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Scientific seminar ‘Far East in the kaleidoscope of development projects of XX-XXI centuries’

A joint seminar organised by CCEIS and RAS Far East Institute named ‘Far East in the kaleidoscope of development projects of XX-XXI centuries’ took place on 25th May.The seminar was opened with an introductory word from Anastasia Likhacheva, NRU HSE CCEIS Director.Presentations were provided by researchers of the RAS Institute of History, Archaeology, and Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far-East.

Scientific seminar ‘Far East in the kaleidoscope of development projects of XX-XXI centuries’

Anatoly Savchenko , Deputy Director on Science at the RAS Institute of History, Archaeology, and Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far-East, shared ideas on the process of construction of The Baikal–Amur Mainline (BAM) in the latest period of the USSR. According to the expert, The Soviet leadership acted to oppose the growing internal crisis using the strategy of modernization by including the country’s natural resources in the international trade and gaining access to foreign technologies. At the same time, the USSR had no technologies for effective development in the East and relied on the supply of the latest equipment from Japan and the United States, which meant that all development plans were initially vulnerable to price fluctuations on commodity markets and to potential conflicts with geopolitical rivals.

Sergey Ivanov , Senior Researcher at the Chinese studies division of the RAS Institute of History, Archaeology, and Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far-East, reviewed the history of projects of special economic zones in the late Soviet period. The expert concluded that despite the broad vision of SEZs as a promising mechanism for transforming the economy, the actors of the zonal assemblage did not reach a consensus on the technical tools for implementing the idea. Under these circumstances, the Soviet government’s work ended up in an unspoken attempt to postpone the implementation of the SEZs.

Sergey Pestsov , Head of International Relations Department,Chief Scientific Officer of the RAS Institute of History, Archaeology, and Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far-East, made a presentation concerning national mega-projects in Russian Arctic. Researcher evaluated possibilities and prospects of the initiatives concerning the development of the Russian Far East and Arctic regions, and also the idea and the purpose of national mega-projects in general.

Presentations were followed by intensive discussion moderated by Ilya Stepanov , Junior Research Fellow at the CCEIS, Deputy Head of the NRU HSE Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change. Russian and foreign guests shared ideas on Soviet legacy and its influence on the Far East and Russian Arctic, current tendencies and obstacles in the development of the Far East region, and opportunities for implementation of joint arctic and far eastern national policy.

We recommend to get acquainted with the new issue of the RAS ‘Russia and ATR’ magazine with a number of articles covering the topic of development projects in the Arctic and in the Far East: http://www.riatr.ru/2021_1.html

The recording is available here