Global Insights: With Asia Tour, Putin Puts Russia’s Pacific Pivot on Display

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip this week to Vietnam and South Korea, which follows last week’s unprecedented foreign and defense ministerial meeting in Japan, testifies to Moscow’s continuing efforts to raise its profile in Asia. Last year, Russia hosted its first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference; the previous year, it joined the East Asian Summit. Half of Russia’s arms exports flow to Asian countries, which also buy Russia’s oil and gas as well as its civil nuclear technologies. Like their Western counterparts, Russian analysts consider that demographic, economic and other trends will make the Asia-Pacific the world’s most important region […]

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