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Working paper

Russia and Asia-Pacific Security: the Maritime Dimension

International Relations. Series WP BRP "Basic research program". Working papers by NRU Higher School of Economics, 2015. No. WP BRP 17/IR/2015.
Russia is shifting its foreign policy focus to the Asia-Pacific region because of internal (the necessity to develop Siberia and the Far East) and external (a deepening crisis in relations with the West) factors. For this policy to be a success, Russia needs a stable and predictable regional milieu while confrontation in Asia-Pacific security is on the rise. Evidence for this assessment is provided by the current state of regional maritime security challenges. They are evolving at a faster pace than the regional mechanisms and institutions aimed to keep them within manageable bounds. The simultaneous rise of the global dimension in the main challenges to Asia-Pacific maritime security—primarily the set of issues related to the South China Sea—call for the increased involvement of an established global actor with significant economic potential, independent foreign policy and genuine interest in preserving peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. In the current circumstances, this role cannot but be assumed by Russia. The paper discusses the specificity of current Asia-Pacific maritime security trends, Russia’s regional priorities and policy instruments which could be used to decrease tensions in the key regional maritime security challenges.