The East’s Rise
New Russian Foreign Policy
In recent years, the turn to the East, or pivot to Asia, has been one of the most popular topics in the Russian political and media discourse. Assessments of this process vary: some consider it a long-overdue necessity and a chance for Russia to increase its competitiveness in the 21st century. Others think this project is a product of Moscow policymakers and does not take into account the real needs of Russians residing in the Asian parts of the country. Asia’s changing role and its importance in terms of Russia’s development are recognised and reflected at the highest level. In 2012, in his election article, “’Russia and the Changing World’ Vladimir Putin wrote about catching the “Chinese wind” in the “sails” of the Russian economy. The eternal question of Russian identity, “who are we?” was overshadowed by a new imperative: “to be closer to Asia to be competitive in the 21st century”.
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