The report presented at the 11th Krasnoyarsk economic forum on the 27th of February 2014 is a follow-up to the report Toward the Great Ocean, or the New Globalization of Russia, published by the Valdai Discussion Club in July 2012, and is based on the conclusions drawn in that report.
The principal author of the report is Igor Makarov, lecturer at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics. The coauthors are Professor Oleg Barabanov, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Timofei Bordachev, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Victor Larin, Director of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Evgeny Kanaev and Professor Vladimir Ryzhkov, National Research University – Higher School of Economics. The Executive Editor and Head of the Authors’ Group is Sergey Karaganov, Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.
The experts point out that at the level of declarations, Russian politics truly has turned toward the East. The majority of the Russian political and intellectual elite are aware of the importance of stepping up cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Region. However, the Asian vector of Russia’s policy has not yet been filled with real content. The policy of developing the country’s eastern regions has stalled.
Seeing that the development of Siberia and the Russian Far East would be Russia’s window to Asia, the authors argue that the full-scale development of the region requires assessing the main challenges to the region’s development. With an active stance on multilateral negotiating platforms, and using its objective advantages, Russia has made some progress in positioning itself in the APR. The experts suggest that it is now time to adopt a new philosophy for developing the region, based on a sober look at the country’s capabilities. Taking into consideration that natural resources will remain the basis of the new economy of Siberia and the Russian Far East, it is necessary to change significantly the institutional environment when it comes to the development of natural resources in the region, and to open the region to foreign investors, the authors underscore.
The authors conclude that the unprecedented shift of economic power to the Asia-Pacific Region gives Russia a chance to transform the image of Siberia and the Far East – the last frontier of Asia.