Russia sees itself and wants to be seen as a great Asian power playing a major role in East Asian security. The main and perhaps only instrument for this is its energy resources which it hopes to convert into a means for economic and infrastructural development as well as defense reconstruction in the Far East. However, it is not keeping pace either in energy shipments to Asia or in internal reconstruction and is failing to redress its strategic economic problems. Neither is it fully able to cope with the challenges of hostility to America and the problems posed by Korean proliferation and a rising China's economic and military capabilities. Although it may be flush with energy money today, these shortcomings and intractable problems do not augur well for Russia realizing its ambitions.