Russia's Pivot to Asia: Relations with China, Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and ASEAN

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th St)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute for a talk with Dr. Anna Kireeva, Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and African Studies and Research Fellow at the Center for Comprehensive Chinese Studies and Regional Projects at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University). The talk will be moderated by Professor Elizabeth Wishnick, Senior Research Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

This event is supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is part of our Russian Studies & Policy event series.

Russia’s focus on East Asia policy has been stimulated by its bid to achieve a more balanced foreign policy and to foster economic, political, and security cooperation in the most rapidly developing region of East Asia, as well as stimulate the development of Siberia and the Far East. Although it was declared a strategic priority at the beginning of the 21st century, the level of actual engagement could be characterized as critically insufficient. Deterioration of relations with the U.S. and Europe made Russia accelerate its Asian pivot, or turn to the East, as a safeguard against Western sanctions to guarantee Russia’s development.

Despite the fact that initial conditions were extremely unfavorable, Russia’s relations with East Asia have seen a lot of developments in recent years, with a primary focus on deepening its relationship with China. How balanced has Russia's pivot to Asia been since then and what challenges is it facing? What new momentum has been added to Russia’s relations with Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since 2016 and with South Korea following the power transition to President Moon Jae-in in 2017, and what obstacles remain? What is to be made of Russia’s relationship with ASEAN and Russia’s stance on the nuclear and missile program of North Korea? Dr. Anna Kireeva will cover these topics and assess the progress and challenges of Russia’s pivot to Asia.

Dr. Anna Kireeva has worked at the Department of Asian and African Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) since 2010. Her work focuses on the strategies and foreign policy of great powers in East Asia: the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia as well as India as an emerging power. Her recent research includes the transformation of the East Asian regional order, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Maritime Silk Road in particular, the U.S. rebalance to Asia and post-pivot policy, Japan’s foreign policy and national security policy transformation, the territorial disputes in the East China and South China Seas, India’s Look East policy as well as Russia’s Asian pivot, especially since it gained momentum in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, and Russia’s relations with East Asia.