Saturday, November 5, 2016
What Is Russia's Strategy In The South China Sea?
Anton Tsvetov, CSIS: Russia’s Tactics and Strategy in the South China Sea
Russia’s involvement in the South China Sea has historically been marginal. Since withdrawal from Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam in the early 2000s, Russian military presence has been scarce, though the navy still makes port calls regularly. Russian leaders have not expressed much interest in the ongoing sovereignty disputes, mostly because Russian interest in regional affairs has been relatively weak and limited to maintaining bilateral relations with Northeast Asian states and Vietnam.
Generally, Moscow has taken an explicitly neutral stance on the maritime disputes, usually issued by the foreign minister or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesperson. They have repeatedly stated that Russia does not take any sides on sovereignty issues, supports a diplomatic solution, non-use of force, adherence to international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2002 Declaration on Conduct, and calls for an early conclusion of negotiations over a binding code of conduct.
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WNU Editor: If push came to shove and Russia had to make a choice .... it will be China on who they will side with. But if it has to come to that, it would then mean that there is a major war in Southeast Asia, and China is in a precarious situation that is forcing it to put pressure on its allies (like Russia)to come to its diplomatic assistance.