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Foundations and Future Prospects

Victor Sumsky, Mark Hong and Amy Lugg

Publication Year: 2012

In 2012, Russia assumes the Chairmanship of APEC, and is keen to build on its memberships of both the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Russia is geographically and historically part of Asia and the Asia Pacific, and has been a dialogue partner of ASEAN since 1996. Still, the obstacles of distance and languages have led ASEAN member states and Russia to know and interact little between both sides. As growth poles in the world economy, there is much benefit in greater interaction between their rich economies. To commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership in 2011, the ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS and its counterpart from MGIMO-University, Moscow co-organized a two-day conference that year, in which papers were presented offering perspectives from Russia and the ten ASEAN member states. Representatives from academia, and the public and private sectors offered insights on topics including geopolitics, bilateral relations, business and economics, and culture and education. This is a timely book that affords the reader insights into where ASEAN-Russia relations currently stand and suggests how they can improve and move forward.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ix-x

This volume is the third in the series of ASEAN-Russia relations books published by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and its counterpart Russian institute, formerly with IMEMO and now with MGIMO. We warmly welcome our new Russian partner, with which we organized...

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pp. xi-xii

This project — both the book and the conference that preceded it — is dedicated to the 15th Anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership celebrated in 2011. In moments like these, it is natural to dwell on the past, to register what is happening at present and to look into the future. The title...

About the Contributors

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pp. xiii-xxviii

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Keynote Address

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pp. xxix-xxxv

I wish to thank the co-organizers, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and the MGIMO (Moscow) for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to take part in this important interactive conference on “ASEAN-Russia: Foundations and Prospects of a 15-Year-Old Dialogue”. It...

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Opening Remarks

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pp. xxxvii-xl

Previous discussions summarized what we managed to achieve in terms of political, strategic and functional cooperation during the fifteen years of our dialogue partnership. We have to our common credit two summits, numerous joint declarations and statements, and a solid legal framework...

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Keynote Address

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pp. xli-xlix

Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries do not have a habit of looking at each other as natural partners. Honestly, only a few of my compatriots, mostly advanced students of international relations, would be able to name the ten ASEAN member states. Looking...

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Introduction. Russia and the ASEAN Member States: Political and Economic Cooperation in Progress

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pp. li-lx

This paper examines Russia’s engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states. The paper will start with a background account of Russia’s pro-Western foreign policy during the 1990s. This is to enable readers to understand the evolution of...

Section I: Wisemen's Views

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From Energy Partnership to Comprehensive Security in the Asia Pacific

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pp. 3-7

Energy security issues have been continuously raised at various Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forums and East Asia Summits (EAS). Energy serves as a strategic topic in the Russia-ASEAN dialogues as well. The reasons are obvious and clear. The struggle for energy resources has become...

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The Rise of Asia and Russia's Options

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pp. 8-21

A notable feature — conspicuous by its absence — is the lack of perception of Russia threatening regional peace and stability. Previously, during the Cold War, the Asia-Pacific region was divided between the two camps, and members of one side would perceive the other great power as a security...

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ASEAN Regionalism and the Future of ASEAN-Russia Relations

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pp. 22-30

This chapter gives a regional perspective on the prospects of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) relations with Russia. It looks at how the accomplishments of ASEAN and its central role in broader regional arrangements present new opportunities for the future of ASEAN-Russia...

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Thoughts on Asian Community Building

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pp. 31-36

By now, there is a general global consensus that the world today is in a transitional period of strategic uncertainty. The post-World War II international order is ebbing away. This is not so surprising, since it has been around a long time, and even the post-War baby boomers have begun...

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Welcoming Russia's Participation

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pp. 37-42

Russia, after all, is an Asia-Pacific power that is not a newcomer to the region. Since about the mid-twentieth century, with the rise of anticolonial nationalism that resulted in the emergence of new Asian states e.g. the Republic of Indonesia, this paralleled with the heightening adversity...

Section II: Geopolitics

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Russia in Southeast Asia: A New "Asian Moment"?

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pp. 45-57

Russia’s role as a power in Asia has seen different iterations over time. Stretching geographically across the north of Eurasia, Russia has always been caught between the influences of East and West, with its own identity and relationships straddling both spheres. Its interactions with East and West...

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ASEAN-Russia Military Ties: Reconfiguring Relations

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pp. 58-69

There was some confusion following the launch, punctuated by discussion. A Soviet escort officer eventually turned to the group of assembled observers, which included a scattering of media, to state that a second missile would be fired. “The Japanese television crew missed the shot”, he explained in English...

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The Enlargement of the East Asia Summit: The Reasons and Implications of Bringing Russia In

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pp. 70-79

During the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Summits in Hanoi in October 2010, the Russian Federation was officially invited to accede to the East Asia Summit (EAS). A similar invitation was extended then and there to the United States. Addressing the EAS leaders on that occasion...

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Russia's Entry into ASEM: Not Just a Courtesy Call?

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pp. 80-89

The global financial crisis has highlighted significant imbalances in the modern developmental pattern of many states. It has become a test for the global political and economic system, for the old and new regional centres of power. In this context, many countries have started to look around...

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Russia-India-China: Acting in Concert in Southeast Asia?

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pp. 90-96

The concept of a Russia-India-China (RIC) “strategic triangle” as an arrangement that may add stability and credibility to the post-Cold War system of international relations has quite a few supporters among Russian academics. Looking at the origins of the idea, some point to the works of...

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The South China Sea Issue: A View from Russia

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pp. 97-109

Attempts to mitigate the conflict potential of the multilateral territorial dispute in the South China Sea area have been quite numerous, varying in purpose, scale and character. The assessments of their results range from deeply pessimistic to cautiously optimistic, with some of the criticism generated, as...

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Southeast Asia and Russia: Forging a New Regional Architecture

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pp. 110-123

Global political changes and regional geopolitical accommodations have had a profound impact on Southeast Asia-Russia relations. The various states of Southeast Asia have had different experiences in their relationship with Russia, especially under the Soviet Union; there was an...

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Russia-ASEAN Relations: An Indian Perspective

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pp. 124-133

The twenty-first-century economic order is driven by globalization, which has had a profound impact on every country of the world, be it landlocked, coastal or adjoining the polar regions, resulting in greater access to global markets. Most countries are experiencing high growth rates largely driven...

SECTION III: Bilateral Relations

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What Singapore May Offer to Russia? The Present State and the Prospects of Relations

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pp. 137-149

Singapore is important to any study of governance now, in Asia and the West, partly because it does some things very well — such as in education — and because there is an emerging theory about a superior Asian model of government, which is simplified in four parts...

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Myanmar-Russia Relations in a Changing World: Growing Ties based on Strategic Partnership and Economic Prospects

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pp. 150-155

Myanmar and Russia are separated by oceans and continents. Notwithstanding the geographic distance, the two countries have developed close relations based on mutual understanding, economic opportunity and strategic considerations. From the time they established diplomatic relations on...

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Russian-Myanmar Relations

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pp. 156-159

Bilateral relations between Russia and Myanmar have more than sixty years of history. These have been positive relations. Russians never came to Myanmar as conquerors and never had any conflicts or controversies with Myanmar. For the last twenty years, Russia, along with the Association of Southeast...

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Russia-Thailand Relations: Historical Background and Contemporary Developments

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pp. 160-172

One can generally say that Russia and Thailand have friendly relations based on mutual respect. Despite the geographical remoteness, both states have a long tradition of interaction. It is a well known fact that amicable relations between Emperor Nicholas II and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) helped...

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Russia and Vietnam: Building a Strategic Partnership

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pp. 173-183

The reasons behind the dramatic decline in relations between Moscow and Hanoi in the late 1980s and early 1990s are too well known to describe them here in any detail. Even before the fall of the Soviet Union, the donor-recipient relationship that existed earlier between the two socialist states was...

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Malaysia-Russia Relations: Revving Up a Distant Relationship

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pp. 184-195

The fluidity and changing character of international relations in Southeast Asia in the early 2010s is now axiomatic. American influence continues but its “hegemonic” presence is declining. This has been balanced by China’s rising role, and the presence of other Asian powers like Japan and India. What about...

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Cambodia and the USSR/Russia: Fifty-five Years of Relations

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pp. 196-204

Like so many other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Cambodia used to be a colony of a West European power, namely France. After gaining independence, all these new nations would seek wide recognition and support for their sovereignty. Since the colonizers such as Spain, Portugal, Great...

Section IV: Business and Economics

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Russia and ASEAN-4: Potential and Realms of Cooperation

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pp. 207-218

While announcing its desire to integrate with the Asia-Pacific region in the first post-Soviet decade, Russia was in fact moving away from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia — the countries with which the USSR had very close and friendly relations. However, the decision to turn to Asia was hindered by an...

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Russia's Economic Relations with the APEC Region

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pp. 219-244

Since its inception, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum has been working to build a sense of a strong Asia-Pacific community, based on the following economic pillars: trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation and economic and technical cooperation. When...

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Russia Looks East: Modernization Plans and Cooperation with ASEAN

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pp. 245-253

In geographical, historical and cultural terms, Russia is intimately related not only to Europe, but also to Asia. Notwithstanding the underdevelopment of Russia’s Far East and the urgent need to boost its economy, the Russian Federation’s external economic policy was excessively Eurocentric, with...

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Indonesian and Russian Oilmen: Sharing Experiences and Learning from Each Other

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pp. 254-260

Since Russia is a top producer and exporter of hydrocarbons, it would be natural to dwell on what it might do in this capacity in Southeast Asia — specifically, in cooperation with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar, where oil and gas resources of this region are mostly...

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Towards a Roadmap for Russia-ASEAN Trade and Economic Cooperation

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pp. 261-268

In 2011 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Russia are commemorating the 15th anniversary of their Dialogue Partnership. Development of cooperation with ASEAN and its member states is one of the priorities of our policy in the Asia-Pacific region. Russia became...

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The Best Cities to Buy Into

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pp. 269-275

As the Russian economy is diversifying beyond oil and gas, investing in Singapore is the perfect diversification. The Singapore economy is based on services and on being the banking and tourism attraction of the region, the total opposite of the natural resources based Russian economy...

Section V: Culture and Education

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Credentials of Literature

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pp. 279-284

Thinking about the ways to improve Russia-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) connectivity beyond the present situation, especially in the field of culture, I cannot resist a reference to a remarkable Southeast Asian author whom I used to know personally. The point is to illustrate how really...

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A Sentimental Journey through ASEAN (in the Russian Way)

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pp. 285-289

As a professional painter, I strongly believe that my colleagues have something special to contribute to communication between the people. The language of a canvas and a drawing, a sculpture or an ornament needs no translation. Anybody who speaks it well is capable of sending messages which may be...

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Food for the Soul and the Stomach

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pp. 290-295

Geography may be to blame as the huge distance between Russia and Singapore conditioned the absence of long political and trade connections. Another culprit is mass media. While Western publications offered a rather slanted and biased vision of Russia to most of the world, their...

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No Books about Singapore in Russian? Give me a Break! (An Editor’s Note)

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pp. 296-301

What I cannot swallow with equal delight is Julia’s rather sweeping statement on the lack of books about Singapore in Russian. Any Russian who is curious about Singapore’s geography or history, past or present, political trends or economic achievements, will find enough things to read in his...

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National University of Singapore (NUS)-Russia: State of Collaboration

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pp. 302-312

This paper elaborates on the state of collaborations between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Russian institutions, following a similar presentation made at the “ASEAN-Russia Conference: Foundations and Future Prospects” organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies...

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Soft Power: A Comparison between Britain, France and Russia

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pp. 313-321

The concept of “soft power” as defined by leading academic and international relations expert Joseph Nye Jr in 1990 referred specifically to “the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion”. According to a recent research proposal from Chatham House in the United Kingdom, “The...


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Russia's Search for an Enhanced Role in Southeast Asia

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pp. 325-344

This epilogue examines how Russia perceives Southeast Asia and the potential roles it has tried to play in the sub-region. Russia aspires to become a more significant player in the sub-region as well as in the wider Asia-Pacific region as befits its great power aspirations. This was especially the case under...

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Russia's Asian Strategy

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pp. 345-355

For some Russians, economic movement towards Asia spells deviation from the European way of development and closer relations with Europe. For the past four years or so, in all sorts of analytical reports and speeches I have been criticizing Russian policy in Asia for the lack of initiative in linking...


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pp. 356-376

E-ISBN-13: 9789814379588
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814379571

Page Count: 376
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1