Russia’s “pivot to Asia” has come to the fore in the wake of the crisis over Ukraine. Growing tensions with the West over the common neighbourhood, coupled with economic sanctions, have accelerated this trend, with China gaining in strength as both an economic and military partner to Moscow. The Kremlin’s propaganda has sought to convince the broader public that Russia’s strategies in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Arctic region are a complement to China’s new Silk Road Economic Belt. Nonetheless, behind the headlines huge potential problems jeopardise the emergence of a durable Sino-Russian consensus in Eurasia. Against this backdrop, the EU should opt for “strategic patience.” This would be a far more effective policy choice than finger pointing, which only deepens the mutual ideological clash between the EU and Russia.
1. Russia turns eastward
2. Russia’s Eurasian trajectories: the Eurasian Economic Union, Central Asia and the Northern Sea Route
3. Sino-Russian rapprochement: a mere marriage of convenience?
4. Beyond the headlines: friends or frenemies?
5. An uneasy friendship
6. A lesson for Europe: strategic patience