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James D.J. Brown: How Moscow's 'look east' policy can help Southeast Asia

Russian ties promise a counterweight against Chinese and US influence

Despite being cut short by a crisis in Mindanao, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Russia in late May highlighted warming ties between Moscow and some Southeast Asian countries. In total, 10 government-level deals were signed between Russia and the Philippines, including agreements on nuclear energy, agriculture and tourism, as well as commercial agreements worth close to $1 billion. An eye-catching defense pact was also sealed, opening the way for military exchanges and for the Philippines to procure Russian arms.

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