JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia draws closer to Southeast Asia with arms and energy trade; Putin to attend regional summit to build on economic and political cooperation” – Nikkei Asian Review (Japan)/JUN SUZUKI, TOMOYO OGAWA

File Image of ASEAN Logo, adapted from image at ustr.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“… Putin will for the first time attend the East Asia Summit, to be held in Singapore …. Putin aims to boost arms and energy trade with the region … [and is] seeking new partners to help offset the pressure of Western sanctions over its annexation of Crimea. … Putin will … attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders’ summit … [and] have bilateral meetings with the leaders of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Russia has participated in the EAS since 2011, but the country has previously sent … Medvedev and … Lavrov. … Putin will again call for cooperation between the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, core members of which are Russia and China, and ASEAN. …  President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ strongman leader has called Putin ‘my favorite hero.’ And to the authoritarian regimes of countries such as Cambodia, Russia appears a more attractive partner than the U.S. or European countries that stress the importance of human rights and democracy.”

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