Professor Mike Bradshaw, University of Leicester

The state-sponsored Eastern Programme was initiated in 2007, with Gazprom being given a monopoly over its implementation and the export of natural gas to the Asia-Pacific. It will see the gasification of key economic centres in East Siberia and the Far East and key reasons for its development include: the diversification of Russian energy exports by developing new markets in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR); to diversify Russian exports from East Siberia and the Russian Far East by developing processing industries; to ensure the ‘effective occupation’ of Pacific Russia by providing domestic energy security, employment and export revenues; and to increase Russia’s economic weight in the APR. Detailed information is provided on the drivers and issues relating to the development of the strategy and its implementation. Whilst the economic and geostrategic logic of the strategy are clear, it is not apparent how quickly it might be implemented or funded, the coming years are seen as critical and a number of issues remain.

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