A couple of days ago, Russia played host to the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting for the first time. Vladivostok, a border city in the Far East which has been ignored for long, serves as the “window to Asia” of Russia when the country tries to seize the opportunity of this meeting to integrate into Asia. Vladimir Putin said that integration into Asia guarantees Russia’s success in the future.
Although 70 percent of the Russian territory is in Asia, Russian people have always been under the influence of Eurocentrism. Currently, European countries are deeply trapped in the euro crisis and decline in their demand for oil and gas leads to economic downturn in Russia while Asia is growing into the most dynamic region of economic growth in the world. Putin vows to revive Russia and thus integration into Asia becomes "a guarantee for the future success". The APEC meeting is a precious opportunity for Russia.
Geopolitics is also a reason for Russia's eastward movement strategy. Since 2009, the United States has shifted its strategic focus back to the Asia-Pacific Region and strengthened ties with its military allies, which poses a potential threat to Russia's interests in the Far East and the whole Asia-Pacific Region. The United States boosts Japan's morale in dealing with islands disputes between Russia and Japan, which brings challenges to Russia's practical control over the islands.
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