Russia’s New Asian Tilt: How Much Does Economy Matter?

Book title: Russia's Turn to the East - Domestic Policymaking and Regional Cooperation

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The economic development of Russia’s Far East has been proclaimed a policy priority, to be facilitated by an ambitious turn or ‘pivot’ to Asia. This chapter assesses Russia’s economic reorientation towards Asia, offering an overview of the Far Eastern dimension of Russia’s economic relations with its major Asian partners in 2010–16, based on analysis of the dynamics of investment, trade relations and business climate development. Since 2014, trade with Asian partners has stagnated, while foreign investment (except for Chinese) has remained negligible. Moreover, trade is still mainly oriented towards markets in European Russia. The chapter concludes that Russia’s pivot to Asia has not yet become an economic pivot—and that such a turn would be more easily attainable under a non-sanctions regime.