Strengthening of Cooperation Between Russia and ASEAN: Rhetoric or Reality?
The purpose of the article is to analyze current Russian policy toward Southeast Asian countries and to examine prospects for the future development of Russia-(ASEAN) relations. This article is structured around three issues, discussed in three parts. The first part examines the evolution of Russia-ASEAN political relations from the establishment of the “dialogue partnership” to the present time and Russia’s participation in the multilateral cooperation structures under the ASEAN umbrella. The second part concentrates on the achievements and the problems of economic and technical cooperation between the countries. Special attention is paid to the recent initiatives of the Russian government to foster the economic development of Far East territories. The third part is devoted to the analysis of Russia-ASEAN relations from the point of view of cultural interaction. It argues that despite optimistic official rhetoric, Russian policy in the Asian dimension is not balanced and there is no clear strategy to improve Russia’s place in the region.