Дата публикации: 07 ноября 2022
Автор(ы): Natalia NAROCHNITSKAYA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Russian Analytica 2005-12-31
Номер публикации: №1667781906



President Foundation for Historical Outlook Deputy Chairperson State Duma's Committee on International Affairs Ph.D. (History)

The search for the Russian national historic strategy for the 21st century proceeds in the epoch of major geopolitical shifts

and radical global transformations induced by new economic tendencies. In addition to the traditional struggle for the access to strategic seas and straits, the objectives of the obviously ongoing global redistribution also include the control over the planet's energy sources and the political and economic separation of the former pieces of the historical Russian state from Russia along its entire perimeter.

Under these circumstances it is crucial to assess adequately the tendencies of the global development and to estimate the factors which are of critical importance to our future and to Russia's potential in global politics.

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After centuries of Western global domination, Asia evolves into a center of the global development dynamics. The world witnesses a steady growth, development, and modernization in China and India, the two Asian giants attaining a qualitatively new level of development. The frantic and helpless attempts of the Western centers of analysis to come up with a "containment" strategy and the West's obvious concern are not solely due to the impressing performance of the Asian locomotives of economic growth. Representing original civilizations with the human resources numbering 2.5 billion, these nations disprove the belief that modernization and development are possible only on the tracks of total Westernization. And this is tantamount to a bankruptcy of the entire liberal project of "global governance".

Under these circumstances Russia's sovereignty over its natural resources (the Russian Federation territory being their biggest reservoir in the world) and the direct interest of India and China, which depend on energy imports, as well as that of other Asian countries in the development of our Eastern regions, make the situation opportune for Russia. This historic chance must not be wasted.

The basis for Russia's future is the elaboration of its resources and energy strategy. This strategy must emphasize large scale initiatives in Asia and the Far East. It is to become an instrument of the country's development and a factor of global politics. A complex national project of the social and economic development of the eastern territories from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean is on the agenda. A large fraction of Russia's natural resources is found in its East. Besides, in this particular

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area we can take advantage of the continental neighborhood of major Asian countries (whose market economies are the leaders of the current global economic dynamics).

The strategic efforts to develop Eastern Siberia and the Far East and to launch new projects of global proportions and significance will contribute immediately to Russia's weight in its dialog with the West. This strategy appears particularly timely as Russia starts to preside in G8. This very strategy will demonstrate to the West the future paradigm of estimating the historic potential, via which Russia will get the standing of an equal to the entire West.

If we give a realistic economic estimate of Russia's total natural potential and finally start to include these resources in the calculations of our national wealth, Russia will move from one of the lowest positions to the top of the list in G8.

However, to re-examine Russia's real potential in the global economy and to asses it independently, which is a longstanding need, we have to abandon the illusions of integrating our country into "the global civilization".

The leading Western strategic planning agencies and think-tanks develop schemes of subduing the national states to the "global governance and the universal democratic standards" and of putting the Russian natural resource potential to work towards their objectives. The entire range of the indispensable premises of sustainable development in the 21st century is no longer available in the West. These premises comprise the resource self-sufficiency, the military power capable of securing national resources, a high level of education of the population and a complete cycle of scientific research, extensive territories

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without overpopulation, a moderate consumption level, and the positive potential related to the uncontrollable climate change (global warming).

At present Russia is the only country in the world where all of the above factors are combined. Having survived all the experiments of the 20th century it still remains capable of independent development as a spiritual, cultural, and geopolitical power in no way inferior to the West. An unannounced, but deliberate elimination of ideological stereotypes of the "new thinking" is necessary for Russia's transition to its own historic project. Not being antagonistic to the West, this historic project has to be independent of its axiological, political, and economic dictate.

There is no anti-Western aspect in the "Turn towards the East". The Russian multi-vector politics is a tradition adequate to its Eurasian geographic position. This model does not only define Russia's unique niche, but also provides for its stable long-term partnerships with various countries in both hemispheres of the world. It is natural that the activity in the West has been Russia's priority for centuries, since at that time the center of global importance and economic development lay in Europe. For Russia, both the major challenges and the potential for cooperation were associated with this part of the globe. But the world is changing rapidly in the 21st century, and we must not be slow to appreciate this change. Note that the game discussed by Z. Brzezinski was to be played on the Eurasian grand chessboard.

The promising "Eastern National Project" is of exceptional importance from yet another point of view - namely, it can stop

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the rapid depopulation of Russia and restore (at least partially) the demographic imbalance between the pre-Ural and trans-Ural parts of the country, which has been escalating over the last 10 - 15 years. According to the assessments made by Western think-tanks the depopulation of Russia and the increasing ethnic imbalance are its critical weak point. This has already put the vast and sparsely populated Russian territories, which are a planetary reserve of natural resources, under geopolitical pressure. In case this long-term tendency is not reversed, the above pressure will increase, and it will be hard to retain control of these territories, especially in the situation of deliberately instigated conflicts.

A massive project of the energy development in Siberia and the Far East could stimulate the emergence of dynamic centers of population activity, migration, and demographic recovery. To this end, the "eastern projects" must not be limited to the production of hydrocarbons and their transportation to our Asian partners - China, Japan, and India. They must be devised on the basis of a complex analysis of the future development and deployment of productive forces. They must envision the processing of resources and the manufacturing of end projects, as well as the creation of real economic centers pulling the country together, ensuring and stimulating the development of Siberia and the Far East.

Purely economic initiatives, no matter how great their magnitude would be, can never fulfill the above historic task in the current context and under the circumstances of the West's projection of a geopolitical barrier around Russia on the historic territories of the Russian state.

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A large-scale historic activity on the geo-economic level is necessary. Only a combination of an extensive economic and financial project of historic significance with equally programmatic political initiatives involving our potential partners can establish a stable geopolitical configuration favorable to Russia. This is the only way to create a zone of attraction and security around Russia instead of the alienation zone which is currently being formed.

The modernization and stable development of India and China promise a high and steady increase in the energy consumption as well as their interest in energy imports from Russia and the development of its Eastern regions. In contrast with Europe, where the well-structured West is protected by powerful trans-national institutions (the EU) and military-strategic alliances (NATO) in order to absorb and integrate new elements rapidly, Asia and the Far East are still open for historic and economic projections.

Our Asian partners are interested in the development of the energy base in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, and the related possibility of combining the Russian high-tech with the potential of the low-cost science and technology parks in India and China is a prospective way to manufacture jointly high-tech products for the global market. These are more than just conditions for Russia's getting a more important role in the global oil and gas landscape. All of these factors stimulate the country's development and the restoration of its influence on the resolution of global problems.

The Eastern Project has the potential to establish an

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absolutely new conjuncture and to cement the already existing institutional ties - both those in the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and, importantly, those between Russia and the countries of the Central-Asian region, where Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are learning from their own experience what it is like being instruments of the West's game against Russia.

The Eastern Project proposed by the Russian oil and gas industry corporation is to be organically interrelated with a political and historic initiative which must unfold along the entire Russian border. Combined with a synchronous long-term involvement of our neighbor countries and their political classes in an ambitious long-term political and historic development, this project can more than just turn Russia's potential in energy and natural resources into an instrument of its development, but also consolidate the geopolitical space around Russia and prevent pieces of the former Russian state from getting assimilated by new configurations.

An integrated resource project spanning a range of aspects of the social, economic, and demographic development of Eastern Siberia and the Far East (a truly national project) plays an important role in consolidating the Russian society in its transition from one political cycle to another in 2007/2008.

Chairman of Board of Directors of Interstate Soyuzneftegaz Oil Company Yuri Shafranik was absolutely right in his remark that these days the real task is not a mere increase in the hydrocarbon production and a construction of new export pipelines in the East of Russia. What is being discussed is in fact a grand national project of the development of Russia's eastern regions.

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Furthermore, it is our future (as well as that of the neighbors of Russia in Eurasia).

Before the concept that "natural resources must belong to the entire mankind and their use must be put under global control" is adopted, and before the "democratic progress" of a new branch of international law - the environmental law - creates a legal mechanism of control over natural resources, Russia must focus on elaborating a strategy of energy and resources security and must make it an instrument of development, demographic recovery, and the protection of its national security.


Опубликовано на Порталусе 07 ноября 2022 года

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