Category Archives: Far East, Siberia, APEC

NEWSWATCH Carnegie Moscow: From Greater Europe to Greater Asia? The Sino-Russian Entente

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Carnegie Moscow’s Dmitri Trenin considers shifting relations between Russia and China amidst tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.  He argues that, regardless of how close Russia gets with China, a rupture between Russia and the West could mean Russia is more energetic at seeking stronger connections beyond the West generally, especially in Asia. The rupture between Russia and […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth

Map of Russian Far East and Environs, Including Kamchatka Peninsula; adapted from image at noaa.gov

When Vladislav Revenok, an Orthodox priest, first participated in the obscure Russian version of Alaska’s Iditarod, he found himself in places so isolated that he was mobbed by villagers demanding to be baptized. They told him he was the first priest to visit the outback of the already remote Kamchatka Peninsula in about 50 years.

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NEWSWATCH AP: American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia

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[“American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia” – AP – James Ellingsworth – Apr. 1, 2015] AP examines the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia, such as increased prices for some farmers, instability in international projects, and evolving energy relations between Russia and China. The impact of sanctions, and a Russian embargo, on agriculture is apparently mixed. Russia’s ‘counter-sanctions’ ban on food imports […]

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Two of Russia’s Greatest Misfortunes – Roads and Fools – Once Again Come Together

Map of North Polar Region with Real or Hypothetical Rail Lines Across Eurasia, Bering Strait, North America

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 24, 2015) Even though the Russian government currently repairs less than one percent of its horrific roads in many regions, Moscow has announced plans to build a superhighway and rail line extending across the Russian north to the Bering Straits and a tunnel to Alaska, a project in which enormous sums will […]

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Rethinking Eurasia’s future

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While an economic and political union between Russia and Europe is unlikely, it could serve the interests of both sides in an increasingly hostile world. (opendemocracy.net – Nicholas Ross Smith and Zbigniew Dumienski – March 17, 2015) Nicholas Ross Smith is a researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in the field of international relations. He has published extensively […]

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The rouble crisis in Siberia

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Fofanova – December 17, 2014) Anna Fofanova is a Tomsk-based editor and journalist. As the rouble collapses, residents of Tomsk have long memories – from Black Tuesday 1994 to Black Tuesday 2014. Tomsk is a provincial city in the best sense of the word. Indeed, as the largest centre for education and science on the other side […]

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Interfax: Medvedev: Russia is part of Europe but also eyeing Asia

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MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has disagreed with the opinion that Russia is not part of European civilization. “There is no doubt that Russia is part of Europe and European civilization and there is nothing to add here. I have always said so and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said so too,” Medvedev said in an […]

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The Battle for the Siberian harvest

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Georgy Borodyansky – November 28, 2014) Georgy Borodyansky is an Omsk-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save the harvest. But it won’t save them. President Putin’s special envoy to the Urals, recently praised the region’s farmers for their heroic efforts to save […]

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Interfax: Moscow says Silk Road route may go via Russia

China Map

BEIJING. Nov 10 (Interfax) – Some sections of the Silk Road route pass through Russia, according to Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriyev. “The route is being chosen, and Russia should hold a very active position in this respect. The Russian president said earlier today that we had plenty of infrastructural capacity for building a part of that route […]

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Interfax: Europeans may have ancestors in Siberia – Russian Academy of Sciences

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) A comparison of genomes of ancient Europeans and people living in contemporary countries has shown that a Siberian tribe is an ancestor of modern Europeans, said Olga Posukh, senior research fellow of the human molecular genetics laboratory of the Cytology and Genetics Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian branch. “A certain genetic component of […]

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Russia’s future lies with the East – deputy premier

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

(Interfax – Chelyabinsk, April 12, 2014) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Rogozin has said that Russia’s future lies with the East, not the West. “All our prospects lie not with the West but with the East. In the East, Russia borders on Japan, China, India is close by, the two Koreas, the entire southeast Asia. All the future history of […]

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RIA Novosti: Powers of Russia’s Far East Ministry Set for Expansion

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) – Greater powers are to be handed over to a government department overseeing affairs in Russia’s Far East within the coming month, a top official has said in an interview published Monday. The move is in line with government designs to boost the fortunes of a vast expanse of territory between Siberia and the Pacific […]

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Some Government Agencies Could Move East

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – February 6, 2014) The Cabinet is mulling further tax breaks for the Far East and moving some government agencies to the remote region in another bid to inject more vigor in the economically lagging area. In addition, two new state companies could emerge to plow 170 billion rubles ($4.8 billion) into preparing […]

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Ice Age Thrives In Southern Siberia

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Antoine Blua – January 30, 2014) If you ever wondered what the Ice Age looked like, then look no farther than Eurasia’s Altai-Sayan mountains, where thriving mammalian communities are frozen in time. Parts of the range along the Russia-Mongolian border have served as sanctuaries for Ice Age mammals since the last glacial period. While the sizes […]

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Construction of New Pipeline from North Siberia to China Kicks Off

China Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – December 18, 2013) Construction of a major pipeline kicked off Tuesday in an effort that will likely bring more oil from Siberia to China. Governor Lev Kuznetsov made a show at the starting ceremony in his Krasnoyarsk region, braving the rubber-bullet injury he suffered during a robbery of his southern French villa […]

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Has Siberia had enough of Russia?

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(opendemocracy.net – Aleksei Tarasov – November 21, 2013) Aleksei Tarasov is correspondent for Novaya gazeta based in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Golden Quill prize for his investigative work. With Siberia’s enormous natural resources being mercilessly exploited by Russia, and now China as well, Aleksei Tarasov wonders if the region might some day amount to more […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia: Shifting the Focus from Europe to Asia

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(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – November 18, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ the most authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments. Some crucial changes can pass almost unnoticed, as happened earlier this month, when it was decided to put off the EU-Russia summit from December to the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Korean Broadcasting System

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region, November 12, 2013) In the run-up to Vladimir Putin’s official visit to the Republic of Korea, the President gave an interview to South Korean television and radio company KBS. The interview was recorded on November 7. KYUSUN YEON: First of all, I would like to thank you for taking time for this interview out of […]

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Putin Heads East, Looking to Challenge U.S. Clout in Asia

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 12, 2013) Russia looks to outdo the U.S. in pivoting toward Asia, with two state visits scheduled this week to Vietnam and South Korea. When President Vladimir Putin was asked at last month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bali what he thought about U.S. President Barack Obama’s absence due to a […]

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Gazprom Completes First Solo Offshore Project

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – October 25, 2013) Gazprom has started to operate the first offshore field that it has developed on its own, in a test of its power to perform the challenging task without foreign partners. Sitting off the Pacific island of Sakhalin, the Kirinskoye field will feed natural gas to Asia, as demand from […]

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Focus on Asia-Pacific would improve investment climate in Far East – minister

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The investment appeal of Russia’s Far East has been seriously hampered by Soviet stereotypes of economic regionalism with a focus on the European part of Russia, when the focus should be on the Asia-Pacific region, Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka believes. “We’ve had to face a fairly large number of stereotypes in the formation […]

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Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal

North Korea Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ekaterina Shatalova and Nicholas Brautlecht – October 15, 2013) Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century. Russia last month completed the first land link that North Korea’s […]

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Putin: Obama’s decision not to attend APEC Bali summit justified, I would have done the same

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Interfax – BALI, October 7, 2013) The absence of U.S. President Barack Obama from the APEC Bali summit is quite understandable, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. He said he would have done the same. “We can see what is going on in U.S. domestic politics and this situation is not easy. I think the decision of the U.S. president not […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Press statement and [Putin] answers to journalists’ questions following the APEC summit

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

(Kremlin.ru – Bali, Indonesia – October 8, 2013) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I want to note that the APEC summit had good, practical outcomes. Let me recall once again that the Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 40 percent of the world’s population; it generates 56 percent of global GDP and accounts […]

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TRANSCRIPT (continued): [Putin at] meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript concluded)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) [Complete transcript here http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6007] VLADIMIR PUTIN: And one more question for our American friend and colleague. What will the United States do about the budget deficit, the debt that has reached an incredible size? It is the largest debt in the United States’ post-war history. How will the situation unfold moving forward? This […]

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New Far East Minister Named

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – temhoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – September 12, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday appointed business lobbyist Alexander Galushka as Far East Development Minister, completing the staff changes meant to spur investment in a region sitting next to major Asian powerhouses. A co-chairman of business association Delovaya Rossia, Galushka will work in tandem with Deputy Prime Minister Yury […]

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ANNOUNCEMENT: “The Ansan Forum” New Online Journal

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

From: “Gilbert F. Rozman” <grozman@Princeton.EDU> Subject: a new online journal Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 A new, online journal has been launched with substantial coverage of Russia in the context of international relations of the Asia-Pacific. To check it out, go to www.theasanforum.org In the first issue, there is a Special Forum, consisting of an Introduction and five articles under […]

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Russia dreams of creating an alternative to Suez

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ilya Dashkovsky, special to RBTH – August 26, 2013) Railways across Siberia and the Far East might become alternatives to the sea route. An ambitious program of railway expansion in Russia’s Far East opens up the prospect of creating rapid new trade routes between Asia and Europe. At least $17bn is to be […]

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Taken from Chita, Made in China

Map of Russia

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Loginov – August 24, 2013) Mikhail Loginov is a journalist and novelist based in St Petersburg. He is the author of the recently published bestselling political thriller “Battle for Kremlin”. Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake on the planet, is part of Russia’s DNA, and many romantic ballads sing of its size and beauty. Beyond the lake […]

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Russia Looks East, Yet Again

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Dan Wisniewski – August 6, 2013) Moscow’s efforts to develop its eastern regions over the last couple of centuries could be encapsulated in the rallying cry “Go east, young Russians!” But perhaps nowadays that might be rephrased as “Go east, young Uzbeks,” according to EurasiaNet’s Evgeny Kuzmin. Kuzmin notes that more and more Central Asian migrants […]

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EVENT: U.S.-Russia Relations and the Asia-Pacific [Washington, D.C. – July 26, 2013]

Map of Asia-Pacific Highlighting APEC Member States

Subject: Invitation: US-Russia Relations and the Asia-Pacific | Friday, July 26th, 10:00am From: IISS-US Events <IISS-USEvents@iiss.org> Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2013 The International Institute for Strategic Studies–US IISS-US Panel Discussion U.S.-Russia Relations and the Asia-Pacific Oleg Barabanov Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and Jeffrey Mankoff Deputy Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program Center for Strategic and […]

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Putin Angered by Lack of Far East Progress

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtime.com – Anatoly Medetsky – July 17, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday again said the Cabinet was slacking off. He blamed ministers for getting behind schedule in executing measures to develop the country’s Far East. “I’ll tell you what, dear friends, will you ever get to work or not? What is this?” Putin said, according to […]

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Putin Slams Far East Officials Over Slow Development

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, July 16, 2013) President Vladimir Putin criticized the federal government and local authorities Tuesday over their failure to ensure effective development of Russia’s Far East, Rossiya 24 TV Channel reported. “Are you going to work, or what?” he asked participants at a development meeting for the Sakhalin region, which he said has everything needed to become […]

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Trans-Siberian Railroad Getting New Lease on Life

Polar Map of Major Rail Lines in Russia, Canada and United States, With Hypothetical Additional Route Drawn In Connecting Them Across Bering Strait

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – July 5, 2013) David Bowie, Paulo Coelho and Alexander Solzhenitsyn are very different in life and in art, but they have one thing in common. They all traveled on the Trans-Siberian Railroad ­ the iron artery that has brought freight and passengers across the country since it was first completed in 1916. […]

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Business Climate Hindering Far East Investment

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – St. PETERSBURG­, June 21, 2013) The government’s initiative to attract 25 billion rubles ($781 million) of investment to the Far East by 2025 will fail if the business climate for private investors does not improve, businessmen and state officials said Thursday at a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum dedicated […]

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Rush for regions at St. Pete Economic Forum

Map of Russia

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – ST. PETERSBURG, June 21, 2013) Russia’s government was rushing in where investors feared to tread ­ and used the St. Petersburg Economic Forum as a rallying call for aggressive spending in the country’s regions. Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East have especially attracted attention in recent years in terms of the […]

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Putin’s Unfunded Mandates Costing Moscow Support East of the Urals

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 17, 2013) Siberia and the Russian Far East are supposed to come up with the money to pay for Vladimir Putin’s promise to develop those regions, an arrangement officials say that in the absence of new revenues they will not be able to do and that is undermining support for Moscow […]

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Russia Should Become Neither European nor Asian but American, Moscow Commentator Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 16, 2013) In thinking about Russia’s future, most of the country’s opposition figures remain trapped in the old debate about whether Russia is fundamentally European or really Asiatic, but, one Moscow commentator argues, it is time to recognize that “the successful Russia of the future” can and must be a country […]

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Far East Plan Approved by Cabinet, Despite Siluanov’s Opposition

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – March 22, 2013) The Cabinet on Thursday backed a plan to invigorate the economy of the Far East, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government would later this month formally ask the parliament to slash taxes for new business projects in the region. Plans to develop the remote and sparsely populated […]

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Chagrin and Ambivalence in Putin’s Foreign Policy

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 45 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel K. Baev – March 11, 2013) Entering the second year of his third presidency, President Vladimir Putin has shown uncharacteristically scant interest to foreign policy matters perhaps suspecting that Western “partners” are sponsoring Russia’s opposition movement and that neighboring post-Soviet leaders and even Chinese “friends” are […]

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Putin Pipeline to Send 25% of Russia’s Oil Exports East

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky – March 7, 2013) Russia is on course to send an unprecedented 25 percent of its crude exports to eastern markets by 2015 as rising demand from China and other Asian consumers attracts sales at the expense of Europe. The country sent 1.1 million barrels a day east in February, or 22 percent of […]

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Russia Will React If U.S.-EU Trade Deal Harms, Fund Says

EU Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Joseph de Weck – February 7, 2013) Russia may pivot to Asia should the proposed U.S.-European Union free-trade agreement hurt its businesses, said Kirill Dmitriev, the Chief Executive Officer of the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund. “Any attempt to use the liberal language of free trade to create something that excludes other countries and puts […]

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Far East development program to 2025 sent back for revisions – paper

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) – The government program for the Social and Economic Development of the Far East and Baikal Region for the Period to 2025, drafted by the Far East Development Ministry, was discussed at a meeting held by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, business daily Vedomosti reported on Wednesday. “The document was not officially submitted to the […]

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Kuril island may be named after Soviet diplomat Gromyko

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. Feb 11 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry’s office in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has suggested to the Sakhalin division of the Russian Geographic Society naming an unnamed Kuril island after Soviet diplomat Andrei Gromyko. The Sakhalin division backed the proposal and submitted it to the Moscow office of the Russian Geographic Society for approval, Vladimir Nosov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s representative […]

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Russia to soon present UN with scientific research on continental shelf

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) – Russia will soon present the UN with the results of its research on the extent of the continental shelf in the central Sea of Okhotsk, and later in the Arctic Ocean more than 200 miles from the shore, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said at a Thursday briefing. “Russia has long […]

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Jets Scramble on Japan’s Northern Territories Day

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 8, 2013) Japan scrambled four fighter jets to intercept two Russian fighters it said invaded Japanese airspace near Russia’s Kuril Islands for about 11 seconds on Thursday, as Japan celebrated a national day of commemoration calling for the disputed archipelago seized in World War II to return to the Japanese. Russia’s […]

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Why Russia is not losing Siberia

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(opendemocracy.net – Ben Judah – January 25, 2013) Ben Judah is the author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin to be published in May 2013 by Yale University Press. He is an associate fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. The Yellow Peril was a feature of life in Soviet times […]

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Plan for Far East Development Unveiled

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 16, 2013) Far East Development Minister Viktor Ishayev on Tuesday publicly reviewed the first draft of a program to pull the regional economy out of a slump. Presented to an assembly of officials, lawmakers and businesspeople at the Moscow office of the Sakha republic, the program immediately revealed a couple of […]

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Do U.S.-Russian Relations Have a Future in Northeast Asia?

Map of Asia

(Thomas Graham – Thomas Graham, a senior fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, was the senior director for Russia on the U.S. National Security Council staff 2004-2007.- A Russian version of this ran in Ekspert, Nov. 16, 2012 ttp://expert.ru/expert/2012/46/gde-iskat-buduschee/?n=87778) Does U.S.-Russian cooperation have a future?  After the initial warming trend of the first years of the […]

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NEWSLINK: Despite Moscow’s Promises, Russia’s Far East Remains ‘More Dead than Alive,’ Experts Say

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

[Despite Moscow’s Promises, Russia’s Far East Remains ‘More Dead than Alive,’ Experts Say – Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Nov. 30 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2012/11/window-on-eurasia-despite-moscows.html] Paul Goble writes, for Windows on Eurasia, about the state of Russian ambitions for development of the Russian Far East: Yesterday’s meeting of the Russian State Council devoted to the Russian Far East and the […]

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