Author: Anatoly Boliatko
Prof. Anatoly Boliatko, D.Sc. (Military), head of the Russia and APR Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute for Far Eastern Studies.
As a Eurasian nation the Russian Federation is interested in raising its economic potential in Siberia and the Far East, strengthening security on its Far Eastern borders and in the APR as a whole, and developing relations of friendship and cooperation with all the countries of this region.
Russia's vital and fundamental interests in the Asia-Pacific Region, which ensue from the general national interests set forth in the Conception of National Security in the Russian Federation, are as follows:
- guaranteeing state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and overcoming the trends towards disintegration in Siberia and the Far East;
- creating an atmosphere of security and stability in the regions contiguous to Russia's Far Eastern borders;
- participating in the creation of mechanisms to guarantee regional security;
- ensuring an increase in the economic potential of Siberia and the Far East and developing Russia's economic relations in the APR.
However, the position held by Russia in the APR and the policy it pursues in the region in no way correlate to its fundamental importance. This is explained not only by Russia's shortage of resources, but also by its insufficient political will, and lack of desire and ability to take care of the aforesaid vital interests. The high hopes in the country of achieving the status of a great Pacific power and getting hold of levers of influence on the region's political and economic life, as well as obtaining reliable sources of investments and loans, have clearly not justified themselves and are
unlikely to materialize in the next few years without a dramatic reassessment of values.
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