Eurasian integration and the development of Asiatic Russia

Journal of Eurasian Studies. 2018;9(2):100-113


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Journal Title: Journal of Eurasian Studies

ISSN: 1879-3665 (Print); 1879-3673 (Online)

Publisher: SAGE Publishing

Society/Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center

LCC Subject Category: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Geography (General) | Political science

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB



Alexander Lukin (Department of International Relations, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia; Corresponding author. Department of International Relations at National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.)
Vladimir Yakunin (Department of Public Policy, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia)


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Time From Submission to Publication: 8 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper argues that Russia's strategic objective of developing its Asiatic regions is tied to its serious intentions in Asia as a whole. It stresses that Russia can only connect to the political, economic, and cultural life of Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific through its own Asian regions. Moreover, leaders' claims that Russia belongs to both Europe and Asia will carry little weight with their Asiatic neighbors if Russia's own Asiatic regions remain underdeveloped and subject to shrinking populations. The paper critically analyzes the results of various projects of development of Asiatic Russia beginning from late tsarist period until the 21st century and shows that Russia needs to put forward a formal strategy for developing the Eurasian infrastructure that is comparable to the SREB, Kazakhstan's NurlyZhol (Bright Path) economic stimulus plan, Mongolia's Steppe Road, and others. This strategy should reflect Russia's objectives for the economic development of its own Asiatic regions, and through them, the co-development with its neighbors of Eurasia generally. It argues that the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development, put forward by several Russia think tanks, could become Russia's contribution to the development of the Eurasian space and mesh with the Chinese, Kazakh, Mongolian, and other partner initiatives. Its implementation would help spur the economic development of Asiatic Russia, enabling that region to become part of the larger economic development of Eurasia. That would help turn Russia into a more important independent and constructive player in the Eurasian space, acting in close coordination with its partners in both the East and the West. Keywords: Asiatic Russia, Eurasia, Infrastructure development, Trans-Eurasian Belt Development