The Soviet Far East with an area of over 6 million square kilometres is the largest planning region in the USSR. It, alone, accounts for roughly 29 per cent of the nation’s territory, more than double the size of Kazakhstan. The Soviet Far East economic region plagued by environmental problems and remote from the Soviet heartland has remained largely underdeveloped. These obstacles interdict economic interactions with other regions of the Soviet Union and even constrain commodity movements within its sub-regions. Inaccessibility and sheer distance result in excessive transport costs and intervening opportunities from Soviet regions closer to the centre frustrate the Far East in internal markets. In July 1987 the Central Committee approved ‘the Long Term Programme for the Comprehensive Development of the Far Eastern Region and Transbaykalia till the year 2000’.