02:01 GMT +314 October 2019
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    The logo of the ASEAN-Russia Summit seen near the Sochi Congress Centre, the summit venue

    Down to Business: Sochi Summit Demonstrates Russia's Eastern Promise

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    The Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi is an example of the success of Russia's pivot to the East, which should worry the EU, Rainer Hartmann, of German energy firm Uniper Global Commodities SE, told Sputnik.

    The Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi demonstrates the success of Russia's pivot to the east, Rainer Hartmann, director of the Moscow branch of German energy firm Uniper Global Commodities SE, told Sputnik.

    "When Russia began forming the Eurasian Economic Union, Brussels didn't take it seriously as a competitor, but what is happening now is irreversible," said Hartmann, who was the only participant not from Russia or the ten-member Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    "Of course, Russia will not leave Europe completely, but the summit shows a new dynamic, a new energy, new ideas and initiatives for cooperation."

    "Both sides (at the summit) believe that these prospects are possible to achieve, and that belief gives that energy to the whole meeting."

    Hartmann warned that Europe's own prospects stand to suffer from a complacent belief that after the lifting of EU- and US- imposed sanctions, the relationship between Russia and its Western partners will return to business as usual.

    "I am worried by how unperturbed the EU is by what is happening, in the complete belief that Russia will return. Yes, but, a reorientation is happening. That should become a signal to action for the EU. The ASEAN is breaking down barriers, and the EU and US are creating barriers with sanctions."

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    Summit, East Asia, Sochi, Russia
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