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Asia’s recovery buffeted by Russian war roar

All Asian leaders thought they knew about 2022 is smoldering alongside the wreckage wrought by Vladimir Putin’s artillery in Ukraine.

Take Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, which had already banked a growth rebound in the current quarter. The surge in energy prices related to Russia’s invasion has blown up Japan’s best-laid plans. It’s not where Kishida’s party hoped to be ahead of elections this coming summer.

Yet this head-turning dynamic is happening all across Asia. Hopes that inflation would taper off and supply-chain disruptions would ease are being dashed with each advance of Putin’s tanks.

Louis Gave at Gavekal Research speaks for many when he observes: “Until Vladimir Putin’s long, televised rant last Monday, my go-to line for the Ukraine crisis was that ‘Godot would show up in Kiev before any Russian troops.’ Clearly, that was a huge miss.”