The policy shift is based on economic opportunities offered by Asian partners, Boris Titov says © Getty Images / Buena Vista Images

Russia is steadily reorienting trade and business cooperation toward Asia and away from the “static” West, Presidential Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Titov stated that while the process initially started as a political response to Western sanctions against Moscow, it has since evolved and is now based entirely on economics.

“Until recently, the process of Russia’s turn to the East was largely due to political reasons, but today everything has changed dramatically… Now we can say with certainty that this turn is irreversible, and it is based not on political, but primarily economic reasons,” the ombudsman said.

Titov claimed that while the Western economy is well-developed, it is already “too heavily invested and sluggish.”

“In the East, on the other hand, everything is booming, moving forward rapidly, developing rapidly. And this applies not only to China, India, and Indonesia, but also to many other countries. They are the center of development today, not Europe, our main consumers of energy are there, finally,” the Russian official added.

According to Titov, Russian entrepreneurs have already realized that doing business in the East is more lucrative.

“Even if we imagine that we will once again be friends with the West, that they will lift their sanctions, our businesses will not return to the West… It is much more interesting to enter the developing markets of the East and grow together than to remain static in the West,” Titov concluded.

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Russia has steadily developed ties with countries in the Global East and South in recent years, although the process has greatly accelerated due to the conflict in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions against Moscow.

In recent months, Russia has become the top supplier of oil to both China and India, as well as the largest European exporter to China overall.According to a recent survey by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), 67% of Russians approve of the eastward pivot, with only 11% against it.

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