Russia turns attention to the East

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Russia has been turning its attention to eastern Asia not because of its cooling ties with the West, but because of national interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

In his annual state of the union address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian leader denied any “opportunistic reasons” behind the change, saying the country’s current policy was determined by the country’s long-term national interests and global tendencies.

He praised the Russia-China partnership as one of the key factors for ensuring global and regional stability under the current difficult conditions, saying the two countries’ relations have served as an example of mutually beneficial interaction.

Moscow also attached importance to cooperation with India and hoped to improve ties with Japan, he added.

Commenting on future relations with the administration of US President-elect Donald Trump, Putin reiterated Moscow’s readiness to normalize ties with Washington, as both nations have “common responsibility to ensure international security and stability, and to strengthen nonproliferation regimes.”

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