The research is aimed at filling in this gap. We analyze the development of Siberia and the Russian Far East in the context of Asia-Pacific regional development. The objective of the project is to outline the most promising directions for Russian Eastern territories’ integration into Asia-Pacific and to reveal the opportunities that such integration would bring to the country. The main academic contribution of this research is that it provides the methodology to assess the potential for international cooperation to develop Siberia and the Russian Far East. As opposed to studies that are conducted in foreign countries, this research concentrates on Russia’s global and regional interests in multi-dimensional international cooperation for developing the area in question.
The subject of the research is the potential for international cooperation to develop Siberia and the Russian Far East. Currently, given that the Asia-Pacific region is developing fast, it is extremely important to protect and promote Russian interests here. That is impossible unless the economic situation in Russian Eastern regions improves. Siberia and the Russian Far East’s potential is currently underestimated and is not used to its full capacity. At the same time these territories can become a platform for economic growth and for building and strengthening ties within the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
The aim of the project is to work out a theory that will contain possible ways of cooperation between Siberia and the Russian Far East with foreign countries. This theory can also be viewed as a case-study and may be later extrapolated onto other regions.
Methods of the research and Information basis
The methodology of the project is based on a system approach and system theory. This kind of analysis takes into consideration both external and internal factors. International relations are described as a number of participants – actors and independent variables – factors. According to this approach the aim of the project is to characterize the interactions between actors and factors of international relations that are connected with the development of Siberia and the Russian Far East. The research is interdisciplinary and combines the methods of both political science and economics. Among the key methods are the following: economic forecast, making scenarios, SWOT-analysis.
The information basis of the research is composed of different kinds of academic literature, statistics databases of international organizations (OECD, FAO, IMF, World Bank, etc.) as well as interviews with Russian and foreign experts who specialize in Asia-Russian relations and the issues of economic development in Siberia and the Russian Far East.
Results of the researchAll the aims that were settled for the year 2013 have been achieved: during the research we have defined ways to integrate Russia’s Eastern territories into international regional cooperation. The major theoretical outcomes have been presented at Russian and international academic conferences. They have also been reflected in a resulting report, 2 academic and analytical reports and in the preprint “Virtual water of Russian Far East for Asia-Pacific: Local Efficiency vs Regional Sustainability”.