Window to Asia: What does cooperation with ASEAN mean for Russia?


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit opened in Singapore on Wednesday, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking part.

A day earlier, the Russian president had a bilateral meeting with his Singaporean counterpart, Halima Jakob. The leaders of the states attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Russian Cultural Center. The head of the Russian state noted that the construction and opening of the center will serve the purpose of developing bilateral relations.

Then Putin met with Singapore’s premier Li Xian Lun. The meeting was also attended by heads of ministries and companies, Russia and Singapore signed a series of interdepartmental documents and contracts between enterprises. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said that they had prepared agreements for investments in petrochemistry, nuclear medicine, high technology and, most importantly, support for Russian companies in South-East Asia for Putin’s visit to Singapore. In total, agreements worth over $ 1 billion were signed.

Window to Asia

On October 14, a Russia-ASEAN plenary session was held, at which Putin spoke. The President noted the importance of interaction with the ASEAN countries and highlighted the main areas of this cooperation - the humanitarian sphere, cyber security, medicine, high technology, energy, agriculture, industry, cooperation in the prevention and elimination of emergency situations.

The prospects speak and numbers. According to the President of Russia, by the end of 2017, trade with ASEAN countries increased by 35%, and the accumulated investment potential exceeds $ 25 billion.


East and West

Political analysts have repeatedly noted that Russia is currently making a sharp turn from the West to the East, including Asia. To a certain extent, this is due to the policies of the West itself, which is pushing our country towards tighter cooperation with Eastern and Asian countries, where there are huge, promising and extremely profitable sales markets and investment opportunities.

Russia in this regard is a unique country, a link between the East and the West, which opens for us equal chances of cooperation in both directions. That is why, against the background of reduced interaction with Europe and the United States, Russia is finally moving to a historically less developed area - Asia.

Another result of the Russia-ASEAN meeting was also the signing of the main framework document - the Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of security of the use of information and communication technologies.

On the margins of the ASEAN summit, Vladimir Putin also held bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as with colleagues from South Korea and Indonesia, Moon Zhe Ying and Djoko Widodo.

Thus, the turn of Russia to the East is gradually becoming an accomplished fact, whether the West likes it or not. It is also obvious that Europe will finally become such a pace for Russia yesterday, as the Asian partners not only have a completely different level of understanding with Russia, but also give our country much more opportunities - do not impose sanctions, are ready to invest, have a similar foreign policy position . Finally, the economies of these countries are growing and overtaking Europe.