Russia makes geopolitical pivot to Asia

File photo: Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, India's PM Narendra Modi, centre and China's President Xi Jinping pose for a picture during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019.

Deutsche Welle :
Vladimir Putin has cemented his place in Russian history, with a controversial re-election victory securing him a fifth term as the country’s president. With opposition non-existent and the media completely under his control, the 71-year-old’s win was no surprise.
Putin begins this next term at the helm facing huge challenges triggered by his 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which has made relations with the West increasingly belligerent.
As the war continues, Russia’s break with the West seems unbridgeable. A new Putin term is likely to see increased emphasis on Moscow’s ties with Eastern powers, experts have observed.
“As long as the war continues, and even if Ukraine is defeated, I don’t think attitudes in the West will change. It is not like, ‘OK, now the war is over and we have to restore our ties’ with Russia,” Rajan Menon, an expert on Russia and Putin at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told DW.
Menon said the badly poisoned state of current Russian-Western relations leaves Putin with only one option: turn to India and China.
Earlier this year, Putin held a call with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the two leaders wishing each other good luck in upcoming elections. India’s general election is expected to take place in April and May.
According to the Kremlin, the two “expressed interest in further intensifying mutually beneficial bilateral ties.”
Simultaneously, Putin and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have also forged stronger ties in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. One example: when the West applied sanctions in response, Russia redirected its European oil exports and sent half of its oil and petroleum exports to China instead.