Russia's pivot to the East looks set to become even sharper, with its relationship with China deepening, following the fallout from sanctions imposed by the West.
The first big gesture in this renewed closeness came in May 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced a $400 billion gas supply deal.
Since then, a number of important deals have further cemented their relationship for decades to come. The move closer – and as a consequence less reliant on trade with the U.S. and Europe – has raised fears for the West's economic fortunes.
"Our vision of a trans-Eurasian belt of development completely coincides now with the Chinese idea for a new Silk Road," Vladimir Yakunin, president at Russian Railways and one of the Russian businessmen on the Western sanctions list, told CNBC at this year's St Petersburg Economic Forum (Spief) in Russia.