Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts The Geopolitics of the Russian Far East

The Geopolitics of the Russian Far East

  • December 3, 2015
Rensselaer Lee

Senior Fellow, FPRI

Artyom Lukin

Associate Professor of International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok

John R. Haines


Senior Fellow, FPRI

A region two-thirds the size of the United States, the Russian Far East possesses enormous natural wealth and a vital strategic location on the north Pacific, where the interests of several major powers – China, Japan, the Koreas and the United States – intersect. The RFE also fronts on the Arctic Ocean, another key theater of emerging geopolitical competition, controlling the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route. The Ukraine crisis and the West’s economic disengagement from Russia seem likely to increase China’s influence in the RFE and in East Asia generally, with important potential consequences for the regional security balance. Is a Russia-China alliance a chimera or a reality? Is Russia moving into China’s economic orbit? Is collaboration still possible between Russia and the US? These are the questions that Artyom Lukin and Rens Lee address in their new book Russia’s Far East: New Dynamics in Asia Pacific and Beyond, the product of a unique collaboration between an American and a Russian scholar.


Artyom Lukin Artyom Lukin is Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations, School of Regional and International Studies, Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok, Russia). Lukin is an expert of Russian International Affairs Council. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and a M.A. in International Relations from Far Eastern National University. His main research interests are international relations and international political economy in the Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asia; Russian foreign policy; Russia’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific; social, political, and economic affairs of the Russian Far East. Lukin has authored and co-authored over 50 scholarly publications in Russian and English and is a frequent commentator for the Russian and foreign media, including the East Asia Forum (, Huffington Post, and the Russian International Affairs Council (  


Rens Lee

Rensselaer (Rens) W. Lee III  is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and President of Global Advisory Services. He has been a consultant to US government agencies, including the Department of State, the Department of Energy, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Congressional Research Service, and has received grants from the US Institute of Peace and the Joint American Council of Learned Societies/Social Science Research Council. He has published on a broad range of international security issues, including nuclear smuggling, cocaine trafficking, and international organized crime. Lee received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His earlier books include Smuggling Armageddon: The Nuclear Black Market in the Former Soviet Union and Europe

Our moderator, John Haines, writes frequently on Eurasian issues.  He is a Senior Fellow and Trustee of FPRI, and executive director of our Princeton Committee.  He is also Co-Chair Designate of FPRI’s soon-to-be-launched Eurasia Program.

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