Eurasian Regionalisms and Russia's Pivot to the East: The Role of ASEAN
Building ASEAN Identity on a Transnational Dimension, Chapter: 22, Publisher: United Nations University, Editors: Y. Kikuchi & V. Popovski, pp. 246-259, 2014
7 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 5, 2014
At the APEC summit in 2012 Russia announced a “new track” in economic diplomacy to accelerate its integration with Asia Pacific. Russia’s pivoting toward Asia proceeds in parallel to the creation of the Eurasian Union it wants to lead. Russia’s support of new regionalism in Eurasia and Asia Pacific is as much about identity as it is about political economy. For Russia, the Eurasian project is a way to return to the ranks of the world’s leading powers. Critics perceive these efforts as neo-hegemonist in nature. I disagree with such assessment.
Russia’s cooperation with ASEAN is called forth to support its foreign policy priorities, which dictate more active engagement with Asia Pacific. Partnership with ASEAN is necessary for economic, political, and strategic reasons. However, the ingrained culture of geopolitical posturing and a thin basis for economic cooperation stalls further development of the ASEAN-Russia ties. The paper ends with the discussion of identity-related factors that hamper cooperation. I argue that most of these factors stem from the trauma of postimperial adjustment, which breeds Russia’s preoccupation with sovereignty, securitization of foreign policy and the perception of regionalism as a power projection instrument.
Keywords: Eurasian regional integration, Russia, foreign policy, ASEAN
JEL Classification: F02, O19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation