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HomeDiplomacyHow is Southeast Asia’s Balancing Strategy on Ukraine Faring? – The Diplomat

How is Southeast Asia’s Balancing Strategy on Ukraine Faring? – The Diplomat

Ukrainian military personnel carry bags containing the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers. In the center, one of them (right) carries the remains of Russian soldiers in a recaptured area near the border with Russia in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine. September 17th. 2022.

Credit: AP Photo/Leo Correa

Ties between Russia and Southeast Asia have deepened since Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine in February important NoteThis is because, first of all, Russia is a major arms supplierSecondly, some member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in particular Philippinesis a traditional ally of the United States and has deepened its ties with Russia in recent years. Third, tie Tensions between Southeast Asia and Russia could have a significant impact on the course of international sanctions campaigns and, ultimately, war.

Southeast Asia is notorious for its attempts to balance the great powers. However, no systematic research has yet been conducted into how these countries implement their strategies between the West and Russia. many Have It merely noted Bloc’s weak denunciation of Russian aggression and reluctance to call it an aggressor. In addition to these joint statements from ASEAN, the article argues that Southeast Asia has so far adopted three different policy tools of hers to maintain neutrality.

First, multilaterally, Southeast Asian countries first joined Western countries in denouncing Russia, but then gradually softened their stance on Russia.The UNGA has proposed three resolutions on Russia. and voted. A majority of Southeast Asian countries voted in favor of the first resolution condemning the Russian aggression and the second resolution dealing with the humanitarian consequences of the aggression, while no country voted against it. Only two countries supported a third resolution suspending Russia’s membership in the Human Rights Council. Even Singapore, the only Southeast Asian country to impose sanctions on Russia, abstained, along with her five other ASEAN member states. Laos and Vietnam voted against.

On the one hand, the change in votes shows that Southeast Asian countries are in line with the West, rule base Uphold the world order and respect each other’s territories and sovereignty. On the one hand, they also comprehensiveness Rejection of Russia’s isolation by the multilateral system and Southeast Asian nations.

Second, on a bilateral basis, Southeast Asian countries have maintained close diplomatic and economic ties with Russia. Meanwhile, they have avoided direct military interaction with the country.For example, the Philippines Cancel A contract to purchase 16 Russian military helicopters under actual or anticipated US pressure.Nevertheless, Manila still trying Secure cheaper fertilizers through government-to-government deals with Russia.

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Vietnam is one of the largest buyers of Russian arms in the region and has been reluctant to continue military ties with Russia since the start of the war. It was ambiguous as to whether joint military exercises It will be held with Russia later this year, Decrease Purchase of military equipment from Russia. Vietnam is militarily distancing itself from Russia, but has strengthened diplomatic and economic ties with the country.For example, Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia I will visit the country in July.Also, in cooperation with Russia Promote trade and investment.

Russia reported that Laos is willing to participate in joint tank division training this year, but did not set a date. Additionally, Laos has not publicly addressed the proposed training. This is a clear indication that Laos are trying to downplay their training. Avoiding military liaisons with Russia, Lao government Reaching out to Russia for cheap oil.

Third, some Southeast Asian countries are trying to mediate between Ukraine/Western countries and Russia. In June, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, visitGermany, Ukraine, Russia. By visiting these countries, Jokowi urged them to start a dialogue and stop the war. IndonesiaAs this year’s G20 presidency, I invited the leaders of Russia, the United States, and Ukraine to the G20 summit in November and advocated face-to-face meetings between the relevant parties. CambodiaAs this year’s ASEAN chair, he also called for an end to the war as he held a series of ASEAN meetings with US and Russian leaders.

Southeast Asia is not on either side of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Even Singapore, the only her ASEAN member state to impose sanctions on Russia, has not directly chosen which side to take. Singapore’s decision to impose sanctions rather than co-operate with Western powers demonstrate Ability to conduct an independent foreign policy and defend national interests in international conflicts. Moreover, Southeast Asia has successfully established neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian war through her three main methods mentioned above. EU, America When Russia Since the outbreak of conflict, it has sought to strengthen its ties with the region.

The war is now in its seventh month, and it is unlikely that the fighting will end in the near future. increase. Meanwhile, Russia has imposed a growing number of retaliatory sanctions against the West, especially the United States. As the battle between the West/Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, there is less room for Southeast Asian nations to strike a balance between the two blocs. , this is also an opportunity to test the effectiveness of their long-established equilibrium strategy.

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