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Facing crushing sanctions from the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow is scrambling for fallback options in the East. After all, the past two decades have seen Russia’s bilateral trade value with Asia almost matching its historically robust economic relations with Europe.

Largely shut off from the stock markets, tech sector and financial institutions of the West, Russia is pinning its hopes on revitalized ties with Asian partners. With close to half of Moscow’s financial assets frozen, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has hoped that “our partnership with China will still allow us to maintain the cooperation … where Western markets are closing.”

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