V. Larin, Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of Far Eastern People, Eastern Branch of RAS, 89, Pushkinskaya Str., Vladivostok, 890950 Russian Federation (email@example.com)
The article aims to put forward new approaches to encouraging the development of Russia's Eastern regions. Firstly, the author describes Pacific Russia as a specific social and economic territory. He insists that in its strategic planning the government has to take into account not only the region’s vast territory and unfavorable climate, but its economic and social orientation towards Asia-Pacific region. Secondly, the author analyzes underlying causes of previous failures to speed up Pacific Russia’s development. Two factors have stimulated policy towards Russia Pacific: the desire to strengthen Moscow’s control over this region and to ensure Russia presence in the APR. Infrastructure improvement, increase of local population, and a stronger binding of this region to European center were the three main pillars of this policy. Traditional instruments such as administrative and political resources and program-oriented planning have been used. The Kremlin actions to implement its goals have yielded some positive results, especially in the field of Russia’s advance into the Asia-Pacific and its trade with Northeast Asian countries. However, the efficiency of politico-administrative and intellectual efforts was extremely low, and the purpose to make the Far East a Russia’s steady foothold in the Asia Pacific region has not been achieved. Finally, the author claims that from the standpoint of Russia's national interests the development of Pacific Russia region is preferably a strategic rather than an economic project. If Moscow really intends to convert this chronically problematic region into a successful one it has to give up to perceive the region as an appendage of European motherland and to rethink the ideology of its development. Author calls to abandon the idea of socio-economic development of the whole territory of the Far East and to prefer a “zonal development model” with the stress on strategic goals, individual policies for each zone and anthropocentric approach to regional development. Zonal development is based on the recognition of unique functions performed by different territories of Pacific Russia, so these areas should become the subjects of a differentiated policy. Anthropocentric approach means preferential federal investment into human capital, as well as special attention to the local people interests and potential as the resources of Russian policy in the APR.
Pacific Russia, Asia-Pacific region, strategic planning, development, integration
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