By Invitation

Ukraine, the Kuriles and the end of Japan's courtship of Putin

Under Shinzo Abe, Japan had hoped to draw Russia from a close embrace of China. The Ukraine stand-off is a clarifying moment for Tokyo on the results of those efforts.

Russian navy vessels near the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea, on Feb 16, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
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No matter how the Ukraine crisis plays out in the coming days and weeks - a military attack by Russia or a temporary diplomatic reprieve - increased rivalry between the United States and Russia in Europe has important ramifications for Asian security.

Increasingly, America is likely to find itself overstretched as it is forced to respond to security crises in both the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions, especially if Russia and China strengthen their strategic partnership, as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to do earlier this month.

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