Dr. Anna Kireeva


Relations between Russia, China and Japan fit into the logic of strategic triangle: each player recognizes its importance and Russia-centred relationship are affected by other bilateral relations.

Dr. Anna Kireeva will speak about the recalibration of the triangle since 2014, when Russia's relations with the West deteriorated due to the Ukrainian crisis and it began pivoting to Asia. Dr. Kireeva will focus on Russia's relations with China and Japan within the strategic triangle framework.
The period of 2014-2016 can be summarized as a shift to a 'marriage'between Russia and China. While Russia-Japan relations deteriorated due to the anti-Russian sanctions and slump in trade, China-Japan relations remained tense with strategic competition on the rise and the persistent conflict over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu islands. On the contrary, Russia-China relations in politics and security flourished, partly on the anti-US grounds. Japan's attempt to mend relations with Russia in 2016 was highly welcomed by its partner, as the results of Russia's Asian pivot acceleration in the previous years demonstrated a trend towards forming asymmetrical relations with China and a risk of overdependence upon it. With Russia-Japan relations significantly improving under the logic of hedging and balancing vis-à-vis China for Russia and Japan respectively, a 'romantic triangle' is being formed. As this type of triangle
depends on the efficiency of the policy by the pivot and satisfaction of the other two parties, it remains to be seen if Russia is able to realize a pivotal role it is striving to play. Russia-Japan rapprochement being fragile, it is still not clear if it leads to qualitatively improved relationship between the two. To the contrast, Russia-China relations remain solid with rapidly developing economic interaction. In
addition to that, external factors including China-Japan-U.S. strategic triangle as well as Russia's relations with the United States will also have important repercussions for the future configuration of this triangle.

Speaker's biography:

Dr. Anna Kireeva is Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and African Studies and Research Fellow at Center for Comprehensive Chinese Studies and Regional Projects of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. She holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in regional studies and international relations from MGIMO University. Dr. Anna Kireeva specializes on international relations in East Asia and focuses on the foreign policy strategies and policies of major powers in East Asia: U.S., China, Japan and Russia as well as India as an emerging power. Her resent research includes the topics of the transformation of the East Asian regional order, China's Belt and Road Initiative, the Maritime Silk Road in particular, the U.S. rebalance to Asia and post-pivot policy, Japan's foreign policy and national security policy transformation, the territorial disputes in the East China and South China Seas. Her focus recently has been on Russia's Asian pivot and Russia's relations with Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea and East Asia in general.

Her latest publications include "Russia's View on the International Security in Northeast Asia" in The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis (together with Dmitry Streltsov and Ilya Dyachkov) and Valdai Discussions Club Report "The Russia-Japanese Rapprochement: Opportunities and Limitations" (together with Andrey Sushentsov).