Country Reports

The summer in Russia saw claims of optimism about Sino-Russian relations without much substance and amid some talk of having to move beyond megaprojects, which appear no longer promising. In the background were growing concerns about how well the EEU and China fit together or instead become a conduit for bypassing the customs agents in Russia. There was scant sign of any other path for the “turn to the East.” Japan ties stumbled. South Korean overtures made little headway, given Russia’s position on North Korea, placing increasing blame on the United States. The Russian Far East was also left in the shadow of North Korea, as seen in the September Eastern Economic Forum, which no longer had the buzz of a year before despite the return of Abe as promised as well as Moon Jae-in’s first visit to Putin, trying to be upbeat.

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