Russia has been struggling to develop a relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and to be included in Asia-Pacific regionalism. The rebirth of Russia after the demise of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought with it a repudiation of superpower ambitions and outlying areas such as Southeast Asia dropped in terms of priorities. It was only after Putin emerged as president in April 2000 that Russia's interest in Southeast Asia rekindled, and there were two reasons for this. The first was the recognition of the importance of Asia-Pacific regionalism for Russia's development and that the economic development of Siberia and the Russian Far East required closer integration with Asian regional institutions. Under Putin, Russia moved to forge closer ties with ASEAN and to stake a claim in an emerging East Asian regionalism, a claim that was supported by Malaysia. Moreover, Putin became Russia's major arms salesman and sought to expand arms sales with ASEAN actors: Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. When the East Asian Summit (EAS) was held in Kuala Lumpur in December 2005 Russia was poised to assume a new role in Southeast Asia.


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pp. 276-296
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