Russia and its engagement with Southeast Asia

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited Russia for a five-day visit in October, his second since taking office. During his most recent visit, he addressed the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, highlighting the desire of his government to develop a comprehensive partnership with Russia while criticising the US for ‘exceptionalism and double standards.’ Since 2014, as relations with the West have deteriorated, Russia too has taken steps to increase its engagement with Asia.

This has included numerous steps including launch of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), signing of Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) trade agreements with Vietnam, China and Singapore as well as the successful campaign by Russia for expansion of SCO. The prospect for cooperation between SCO and ASEAN is being discussed and Moscow is focusing on furthering its concept of Greater Eurasia. Apart from multilateral forums, Russia has also sought to enhance bilateral engagement with states in East Asia.