Russian Policy in Asia-Pacific Security: the Maritime Dimension
Russia's turn to the East is now a hot topic for international discussion. However, not only Russia is currently undergoing serious transformations but Asia-Pacific region is also facing significant challenges, especially in the security field. Russia is often described as a country that is practically not involved into direct conflicts in Asia-Pacific (except from its territorial dispute with Japan). A real challenge for Russia has deeper roots. China is the main Russian partner and one of the major reasons of the current regional security challenges: the rise of China has provoked US-China competition for the leadership and growing concern about "China threat" among other regional actors. Russia’s ultimate aim is to enlarge and deepen regional cooperation. Some partners have clash of interests with China (such as Vietnam, India, etc.), so it is often assumed that enhancing regional polarization and the desire to be involved into cooperation in Asia-Pacific might demand from Russia a more clear stand on the most burning regional security issue, especially, when a conflict touches upon Chinese interests. The paper provides several case-studies of Russian reaction to the security challenges in Asia-Pacific which are described from the competitive perspective of neorealism vs neoinstitutionalism theoretical approaches. This framework shows different drivers of the Russian pivot to Asia and analyzes the evolution of Russian position on major regional security challenges connected with maritime security.