Difficult relations with the West only helped the development of the far Eastern Federal district. Russia managed to achieve good results in energy exports, the creation of special economic zones, as well as agreed with different countries on the calculation in national currencies, says the observer magazine the Diplomat Duncan brown.
MOSCOW, 26 Dec. For Russia the year of 2015 is unprecedented in the degree of interaction with the Asia-Pacific region (APR), which helped the development of the far Eastern Federal district, writes a columnist of the magazine The Diplomat Duncan brown.
“Start East economic forum gave Russia a platform to showcase the potential of the region and attract foreign investment in areas such as business, technology, infrastructure and energy,” writes the author.
He stresses that this leads to the formation of closer relations between the Far East and the Asia-Pacific region, and also contributes to trade diversification after the “crack” in relations with the West.
According to brown, the most important area here is the energy, in particular the gas pipeline “Power of Siberia”.
“He’ll have to go from the Republic of Sakha, to unite with the Irkutsk branch on the shores of lake Baikal and be followed further to the South-East, to Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk and Vladivostok”, — said the author.
Under the new agreement with China from September 2015, the volume of far Eastern gas supply increased from 25 billion to 38 billion cubic meters per year, he writes. Separately the author notes the planned development of gas projects in the Arctic and nuclear cooperation with China.
The extension of the oil pipeline Eastern Siberia – Pacific ocean also helps to increase energy exports. Rising oil exports will allow Russia, emphasizes brown, overtake Saudi Arabia and become a supplier of China’s number one.
“Strategic energy Alliance”, which was mentioned by President Vladimir Putin, is not limited to China. Moscow signed the agreement on ten years of compressed natural gas with Singapore national Pavilion Gas, and Rosatom has announced the construction of floating NPP in Indonesia.
Brown also emphasizes that the Japanese capital involved in the oil and gas development in the framework of the projects “Sakhalin-1” and “Sakhalin-2” and the export of oil to Japan for this year should reach record levels, he writes.
Apart from energy, Russia has expanded its trade through the creation of special economic zones and agreements with different countries on the calculation in national currencies, said the journalist.
In particular, we are talking about the free trade agreement with Vietnam, signed in may 2015, covering 90% of goods in mutual trade.
Also, the author believes that trade using national currencies will allow exporters not to use the dollars in the pay that is extremely important.
So, the signing of the Treaty between the Russian savings Bank and Chinese Bank, “Harbin” on trade directly in yuan and rubles and the yuan in October became the reserve currency of the IMF, should have a positive impact on Russia’s foreign exchange reserves, said the author.
Agreement on the transition to transactions in national currencies was also discussed with Thailand, Vietnam and India. To introduce these mechanisms will begin in early 2016. In the case of North Korea, the transition to rubles in transactions will remove unnecessary links in the supply, says the observer.
Special economic zones in the Russian far East have attracted the attention of the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, emphasizes the journalist.
Brown recalls that in the beginning of 2015, Russia, North Korea and South Korea signed a Protocol on the work on “extra-territorial models of tripartite cooperation” – for example, the supply of electricity to the railway line Khasan (Russia) – Rajin (DPRK), which may extend to South Korea.
Relations with Seoul and Pyongyang reached a high level, emphasizes brown, thus, Russia could become a catalyst for revival of economic cooperation between the two Koreas.