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IR Working Paper 1990/2
Geoff Jukes, ‘The Soviet Far East’, IR Working Paper 1990/2, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, May 1990.
Since the Vladivostok speech of Mr Gorbachev in 1986, there has been considerable interest in the Soviet stated objectives of seeking a greater involvement in Pacific affairs. That the Soviet leadership is serious about the aims then expounded, and particularly the economic development of the Soviet Far East, has been illustrated by, among other things, the moves to normalise Sino-Soviet relations and the Soviet interest in participation in the Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference.
This paper looks at the history of the Soviet Far East, and its political environment. It then considers the economic potential of the region including the resource base, the region’s infrastructure (including the Trans-Siberian and BAM rail links), and the plans for special economic zones. It concludes by examining prospects for economic development of the Soviet Far East.