Moscow’s proclaimed “pivot to Asia” has mainly materialized since 2014 through deeper ties with China, a renewed dialogue with Japan, and an expanding Russian interest in the Korean peninsula. Since then, the Kremlin has sought to demonstrate to the Euro-Atlantic community its ability to circumvent sanctions and assert its status as a Pacific power. Despite the numerous security challenges on the Asia-Pacific stage, the Russian Navy’s Pacific Ocean Fleet has been neglected by Moscow. Recently, neither the astonishing ascension of the Chinese Navy nor the quiet increase of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force have compelled Moscow to undertake the renewal of its naval capabilities in the Pacific.
A Nuclear Deterrent Under Pressure