Although in the 1990s the Russian Far East was not an important region in Russian central government’s internal policy, when Vladimir Putin assumed the presidency it was declared strategically significant. However, Moscow has been unable to generate a tangible stimulus to the region’s development so far. This is partly due to the systemic problems existing in Russia as a whole: the lack of a consistent concept of economic development and the ineffective governance system, and on the other hand, of purely local barriers: staffing problems, the decentralised energy system and the limited engagement of foreign investors.
At present, there is no risk of the region’s marginalisation like in the 1990s. However, it appears that political reintegration of the region with the centre of the federation (tighter institutional control from Moscow) and the status of a stable raw material base for Asian countries, currently represents the maximum development potential of the Russian Far East.
Szymon Kardaś, additional research by: Ewa Fischer