The sixth report in the Toward the Great Ocean series is distinct from all the previous reports, which sought to prove the expedience and usefulness of Russia’s Turn to the East mostly from economic, transport and geostrategic points of view. Solutions were suggested precisely in these areas. One of the reports was dedicated to the concept of the Greater Eurasian Partnership from Lisbon to Jakarta, Shanghai, or Tokyo. This report focuses on people, history, ideology, and education. It also covers the ideas behind Russia’s Turn to the East, as well as its media and spiritual aspects.
The first stage of Russia’s turn to the rising Asia is underway, with the Russian Far East advancing twice as fast as the rest of the country (although this is still not enough). Dozens of big plants are opening. Yet, today we can see more clearly the limitations that were not as obvious before. Eastern Russia’s development has not yet become a clear and common cause for the nation at large – the nation that is in dire need of grand projects. Neither do many Far Eastern residents really believe in it, with the outfl ow of people from the area, though having reduced, is continuing to this day. The goal is to formulate a fundamentally new way of engaging the people living in Russian Asia – the Far East and Siberia – who have interacted with their neighbors for centuries, who know and are able to comprehend them well. Furthermore, Russians in general should change their attitude to country’s Turn to the East, where the economic, technological and cultural markets of the future lie.
We are not heading East emptyhanded. We bring not only resources and transportation capacities, but also act as the major provider and guarantor of international security. More importantly, we have an opportunity to establish close cooperation with Asia without breaking off ties with Europe and to become the centre of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, which has been proposed by Moscow and backed by Beijing as being by 90 per cent in agreement with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).