very relevant to understand Russia's approach to the conflict in NK too...

    I am not that impressed. "Discrimination" against "conquered" peoples in Russia was no such thing. Russia offered an economically
    advantageous safe harbour for many of the indigenous groups who were not all singing cumbaya around a campfire before Russian
    imperialists showed up. As in North America strife between ethnic groups was normal and brutal. Russia offered the 3rd party
    mediator role that made "imperial subservience" worthwhile. For countries like Georgia it was about survival in the face of brutal
    Turk expansionism. Contrast Russia with Turkey if you want to know what Russian "imperialism" looks like.

    Association of various peoples with the Russian empire meant that they were typically left to their own devices. This is not
    discrimination, this is laissez-faire. The Russian center did not dispatch brutal viceroys to impose Russian culture and language
    on these peoples. That is why they still speak their native languages today. Contrast that with even integrated countries like
    the UK where Welsh was deliberately being eradicated during the 1800s with tactics like residential schools for Canadian aboriginals
    where children where beaten for speaking their own language and the purpose was to convert them into another culture. Russia
    never had residential schools or such agendas.

    The term Tsar of All the Russias is actually very radical for any monarchy. Russia's self image was of a pluralistic ethnic composite
    and not ethnic-chauvinist Russian monochromatism. The USSR took the laissez-faire policy of Russian poly-ethnicity and turned it
    into a species of identity politics BS. This why the "chauvinist" Russian center was suppressed much like today's cultural Trotskyists
    wail against whites and claim minorities cannot be racist. So we had grotesque gifting of ethnic Russian lands to fake constructs
    like Ukraine and Moldova. The USSR force-elevated the republics and we see them evanesce to their natural state after the breakup
    in 1991. Baltic statelets demand reparations for "Russian occupation" but all of their economies exist thanks to this "occupation".
    It is not an exaggeration to state that they were rural backwaters even during the 1930s. They were also not rich rural backwaters
    but poor ones.

    So the Russian Empire policy was vastly more sane than the Soviet one. All these "discriminated" against peoples were under no
    yoke and their development was at their own pace. It is a pure lie to claim that Russia deprived them of some golden future.
    The last 30 years proves that no such future was waiting for them during the 1900s.

    But the Siberian expanses were sparsely populated. For this reason, they were easily subdued by small Cossack bands, but then there was the problem of controlling and retaining the conquered lands.

    This is a simply BS claim. The Cossacks would have fought any bandits and not whole ethnic groups. A few Cossacks would
    be physically unable to subdue whole peoples. That is true even if there were not many of them. In fact, fewer people
    scattered over large territory are harder to subdue. By contrast, in the USA and Canada the policy was to subdue whole
    peoples and thus we had creation of reservation ghettos. Disease helped Europeans take over the new world, but there
    was plenty of slaughter involved as well. In Argentina the Patagonians were exterminated down to the last one. In this
    regard the USA and Canada are better, but only relatively.

    It is not an accident of the USSR that all sorts of ethnic groups have functional republics that could secede from the Russian
    Federation. If the Russian Empire would have followed the policy of other colonialist Europeans, there would have been
    a collection of useless reservations and not countries.

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    Walther von Oldenburg
    Walther von Oldenburg

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    Post  Walther von Oldenburg Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:26 am

    Yep and that stuff (rise of f Muscovy from the Mongol yoke, expansion anf conquest of Central Asia and Siberia) would make an excellent tv series. Enough material to nake a show as long as GoT and with right budget and people in charge it would be a masterpiece.

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    Post  LMFS Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:50 am

    kvs wrote:I am not that impressed.

    I wonder if we read the same article, I would say the author is telling essentially the same as you. Biggest difference may be your take on how the East was taken, obviously violence was needed or the existing political power would not have been substituted.


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    Russia's Foreign Policy Empty So just as in Georgia we have Armenians shitting on Russia for not carrying the water for them.

    Post  kvs Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:57 pm

    So just as in Georgia we have Armenians shitting on Russia for not carrying the water for them.

    On January 8, 1977, Armenia "liberation" terrorists detonated three bombs in Moscow at the rush hour
    peak near symbolic locations such as the KGB building.  So we see the real sentiments in Armenia
    regarding Russia.   In 1991 the overwhelming majority of Armenians voted in favour of the dissolution
    of the USSR (99.51%).  The same language of hate was hurled at Russia for being occupants and
    staging a genocide of Armenians as spouted by the terrorists who staged the 1977 attack.  

    After the end of the USSR the nationalists ascended to power.  The only difference from Kiev in 2014,
    is that they did not cut off their own nose to spite their face by not openly antagonizing Russia and
    stopping trade with it.  

    Now some Armenian movie director is accusing Putin and Russia of treason in not fighting its war with
    Azerbaijan for it.   The chutzpah.   This clown has been essentially bankrolled by the Russian government
    through support for the arts in Russia.   That is where this 3rd rate director has been making his 3rd
    rate movies (some are better than others).   He also claims that 600,000 Armenians died helping to win
    the war against the Nazis even though the population of Armenia was about 1.6 million at the start of
    WWII and the Armenian government today recognizes the casualties to be about 300,000.   According
    to Soviet archives the number was 85,000.   The Soviet figure is obviously more realistic since no
    front lines were rolling over Armenia during WWII as they were over Russia, Ukraine and Belorus.   It
    looks like the clown is claim that the 600,000 Armenians who were mobilized during WWII all died.  
    Obvious BS.  

    Azerbaijan also mobilized 600,000 people as part of the USSR during WWII.   The director clown thinks
    that Russia owes Armenia but not Azerbaijan.   He accuses both Putin and Russians of being ungrateful
    to Armenia for the sacrifices it made during WWII.   Armenians should be so lucky that there were Russians
    to save them from both the Turks and the Nazis.   The Nazis had certain ethnic concepts that lowered
    people like Armenians and all other non-blue-eyed Aryans.

    And there is a statue in Yerevan to a Nazi collaborator who worked with the Nazis to set up SS divisions
    in the Caucuses. So Armenians extol some Nazi like the Ukrs extol Bandera.

    Russia owes you nothing. You owe Russia and are a collection of deluded ingrates with dreams of grandeur
    you can never hope to achieve.

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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:19 am

    At KVS

    And this is why Russia isn't so eager to help out the area. If the guy wants to bite the hand that feeds him, so be it. But you can't have your pie and eat it too. I'm curious as to why he refuses to acknowledge that Armenia isn't doing anything either and it's their neck on the line, not Russia's.

    I already know the answer but still.

    I think Russia's biggest weakness is that it doesn't outright state the obvious. If the officials outright said:

    "Azerbaijan is also a Russian trading partner, and hasn't curated to the west by bad mouthing us and making promises to NATO, all the while our so called Allie has; then maybe we would be able to help more. Also, Armenia officially hasn't declared war nor have they gone in directly into this battle, I don't see why we should as well. This is up to Armenia".

    I think it would be the cold water thrown on these morons that is necessary.

    For some reason, Russia has the prime opportunity to put these people in their place, but they never do. Instead, it is Russian language based videos and blogs that do. Issue is, no one actually watches these or reads these. Instead, they listen to and read fifth column garbage like Navalny and shit.

    Education clearly may be good in science in Russia but doesn't actually create smart people.

    Give me a million dollars and I can create a YouTube/rutube/whatever channel and create way better content, with multiple languages and a bigger outreach. I have already sent these guys ways they can really spread their reach but I don't get replies.

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    Post  kvs Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:52 am

    I agree that Russia has been doing a poor job communicating. I believe this is related to the philosophy of diplomacy that
    Russia pursues. As with using the term partners to describe foaming at the mouth enemies. I am not sure where this
    BS philosophy originates since it is not viable in 2020 even if it was viable in 1812.

    But there is also a case of not needing to state the obvious. Russia does not need to respond in any way to the NK situation
    since Armenia itself is not responding in any meaningful way. So Russia making official statements in response to some morons
    is not a good idea. It is beneath the state to have to officially respond to assorted loudmouths. That is the job of common
    citizens and the MSM.

    If Russia makes some policy statement on NK without any statement from Armenia (and there has been none that I am
    aware of since they don't recognize NK) then it looks like Russia is meddling.

    In terms of youtube, Russia had which could have become a youtube alternative but it went nowhere. At one
    point streaming sites posted videos there. But they must have cracked down and thus stayed small and irrelevant.
    The development of internet information channels is an utter failure for Russia. So we have the ridiculous situation
    as with PolitRussia of independent Russian commentators and creators having to go to some rotten NATzO social media
    platform like paupers begging for crumbs.

    Old media is irrelevant and relying on TV channels to fill the information space with Russia's position is not achieving
    much. The lying west can just smear this as "state run Russian media" "propaganda". By contrast, thousands of
    uncensored voices on a youtube-like platform are hard to wave away as "propaganda".

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    Post  miketheterrible Mon Nov 09, 2020 8:45 am

    Hence why I said it is in best interest to create their own. VK has their own video hosting but it's rather crude and not useful for average day to day person. Rutube as you said, is very nothing right now. There needs to be a new video hosting platform open to all but also given some limitations like how YouTube does, but vice versa (against US gov funded propaganda). And make it easily available through the tv set top boxes on homes.

    YouTube is unfortunately a strong structure that Russia needs to mimic. Same with Twitter. Now just combine the two and you got an award winning system.

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    Post  Sujoy Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:05 pm

    In the works: Russia-Japan-India grouping

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    Post  JohninMK Thu Aug 12, 2021 11:32 pm

    Very good new video of the Primakov Doctrine

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    Post  JohninMK Mon Aug 23, 2021 4:20 pm

    MOSCOW, August 22. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin praised the offensive stance of Russian diplomacy, noting with irony that he even has to remind Sergei Lavrov that he is the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, not the Defense Ministry.

    "A while ago, Russian diplomacy was criticized for its muffled position on protection of our national interests on the international platform or at all international platforms," he said at a meeting with members of the United Russia party on Sunday.

    "Today the situation is completely different. It will not be a big secret that our diplomatic department takes a very active, offensive position. Sometimes I even have to remind Sergey Viktorovich [Lavrov] that he is not the Minister of Defense, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs," Putin said.

    According to him, some time ago, the Russian diplomacy was willing to make any compromises, regardless of their own interests, just to look good in the eyes of their partners, but now the situation has changed dramatically:

    "Today, the huge enormous professional potential of our diplomatic service fulfils itself and it is working very pragmatically in the national interests of the country. It is not about only talking in well-arranged beautiful interiors anymore. There is a real struggle for the national interests of those states that participate in these discussions," the Russian leader stressed.

    The President also touched upon the topic of interaction with other countries on environmental issues.

    "Our partners in Europe are now actively promoting the newly posed issue of environmental protection, [reduction] of emissions. They are actually trying to come up with an environmental tax, which clearly contradicts the principles of the World Trade Organization," the Russian leader said.

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