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One poploheet, another overstrain?

An expert on whether to divide Khabarovsk and Vladivostok - or, conversely, to connect

One poploheet, another overstrain?

Yuri Avdeev

Leading Researcher at the Pacific Institute of Geography, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D.

Vladivostok and Khabarovsk are the two most developed cities of the Far East, competing among themselves for the loyalty of the federal center and budgetary injections. The sluggish competition became aggravated after a governor was elected in the Khabarovsk region, not pleasing the Kremlin, and the new maritime acting head of the region threw up the idea of ​​moving the capital. Yesterday, it was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin. So now wait for these cities?

Historically and geographically, Khabarovsk is the center of coordination and coordination of the activities of the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. And here, and not in Moscow, there should be a decision-making center and the Ministry for the Development of the Far East should be located. And Vladivostok, becoming an “open” city in 1991, turned out to be attractive to foreign representatives. There are more than twenty consular offices here, the APEC forum was held, the Eastern Economic Forum is being held. That is, over the years Vladivostok has become a platform for international communications, linking Russia, the countries of Europe with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Thus, Khabarovsk is the capital of the Far East, and Vladivostok is the capital of Pacific Russia. Both tasks are difficult and large-scale, and each of them requires a concentration of efforts to achieve meaningful results.

With the transfer of the capital of the DFO lose both cities. Khabarovsk, having lost its destination, will change for the worse. And Vladivostok, overloaded with two large-scale tasks, can simply overrun.

The function of managing, coordinating and coordinating the activities of all subjects of the FEFD, whose territory is seven million square kilometers, four time zones — the mainland area of ​​Australia — is an extremely complex task and requires a lot of expenses for its implementation.

To drag the administrative functions of the capital of the Far East to Vladivostok with the active support of the federal center, and even on the eve of repeated elections, is not a tricky thing. 

But setting the task of attracting the headquarters of transnational corporations, international banks, insurance companies, large businesses, solving problems related to the development of ports, shipping and engineering, finally, offer Singapore to share some of the functions of APEC - here the prestige of the presidential administration is not enough. 

Remember who and how Vladivostok began to rebuild at the turn of the 20 of the 20th century: Kunst and Albers, Briners and many others whose traces remained until our time. Pay attention to the arguments that are in support of the decision: we are talking only about international functions that are not related to the territory of the Far East. Vladivostok should do everything that relates to the establishment of communications between Russia, Russian business and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. And this is another and very important task.

Of course, the city needs financial injections to give it the features of the World City, but the status of the capital of the Far East is not provided for in any budget. Vladivostok today earns more than 50 billion rubles, while no more than 15 billion rubles are left for him to live on, and if you remember that 130 billion rubles pass by us through the Vladivostok customs. - here it is, the impulse of development! So maybe the question should be raised about giving it the status of a city of federal subordination, the Eastern capital of Russia, Pacific Russia?

The competition between Vladivostok and Khabarovsk in a certain way supports each of them in the form, sets the impetus for development, but this decision may not be beneficial for either one or the other. 

The Chinese have offered to build a high-speed railway from Harbin to Vladivostok, and we have plans to build a highway from Vladivostok to Khabarovsk so that we can turn back and forth during the day. Just as in the west there was a link between Moscow and St. Petersburg, so in the east you need to create a World City based on our two cities. This ambitious task requires a different spatial organization of the south of the Far East: a breakthrough can be achieved only with maximum concentration of resources and the combined efforts of our two cities.



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