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'The beauty of Siberia took me by surprise'
Ian Frazier, 2013

Rename the Far East of Russia, says vice premier Dmitry Rogozin

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 November 2013

The senior politician called for a change of identity for the vast eastern third of Russia, as the country angles itself towards Asia.

The Far East Federal District officially comprises Amur Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Oblast with Koryak Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and Sakhalin Oblast. Picture of Vladivostok: The Siberian Times

'The Far East of Russia' doesn't fit this part of the country as a name, said Rogozin at the TechnoProm 2013 forum in Siberia's largest city, Novosibirsk. 'I don't understand what the 'Far East' mean. How does a citizen of Vladivostok put it, that he lives in the Far East of Russia? But why on earth is it a 'far' east for him? Its our native east, our Pacific zone.' 

Rogozin stressed: 'We should be naming this part of Russia differently -  Pacific region, or in another way. There was a word in the beginning, and the boat will sail as you name it.'

His statement is likely to stoke an interesting debate about regional identities in Russia.

The Far East Federal District officially comprises Amur Oblast, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Kamchatka Oblast with Koryak Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Primorsky Krai, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, and Sakhalin Oblast.

Rogozin also added that as the Vostochniy (or Eastern) space centre becomes established, there will be a gravitational pull eastward for the space industry.

Modern realties of the 21st century see Siberia and the Far East as Russia's 'key to its place as a superstate'. 

'The issue is not in the formal renaming, but in our attitude and attention to this - very promising - part of Russia', Rogozin later added in his Twitter.

Comments (3)

Amdrey, it is evident that from a European perspective, Vladivostok is in the far East....but for a citizen of Vladivostok, the Far East is Washington DC or Madrid.

It is an international term "Far East" because that term was established by Europeans. For example, in World maps made in Europe, Europe is the center of the World while the Americas is the Western Hemisphere and Primorsky Krai, China or Japan are in the Far East.

Apart from thatt, the term "Far" makes the place looking isolated while "Pacific Russia" makes the term integrated with the rest of the Russian Federation. The term "Pacific Russia" makes Russia more visible to nations from the Pacific Rim.
Enrique, Spain
16/11/2013 09:07
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"...because "Far East" was a Mosco-based tem..."
Enrique could you pls explain why in this wikipedia article http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_East "Far East" is declared to be international term?
Andrey, Moscow
16/11/2013 04:14
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It is a good opinon, because "Far East" was a Mosco-based tem, but after the end of the USSR and the secession of Ukraine, Belarus, Caucasian and Baltic Republics, the center of the present Russian Federation is different from that of the USSR, or the former Russian Empire. "Pacific Russia" is a good term which means both: Russia is a Pacific nation, and a nation which is peaceful (pacific)

Also, a new Russia needs a new capital which could be Ekaterinburg, a city which is at the same time in Siberia and next to the hub or Russian population. Ekaterinburg integrates the Western and Eastern parts of the Federation...Anyway, and the same way as Bonn keeps still today several institutions and companies like Deutsche Post, Moscow could keeep several institutions (for exampole the Federal Council) while the Government and the Federal Assembly (Duma) would be in Ekaterinburg. Vladivostok could have the Direction of Fishing, for example.
Enrique, Spain
15/11/2013 20:05
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