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Geopolitical potential of the Far Eastern Federal District and its implementation to improve the socio-economic development of the region
Material posted: Publication date: 22-10-2015
The Russian Far East is now a very problematic region, with a low level of social and economic development. This is the least mastered part of the territory of Russia. At the same time the low development of the territory and the special geopolitical position of the Russian Far East allow us to speak about the great potential of the region and its crucial importance for the country. Thus, the relevant question on the strengthening of the geopolitical position of the Far Eastern Federal District and combating threats to its development.

The structure of Far East federal district includes the Amur, Magadan and Sakhalin areas, the Jewish autonomous region, the Kamchatka, Seaside and Khabarovsk edges, Chukchi autonomous region and Republic Sakha (Yakutia). It is the largest in the sizes of territory federal district, its area makes 36,4 % of territory of Russia. The region has an exit to Silent and Arctic oceans, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan and the USA [1] borders on China. Thus, from large geopolitical spaces the Far East federal district has an exit to Asian-Pacific and Arctic regions. Thus DFO is a unique exit of Russia in Asian-Pacific region. Such position of Far East federal district forms potential of Russia as the large geopolitical power, present, including, and in Asian-Pacific region, and as some kind of the bridge connecting Asian-Pacific region with Europe.

The territory of the Russian Far East is rich with natural resources. In region 98 % of stocks of natural diamonds, 50 % of gold, 80 % of tin, 30 % of wood are concentrated, 58,3 % of all production of fishery are extracted. [2] it defines potential of the Far East as resource base for safety and development of the Russian Federation.

Thus, from the point of view of geopolitics of the Russian Federation the Far East federal district has great value as a resursno-raw-material base, and as the considerable unit of territory of the country having an exit in Asian-Pacific region.

Now for the Far East Russia is actual following threats:

  • Population reduction
  • Prevalence of raw branches in region economy
  • Low transport availability
  • Territorial claims from Japan concerning an accessory of southern islands of the Kuril ridge.

First three threats are internal, last - external. Except the resulted threats also it is possible to note threat of hit of the Russian Far East or its separate territories in a sphere of influence of some foreign states, such as the USA, China or Japan. However the given threat exists not in itself, and can be realised as consequence of resulted above threats and backlog of development DFO from other regions of Russia and the next states, therefore it is necessary to consider it potential. We will consider the resulted actual threats more in detail.

Depopulation of the Far East Russia has begun after disintegration of the USSR and in the beginning occurred very high rates. With 1991 for 2003 population of region was reduced with 8,063 to 6,679 million persons that the most show has been caused by sharp deterioration of a social and economic situation in the country, in the Far East. After improvement of a social and economic situation in 2000th years rates of depopulation have sharply decreased, though process until now has not stopped. In 2014 population of Far East federal district made 6,226 million persons and continued to decrease slowly. [3]

Decline in population DFO has migratory character. During the period with 2000 for 2008 migratory outflow of the population slowly decreased, with 2008 for 2011 - increased, having made in 2011 205 101 people the Most unsuccessful from the point of view of migration by subject DVO Primorski Territory is. A principal cause of migratory outflow - rather low level and a population quality of life.

Preconditions of lower, in comparison with other regions of Russia, a standard of living are:

  • The least among federal districts of Russia a parity of a salary and living standard size
  • Fast growth of tariffs of paid services
  • High cost of habitation.

For a complex estimation of a quality of life the index of development of human potential (IRCHP), counted on the basis of average duration of forthcoming life is used at a birth, an educational level and a material standard of living. Only one of subjects DFO - the Sakhalin region - has high value IRCHP, for the others the index has average value or value below an average. [4]

In a total regional product of Far East federal district mining operations make 24,7 %, manufacturing industry - 5,6 %. [5] For comparison, across the Russian Federation as a whole mining operations make 10,9 % of gross national product, manufacturing industry - 14,9 %. [6] Thus, in economy DVFO it is disproportionate the share of raw branches is great. Objectively the situation is caused by that the region rich with natural resources, has a low density of population. However its consequence is some kind of "vicious circle": absence of requirement for highly skilled experts does region unattractive from the point of view of migration that leads to outflow of the population which, in turn, complicates development of the high technology and labour-consuming branches of economy. It is necessary to note interrelation of demographic and economic problems of region which are necessary for considering in a complex. Besides, development of economy of region is at a loss insufficient development of an infrastructure and high tariffs of paid services.

The transport network in the Far East is developed poorly, and the high-grade network iron and highways actually exists only in the south of region. As a whole on DFO the density of the railways of the general using counting on 10 thousand in sq. km in 3,6 times is less, than on the average on the country, and highways of the general using with a firm covering - in 5,6 times. Insufficient development of ground transport is partially indemnified by air, sea and river transport. Extent of internal navigable ways of Far East federal district makes 28,7 % from the general extent of internal navigable ways of Russia. [7] at coast of the Far East there are 32 seaports, and also about 300 port points. Their share in the general freight turn-over of the Russian ports makes about 35 %. [8]

Consequence of low transport availability of the Far East is the high component of transport expenses by transportation cargoes and passengers between Far East regions and other unit of Russia, and also the big terms of delivery of cargoes in the remote regions. For example, the cargoes delivered in Arctic ulusy to Yakutia, are en route on the average till 270 days. [9]

Territorial claims from Japan concerning an accessory of southern islands of the Kuril ridge concern islands Iturups, Kunashir, Shikotan and groups of islands Habomai. Following the results of the Second World War all Kuriles have been included in structure of the USSR, however an accessory of the mentioned islands is challenged by Japan. It is necessary to notice that agree the Dignity-Frantsissky to the peace treaty of 1951 Japan has refused all rights, pravoosnovany and claims for Kuriles. Therefore territorial claims shown by Japan, as a matter of fact, are attempt of revision of the results of the Second World War. [10]

Let's analyse possible influence of the considered threats on various aspects of national safety of Russia and, hence, the geopolitical status of our country.

Economic safety. The tendency which has developed by this time on development export-orientated, first of all raw, economy branches is capable to lead to strengthening of economic relations of region with the foreign states with simultaneous easing of economic relations with the federal centre. The factors interfering development of processing and hi-tech branches of economy, the lack of a highly skilled manpower, low transport availability of territory (which consequence a high cost of transportation is) and high tariffs of natural monopolies are.

Military safety. Influence of the considered factors on maintenance of military safety of Russia on east direction is shown as follows:

  • Small population and the further depopulation of the Far East reduce mobilisation potential of East military district
  • Low transport availability of territory complicates movement and a supply of troops - in particular this problem concerns coasts of Arctic ocean and territory of Chukchi autonomous region, the Kamchatka edge and Kuriles
  • As consequence - weak hardening of these territories and a site of Northern sea way adjoining to them from external military threats
  • Economic problems of region have affected a condition of the ship-building and ship-repair industry therefore fighting capability of Pacific fleet has essentially decreased.

Social-political safety. Backlog of the Far East from other regions on level and a quality of life can become the precondition for occurrence of social instability in region. Depopulation DFO also is capable to make essential impact on social-political safety of Russia, especially in case of replacement of citizens of Russia which has left region, migrants. Potentially such scenario can lead to occurrence of threat of separatism in some units of region, especially in the territories having important strategic position or possessing stocks of natural resources, of interest for the foreign states or transnational corporations.

Strengthening of geopolitical position of Far East federal district means minimisation of influence of the considered threats. What possible ways of achievement of this purpose?

For its achievement the decision of following problems is obviously necessary:

  • Increase of level and quality of life of population DFO, increase of appeal of region as the places of residence
  • Development and diversification of economy of region
  • Development of a transport network, increase of transport coherence of the Far East Russia
  • Development of a military infrastructure, in particular, in northern unit of region - creation of points of material support of the Navy, airdromes, subdivisions of aero-space and coastal defence.

For maintenance of development of Far East federal district in 2009 Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025 has been approved. The program proclaims a strategic target of development of region realisation of a geopolitical problem of fastening of the population in the Far East and in Baikalsk region at the expense of formation of the developed economy and comfortable inhabitancy of the person in the subjects of the Russian Federation arranged in this territory, and also achievements srednerossijskogo level of social and economic development.

For object in view achievement in Strategy the base scenario of development of the Far East, providing is offered:

  • Modernisation of the social infrastructure providing formation of comfortable living conditions of the population
  • The modernisation of infrastructural branches directed on overcoming of infrastructural restrictions of development of economy
  • Scale technological updating and modernisation of manufactures
  • Development of new sectors of the economy providing deep degree of processing of raw materials and maximum use of advantages, connected with a geographical position and natural resources of east regions
  • The accelerated development of the economic institutes defining protection of the property rights, strengthening of competition of the markets, decrease in investment and enterprise risks, administrative barriers, improvement of quality of the state services, development of state-private partnership
  • Development of the enterprises of the innovative orientation serving needs of hi-tech projects of development
  • Creation and development of activity of the local is innovative-industrial centres and the technoparks orientated on creation of new products, and also educational and centres of science.

In Strategy the description of the big number of the actions which realisation is supposed within the limits of the given scenario is resulted. The regional section of the document contains detailed plans of development of subjects DFO, the branch section describes prospects for the development of branches of economy as a whole across the Far East. [11]

The state development strategy of the Far East is absolutely necessary for counteraction for threats to security and developments of region and maintenance of conditions of its development in long-term prospect. However it is necessary to allocate a number of lacks of the existing Strategy marked by experts:

  • Insufficient planned rates of growth total regional products in comparison with average indexes across Russia
  • There is not enough detailed description of mechanisms and tools of realisation of Strategy
  • Insufficient planned rates of input of habitation
  • Absence of the analysis of a demographic situation in regions and prospects of demographic development, absence of the analysis and the forecast of directions and population shift scales. [12]

Now in the decision of the problems noted in the beginning of the given paragraph, considerable means are put. We will consider the basic actions conducted now.

Building of the Amuro-Yakut trunk-railway. The highway problem - to connect the central unit of Yakutia to Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian highways. It is by this time laid to the settlement Bottom Bestjah arranged opposite to Yakutsk on the right coast of Lena. On a site of Skovorodino - Tommot comes true regular cargo and passenger traffic, on a site of Tommot - Bottom Bestjah - cargo movement in a mode of preliminary operation, works on preparation of an infrastructure for the passenger message [13] are conducted.

Development of a Baikal-Amur trunk-railway. The highway passes on a route Taishet - Tynda - Komsomolsk-on-cupid - the Soviet Harbour, approximately half of its extent - on territory of Far East federal district. Existing plans for development of a highway provide increase in its throughput with 18 to 50 million tons of cargoes a year. By some estimations the multiplicate effect from project realisation will allow to create to 500 thousand new workplaces. [14]

Space centre building "East". The space centre is intended for start of space vehicles of all existing classes and should provide independent access of Russia to a space. Commissioning of objects of the first stage is planned in 2015. [15] commissioning of a space centre will allow to create a considerable quantity of hi-tech workplaces and to involve in region of highly skilled experts. It is necessary to notice that from the point of view of geopolitics space centre creation "East" important in itself as expansion to a space is, including a geopolitical problem, and absence completely independent access to space imposes some restrictions on the given activity.

Building of the highway connecting Chukchi autonomous region with the Magadan area. Building is begun in 2012. The road can become an important factor in development of region, in particular, to promote working out of mineral deposits. Besides, the highway will allow to reduce cost of delivery of cargoes in the remote regions of Chukchi autonomous region. [16]

Restoration of a military infrastructure in the north of DFO, in particular, airdrome Rate on Novosibirsk islands. [17]

Among the administrative measures stimulating development of Far East federal district, it is necessary to note especially acceptance in December, 2014 of the Federal law «About territories of advancing social and economic development in the Russian Federation». The territory of advancing social and economic development is a unit of territory of the subject of the Russian Federation, including the closed administrative-territorial formation on which the Russian Federation according to a decision of the government the special legal regime of realisation of enterprise and other activity with a view of formation of favorable conditions for attraction of investments, maintenance of the accelerated social and economic development and creation of comfortable conditions for maintenance of ability to live of the population is established. The law regulates creation and the termination of existence of territories of advancing development, an order of management of them, a legal status of businessmen and feature of realisation of powers of bodies of state power and local government in such territories. [18]

So, now it is possible to say that the complex of the actions capable in case of successful realisation is carried out it is essential to reduce a sharpness of threats to development and safety of Far East federal district and to consolidate, thus, geopolitical position of region and the geopolitical status of Russia as a whole. The complex includes both large state projects, and measures on stimulation of private investments into region economy. At the same time, the author believes expedient a number of the measures which realisation is capable to consolidate various aspects of safety of region and to become additional stimulus of its development.

Restoration of northern privileges. Such privileges are capable to raise the level essentially lives of the population and, hence, migratory appeal of region. It, first will directly serve as the mechanism of realisation of a geopolitical problem of fastening of the population in the Far East, and will promote secondly to its economic development.

Creation of point of material support of the Navy on Sakhalin and-or southern islands of the Kuril ridge. Existing basing points of Pacific fleet are essentially removed from southern Kuriles. Creation of such point MTO will allow to provide constant presence of forces TOF at this region that will essentially raise its military safety.

Realisation of following infrastructural projects.

The auto-railway bridge through Lena around Yakutsk. The bridge will provide all-the-year-round communication of Yakutsk and adjoining regions of Republic Sakha with road and a railway system that will save these territories of necessity of "northern delivery». It will allow to reduce essentially terms and cost of delivery of cargoes and transportation of passengers that will raise appeal of the Central Yakutia from the point of view as investments, and residing conditions.

Tidal power station in the Penzhinsky lip of sea of Okhotsk. Such power station which is making great volume of the cheap electric power and not contaminating environment, is capable to become a power base for manufacture of perspective hydrogen fuel. [19]

Thus, it is important to notice that the Far East federal district has now rather low level of social and economic development, however, despite available problems, high potential for its development nevertheless is available.

To it visually testifies approved by the Government of the Russian Federation Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025 is approved. For realisation of its positions already a number of the actions connected both with development of an infrastructure, and with improvement of an investment climate now comes true. And still in Strategy mechanisms of its realisation insufficiently in detail are described. Among them both insufficient rates of growth VRP and rates of input of habitation, there is no analysis of a demographic situation.

In addition to actions conducted now, followed offer and restoration of northern privileges, and realisation of some the ripened and sharply necessary infrastructural projects.

The list of references

Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025.

The federal law № 473-FZ «About territories of advancing social and economic development in the Russian Federation».

Kretov B. I. The transport policy of Russia in Asian-Pacific region//the Transport policy and political communications: the Collection of articles on politological both sociological teoretiko-methodological and applied problems of history and the present. Release III. Geopolitics and national safety. / Red.-sost.: A.A. Humpbacks, B.I.Kretov, A.V.Fedjakin. - M: Publishing house «Social-political THOUGHT», 2011.

  1. V.Kalashnikov, K. V.Filippova. Some socially-demographic aspects of personnel maintenance of the industry in regions of the Russian Far East//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2013. № 26 (305).

Tcherkasov And. L. To a question on a transport role in social and economic development of the Russian Far East//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2012. № 9.

Egorov T.P. Methodological aspects of working out of strategy of innovative development of regional transport system//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2012. № 20.

Egorov E. G, Egorov And. E. About Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2010. № 16.

Far East federal district [the Electronic resource]//the Information on district. URL: http://www.dfo.gov.ru/index.php?id=25 (reference date: 2/15/2015).

Demoskop Weekly [the Electronic resource]//the Population of Russia for the first half of the year 2012 has increased by 85,6 thousand persons, having made for July, 1st of 143,1 million persons. URL: http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2012/0521/barom01.php (reference date: 4/7/2015).

Federal Agency of the state statistics [the Electronic resource]//Branch structure of the total added cost of subjects of the Russian Federation in 2010 URL: http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/vvp/otr-stru10.xls (reference date: 4/7/2015).

Federal Agency of the state statistics [the Electronic resource]//the Total internal product and the total added cost by economic activities kinds. URL: http://gks.ru/bgd/free/b04_03/Isswww.exe/Stg/d03/18vvp31.htm (reference date: 4/7/2015).

The Russian newspaper [the Electronic resource]//For Kuriles. URL: http://www.rg.ru/2005/10/28/kurily.html (reference date: 2/28/2015).

The Russian Railway-partner [the Electronic resource]//the Yakut megaproject on finish. URL: http://www.rzd-partner.ru/interviews/comments/iakutskii-megaproekt-na-finishe/ (reference date: 3/19/2015).

Advis.ru [the Electronic resource]//the Railroad line of Berkakit - Tommot - Yakutsk is in a mode of preliminary operation. URL: http://www.advis.ru/php/view_news.php?id=606CB71B-4C6C-9A46-A4BC-67B3B469E49F (reference date: 3/19/2015).

FederalPress [the Electronic resource]//Ishayev: BAM-2 project will provide with work of 500 thousand persons. URL: http://fedpress.ru/news/polit_vlast/news_polit/1375170968-ishaev-proekt-bam-2-obespechit-rabotoi-500-tysyach-chelovek (reference date: 3/20/2015).

Space centre "East" [the Electronic resource]//About space centre creation "East". URL: http://vostokdrom.ru/node/9 (reference date: 3/20/2015).

Газета.ru [The Electronic resource]//Prokachu you on tundra. URL: http://www.gazeta.ru/auto/2012/01/26_a_3975689.shtml (reference date: 3/20/2015).

Lenta.ru [the Electronic resource]//Russia will restore military base on Novosibirsk islands. URL: http://lenta.ru/news/2013/09/16/base/ (reference date: 4/5/2015).

Hydrogen technologies - for the developing world [the Electronic resource]//Tidal power stations (PES) - a source of energy reserved in hydrogen. URL: http://h2forum2008.ru/docs/pdf/abstracts/5_3_21.pdf (reference date: 4/5/2015).

[1] Far East federal district [the Electronic resource]//the Information on district. URL: http://www.dfo.gov.ru/index.php?id=25 (reference date: 2/15/2015).

[2] Kretov B. I. The transport policy of Russia in Asian-Pacific region//the Transport policy and political communications: the Collection of articles on politological both sociological teoretiko-methodological and applied problems of history and the present. Release III. Geopolitics and national safety. / Red.-sost.: A.A. Humpbacks, B.I.Kretov, A.V.Fedjakin. - M: Publishing house «Social-political THOUGHT», 2011.

[3] Demoskop Weekly [the Electronic resource]//the Population of Russia for the first half of the year 2012 have increased by 85,6 thousand persons, having made for July, 1st of 143,1 million persons. URL: http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2012/0521/barom01.php (reference date: 4/7/2015).

[4] I. V.Kalashnikovs, K. V.Filippova. Some socially-demographic aspects of personnel maintenance of the industry in regions of the Russian Far East//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2013. № 26 (305).

[5] Federal Agency of the state statistics [the Electronic resource]//Branch structure of the total added cost of subjects of the Russian Federation in 2010 URL: http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/vvp/otr-stru10.xls (reference date: 4/7/2015).

[6] Federal Agency of the state statistics [the Electronic resource]//the Total internal product and the total added cost by economic activities kinds. URL: http://gks.ru/bgd/free/b04_03/Isswww.exe/Stg/d03/18vvp31.htm (reference date: 4/7/2015).

[7] Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025.

[8] Tcherkasov And. L. To a question on a transport role in social and economic development of the Russian Far East//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2012. № 9.

[9] Egorov T.P. Methodological aspects of working out of strategy of innovative development of regional transport system//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2012. № 20.

[10] Russian newspaper [the Electronic resource]//For Kuriles. URL: http://www.rg.ru/2005/10/28/kurily.html (reference date: 2/28/2015).

[11] Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025.

[12] Egors E. G, Egorov And. E. About Strategy of social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region for the period till 2025//Regional economy: the theory and practice. 2010. № 16.

[13] Russian Railway-partner [the Electronic resource]//the Yakut megaproject on finish. URL: http://www.rzd-partner.ru/interviews/comments/iakutskii-megaproekt-na-finishe/ (reference date: 3/19/2015); Advis.ru [the Electronic resource]//the Railroad line of Berkakit - Tommot - Yakutsk is in a mode of preliminary operation. URL: http://www.advis.ru/php/view_news.php?id=606CB71B-4C6C-9A46-A4BC-67B3B469E49F (reference date: 3/19/2015).

[14] FederalPress [the Electronic resource]//Ishayev: BAM-2 project will provide with work of 500 thousand persons. URL: http://fedpress.ru/news/polit_vlast/news_polit/1375170968-ishaev-proekt-bam-2-obespechit-rabotoi-500-tysyach-chelovek (reference date: 3/20/2015).

[15] Space centre "East" [the Electronic resource]//About space centre creation "East". URL: http://vostokdrom.ru/node/9 (reference date: 3/20/2015).

[16] Gazeta.ru [the Electronic resource]//Prokachu you on tundra. URL: http://www.gazeta.ru/auto/2012/01/26_a_3975689.shtml (reference date: 3/20/2015).

[17] Lenta.ru [the Electronic resource]//Russia will restore military base on Novosibirsk islands. URL: http://lenta.ru/news/2013/09/16/base/ (reference date: 4/5/2015).

[18] Federal law № 473-FZ «About territories of advancing social and economic development in the Russian Federation».

[19] Hydrogen technologies - for the developing world [the Electronic resource]//Tidal power stations (PES) - a source of energy reserved in hydrogen. URL: http://h2forum2008.ru/docs/pdf/abstracts/5_3_21.pdf (reference date: 4/5/2015).

Oleg Grafeev


Source: Grafeev O. E. Realisation of geopolitical potential of Far East federal district of the Russian Federation.//Geopolitics and safety. №3. 2015.

Tags: assessment , Russia


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