22:04 GMT27 October 2020
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    The Fifth Eastern Economic Forum took place in Vladivostok on 4-6 September. Andrey Bystritsky, Chairman of the Valdai Club Support and Development Foundation, shared his impressions of this year’s forum and reflected on whether Russia’s cooperation reinforcement policy with Asian countries has paid off.

    Sputnik: What are your impressions of this year’s Eastern Economic Forum? What are the main developments so far?

    Andrey Bystritsky: First of all, I think that this fifth Eastern Economic forum is, first of all, the symbol of the serious success of Russia in this region. Of course, there’re a lot of problems now, we see it. There are a lot of problems in communication with neighbours, there are some technical problems, but generally, Russia moves very fast. And now we can see new political, social and, perhaps, economical configuration in this region. I mean, there are very specific relationships between Russia, India, China, Japan and other Southeast Asian countries, it’s the most important. It’s pretty symbolic that tomorrow the Russian President will meet Modi and Abe because, perhaps, we can see the process of looking for a new balance in this region, economic, political, social and so on. It’s very interesting and very perspective.

    Sputnik: This turn towards the East has been announced quite a while ago after the sanctions were imposed, and Russia was developing new partnerships here. Has it paid off already? I mean, we see the Eastern leaders here, India, Japan, China and other countries, but has this new strategy paid off already?

    Andrey Bystritsky: Yes. Nearly fifty years ago, a little bit less, G7 was established. In the early 1970-s, the G7 economy was equal to more than 40% of the world GDP. But this region produces more than 40% of global domestic products. It means that this region, actually, is bigger and more powerful than G7 in the economic sense. That’s what’s the most important if you ask me whether this has paid off.

     *Views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Japan, China, India, Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin, Eastern Economic Forum, Russia
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