Asia-Pacific Security


The Kuril Social Contract

The Kremlin needs to understand clearly that it is up against not just Japan but also the Russian public—and based on public opinion surveys, two-thirds of Russians do not want to hand over the Kuril Islands. The Kremlin will not be able to coerce the people into accepting its point of view.

Protests in Russia’s Far East Reveal the Dangers of Overcentralization

In theory, the seizure of a greater share of Sakhalin’s resource wealth by the federal authorities could lead to a fairer distribution of wealth throughout the Russian Far East. The fear, however, is that further centralization of budgetary revenues will merely encourage the pursuit of vanity projects that will not come to fruition for over a decade, if ever.

What Can Japan Offer Russia?

The window of opportunity for improving Russo-Japanese relations is still open, at least for now. Russia’s main objectives are to attract Japanese investment into its national economic development programs and to continue to diversify its policies in the Asia-Pacific and on the international stage, where Japan plays an important and increasingly independent role.

Can Russia’s Military Save the Disputed Kuril Islands?

The Kremlin’s new development program for the Kuril Islands is as generous and extensive as its predecessors. The key difference, however, is that now the military—the one area seemingly immune to cutbacks—will be responsible for making sure the program is implemented.

Russia’s Prospective Niche on the Asian Security Market

Russia has finally hit on a security agenda of interest to its Asian partners. Buoyed by its success in Syria, Moscow is presenting itself as a standard-bearer in the war on Islamic terrorism and a source of cutting-edge practices for ASEAN countries that are facing this problem. The Syrian campaign is also helping to promote Russian military technology on Asian markets.

Russia Still Seeking a Role in ASEAN

Twenty years after Russia was first declared a partner of ASEAN, its economic role in Southeast Asia is still limited. Moscow’s position in the region is largely guided by its strong relationships with Vietnam and China.

Is a New Japanese-Russian Rapprochement in the Air?

After an uncharacteristically friendly Japanese-Russian high-level meeting in Sochi, there is speculation about new efforts to solve the two countries’ dispute over the Kuril Islands.

Asia’s Rise, Russia, and the Future of the Global Order

This week, Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former Australian prime minister, will be visiting Moscow. Speaking at the Carnegie Moscow Center on February 18, 2016, Kevin Rudd outlined Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping. In a new article written exclusively for, he articulates his vision for Russia’s possible role in Asia.

Sino-Russian Trade After a Year of Sanctions

Putin's visit to China is his first since the West's introduction of sectoral sanctions against Russia. Moscow’s hopes for greater engagement with China have gone unfulfilled. Due to falling commodity prices, sanctions, the volatility of the ruble and the economic crisis in Russia, trade and investments continue to decline, while agreeing on new deals is becoming increasingly difficult.
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