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We aim to address the question of how Russia understands the Indo-Pacific security concept and what interests are driving Moscow’s regional approach.


The rise of the Indo-Pacific as a distinct security space presents a challenge to vital elements of Russia’s effort to position itself as a great power and to balance the West, notably through a close Sino-Russian bilateral relationship.

This project examines Russia’s evolving engagement on a regional basis, highlighting the dynamic and multi-relational framework that Russia must increasingly navigate as the Indo-Pacific region emerges. To achieve this aim, the project will analyse the debate in Russia on the shifting security dynamics of the Indo-Pacific, map Russia’s evolving policies and how it is seeking to develop its bilateral relations and regional engagement in response to the coalescence of the Indo-Pacific as a security region and highlight the implications for the future of Russia's foreign and security policies.


Dr Neil Melvin, Director, International Security Studies

Dr Maryna Vorotnyuk, Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia

Aaditya Dave, Research Analyst, India and South Asia

Veerle Nouwens, Senior Research Fellow, China and Asia-Pacific

Jeremy Wimble, Senior Project Officer

Aims and Objectives

This project will aim to address the following questions:

  • How does Russia understand the Indo-Pacific security concept and what interests and actors are driving Moscow’s regional approach? Will Russia continue to oppose the concept or seek to engage with some of its elements (as advocated, for example, by India)?

  • How will Russia seek to advance its continental, land-focused concept of Greater Eurasia in response to the rise of the maritime and littoral focused concept of the Indo-Pacific?
  • How will Russia seek to leverage and adapt its regional presence and influence in the Indo-Pacific region, notably on the basis of its positions of strength in the entry sub-regions of North East-Asia (Russia Far East) and East Mediterranean/Red Sea and through its regional partnerships?
  • How will Russia aim to balance it cooperation with its partners in the Indo-Pacific, notably India and China? Will Russia seek to compete or cooperate, or a combination of the two, with the United States and its key regional allies (Japan, Australia) in the Indo-Pacific?
  • How will the evolution of the Indo-Pacific security space shape Russia’s wider approach to international security, in particular European security?

Project sponsor

This project is funded by the Russia Strategic Initiative
U.S. European Command, Stuttgart Germany

Opinions, arguments, viewpoints, and conclusions expressed in this work do not represent those of RSI, U.S. EUCOM, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


Dr Maryna Vorotnyuk
Dr Maryna Vorotnyuk
Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia