chapter  5
The Russian Far East in Russia’s Asia Policy: Dual Integration or Double Periphery?
ByNatasha Kuhrt
Pages 24

Far East has been seen as providing an opportunity for Russia to gain entry into

integrative processes in the Asia-Pacific region. However, this promising scenario is

overshadowed by the fact that the Russian Far East symbolises Russian vulnerability

in the shape of the long border with China, a border which, since its opening, has

highlighted Russian economic and security concerns. On the face of it the Russian Far

East presents a straightforward development issue: it appears as an underdeveloped,

isolated region with profound social and economic problems. Yet its role as a military

outpost and energy ‘cash-cow’ lends it a significance beyond the purely domestic,

appearing to make it a sui generis, unique, case. Its geographical location, next to

China, tends to be viewed as a further factor in its uniqueness.