In the two decades before invading Ukraine, as Russia attempted to project power around the globe, Moscow quietly boosted its military ties and diplomatic engagement in Southeast Asia. Now, however, that influence seems to be dramatically fading, largely cutting Moscow out of a critical region in global politics.
Last week’s ASEAN Summit comes at a time of rising geopolitical tensions in the region, including between member states and China. Nevertheless, paralyzed by its commitment to unanimity-based decision-making, ASEAN is either unwilling or unable to check Beijing’s worst instincts. The result is a deepening fragmentation within the bloc.