Q 1 Comparative analysis of regional features of contemporary economy in
Apart from being the main regional business and cultural hub, Moscow city possess a diverse collection of enterprises in different industry sectors, such as engineering, metalworking, construction materials, and security (Tarr 22). The industries normally depend more on the town’s skillful labor force than on natural materials. Engineering area focuses on ball bearings, appliances, mainly in grinding lathes, and fabric industry tools, aerospace design and measuring gadgets, including watches. The region’s chemical industry which formerly produced dyestuffs for fabric industry, such as natural-fiber, currently makes industrialized rubbers and tires, paints, pharmaceutical commodities, and fragrances, usually emanated from Moscow’s oil plant processing petroleum.
Major Service industries such as finance, banking and telecommunications, are turning out to be more important every year, as oil resources keep stimulating Russian economy. It is also crucial to note the function of Moscow as a significant transportation center. Additionally, the area has been a business centre, regardless of the efforts to form so-called “academic cities” in far-flung parts of the nation during the Soviet period. At present, 20 percent of all scientific associations in Russia are located in Moscow Region and the city is the home for Dubna and Zelenograd, which are two special economic sectors, designed for technology research ((Tarr 24).
A strange aspect of the region’s economy is that although an unbalanced share of national resources was concentrated there during Soviet times, the level of concentration has considerably increased from 1990 ((Tarr 25). Moscow city has contributed to one-fourth of Russia’s riches by the start of the new millennium, not taking into account unreported dealings. Average earnings are much superior in Moscow than in other parts of the country. Nonetheless salaries represent only a quarter of urban dwellers’ wages, compared to three-fifths for all Russian citizens, who obtain a large part of their income from private enterprise and property renting and therefore property prices in Moscow are usually high.
The Western Siberia area which is a part of 12 economic expanses of Russia encompasses Altai province, Altai state, Kemerovo province, Khanty-Mansi self-governing Area, Novosibirsk province, Omsk province, and Yamalo-Nenets self-governing region. Consequently, the economic state varies significantly throughout the region. The economy of Altai Republic largely depends on farming, such as distant-fodder livestock raising, breeding downy goats and also bee farming. As for Altai province, it has fully developed industries, such as manufacturing, metalworking, as well as chemicals. This region manufactures a sixth of all tractors in Russian republic, 90 percent of the tractor plows, 50 percent of all generators, and all railway shipment cars (Hagendoorn, Linssen, and Tumanov 53).The territory is the third largest milk producer and one of the largest meat producers as well as a major producer of Sunflowers and sugar beets.
Farming is one the major activities in Novosibirsk area and farm produce such as grains, vegetables, eggs, fur and poultry are produced. Horse reproduction, bee-keeping and fish farming are as well main activities. According to Russia Profile of 2009, eighty percent of the industrial prospective of the oblast is concentrated in Novosibirsk with processing sectors providing ninety five percent of the whole production capacity (Hagendoorn et al. 55). The town is the business hub in West Siberia whereby the Siberian Interbank money Exchange is situated as well as several offices of Russian and alien corporations. Industrial activities in Novosibirsk Region incorporate machine building and metalwork, specifically production of powered generators, instruments for metal cutting, fabric industries, electronics, aircraft parts, and chemicals.
Khanty-Mansi is the main oil production area in Russia and one of the world’s major oil-producing regions (Hagendoorn et al. 61)). Tyumen area, which ranks first in Russia in relation to industrial productivity, also depends greatly on oil as well as gas production. Dairy farming, poultry and fishing are the major segments of agriculture.
It is clear that most parts of West Siberia focus on oil mining and processing, and so is Omsk province where smaller sectors also incorporate woodworking and also manufacturing (Hagendoorn et al. 63). Tomsk Region boasts huge reserves of iron, peat as well as petrochemicals. This area is the home to Siberian Chemical Complex which is Russia’s biggest nuclear industry project that generates nuclear energy (Hagendoorn et al. 66). In Yamalo-Nenets sovereign region, oil and gas comprise of 93 percent of its total industrial production. At least 90 percent of the nation’s natural gas and 12 percent of its oil are generated in Yamalo-Nenets. Kemerovo’s main business is coal mining and its Kuznetsk Basin is one of the most prevalent in the globe. However, engineering industries are also fully developed in the region (Hagendoorn et al. 68).
The sharp decline in Ukrainian economy after the disintegration of the USSR, as well as the loss of nuclear armors, misappropriation of public funds and earning the image of a nation with non-market financial system formed a negative perception of the country amongst foreign investors. Investors from Abroad were cautious with regards to investing in the country up until 1990. Intercontinental financiers such as the International monetary fund (IMF) and the World Bank depended on quick privatization of national resources and market deregulation in coping with the post-Soviet catastrophe. Wealth reorganization in 1990 resulted to the rise of numerous oligarchs and left the many citizens in utter scarcity. Those people who were regarded as Soviet intelligenzia, for example, artists and scientists, were the mostly affected as the new administration was incapable of funding art and culture (Hagendoorn et al. 70). Many vastly skilled professionals, together with youthful citizens, emigrated to America and Europe during the period.
Prior to the disintegration of the Soviet unification, Ukraine was accountable for a quarter of USSR’s gross domestic product at its worst period. Other parts that were mainly developed incorporated metallurgy as well as mining and they are still the backbone of the state’s economy. Nonetheless, other industries like chemicals, fabrics, and agriculture are turning out to be more and more significant. Ukraine was one of the countries mostly affected by the worldwide financial calamity where a rapid decline in prices of its major export, steel, together with the shutdown of global capital markets affected both the banking industry and real economy (Hagendoorn et al. 71). This was a situation that called for a loan from the IMF in order for it to be alleviated.
Rapid economic growth of the nation began after it developed into being a recipient of economic backing from the IMF in 1995. An additional boost occurred following the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil channel, which provided job opportunities for many citizens. However, majority of the populace are farmers and this is the key sector of the region’s economy, contributing almost 21 percent of her gross domestic product. Other areas making considerable contribution towards the state’s GDP incorporate services, communication and construction industries (Nichol 102). Restructuring in extraction, construction and banking industries is needed. Armenia, by virtue of being dependent on the influx of foreign resources, suffered considerably from the international credit crisis. At some point in 2008, it approached the IMF for an emergency loan meant to re-establish gross international reserves and improve investor confidence (Nichol 104).
This country possesses loads of profitable natural resources such as fossil fuel as well as metals. Some of the main items that the country exports include metals, machines, oil, and chemicals and the country’s GDP growth is estimated as 8.5 percent. Service industry is the main segment that boasts the economy accounting for about 54.8 percent, followed by manufacturing and agricultural sectors. About 13.8 percent of the populace lives under poverty level. Foreign venture is of paramount significance for the nation, given that it accounts for 30.3 percent of entire GDP. Main export destinations include China where it exports 15.6% of total exports and Germany 11.5 percent. In addition, the vast steppe lands demonstrate major agricultural potential and South Kazakhstan is well-known for its walnut together with apple production (Nichol 111).
Q 2 What is the current US interests in the Region of Caucasus?
Hillary Clinton’s current short but intense trip to the South Caucasus was extensively discussed in political and think-tank spheres prior to its commencement. Such extensive interest had serious reason, as this was the secretary’s second trip to the state since 2010. It was as well her last Caucasian trip before the America presidential elections and the closing stages of her term in the Governmental Department (Bishku 40).
Clinton’s last tour to the Caucasus came after Vladimir Putin’s nonappearance at the G-8 meeting at Camp David where the president rather visited Belarus to show his Eurasian concerns. This behavior provided a genuine way to talk about the intricacies of the Russian-American reset, particularly taking consideration of the special America-Georgia strategic collaboration. American policy in relation to the Caucasus has a different motivation since the region is not valuable in seclusion. The region is of interest as a platform for working on bigger security and foreign strategy puzzles. American policy makers, for instance, view Georgia, as the fragile link of the previous Soviet countries, which Moscow could exploit as a tool to institute its authority in Eurasia (Bishku 44). In the meantime, Russia’s supremacy in the post-Soviet region is viewed as a portion of a plan of reintegration.
The growing geopolitical action of Moscow in its nearby regions is usually acknowledged with the strengthening of dictatorial trends in Russia. Believing such activity a challenge to America and maybe representational of a return to Cold War techniques is debatable. In spite of the validity of this notion, it is nevertheless a component of the American political and professional dialogue. While America and NATO are concentrating on Russian action in Europe, there are three activities in the South Caucasus that are worth closer attention. First the current political instability in Georgia, secondly a possible Russian takeover of Georgian escape territories and lastly growing tensions among Armenia and Azerbaijan due to the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani region. In each of the three developments, Russia’s authority can be sensed at the back of the scenes. Even though the South Caucasus is geographically far-away from the America, occurrences there can have severe implications for the transatlantic people. Events affecting South Caucasus are a threat to regional security, and therefore, it is in America’s national interests to remain vigilant on events in the country (Bishku 45).
The South Caucasus is situated at a vital ecological crossroads and has been tactically significant for military and fiscal reasons for a very long time. This is mainly true for America and European states. The region, particularly Georgia, has acted in a major scene in NATO’s distribution plan for redeployment of soldiers in Afghanistan. Important pipelines pass through the area moving oil and gas to other European regions (Bishku 47). As Europeans strive to become less reliant on Russian energy supply these pipelines will turn out to be more and more important and however far-flung the region might appear, it is central and cannot be overlooked.
Because of the geostrategic significance of South Caucasus and Russia’s new function in the area, America cannot afford to disregard the recent political and security events there. America should support Georgia to persist with the quest of unifying the transatlantic society. America in collaboration with allies in Europe must continue showing Georgia that its future is better in the transatlantic society when compared with Russia. America should continue increasing targeted trade and industry sanctions if Abkhazia or South Ossetia is seized by Russia. America should make it very comprehensible to Russia that takeover of either of the breakaway regions will prompt stronger economic sanctions that aim at chief Russian officials. America should initiate the development of a strategy with its European allies to get ready for this possible occurrence. United States should continue monitoring the state of affairs in Karabakh as well as Armenia’s close relations with Russia. Matters relating to peace talks over Karabakh have been halted for a long period and there is nothing America can do to unite the parties and bring them back to the negotiations (Bishku 50). Remaining silent on the matter presents implicit consent of the status quo and therefore America should carry on calling for a nonviolent solution to the conflict that includes the pulling out of Armenian soldiers from Azerbaijan territories.
Moscow continue to make use of ethnic partitions and anxiety in the South Caucasus to advance pro-Russian strategies that are regularly in conflict with, or even worse threaten, America ’s interests in the area (Bishku 55). Although the South Caucasus may possibly appear distant to various American policymakers, any leak out from ongoing and possible conflicts in the area can affect America and its security interests and therefore the country is aware of the fact that that it can only ignore the South Caucasus at its own risk.
Q 3 Characterize contemporary Russia-Ukraine relations
Ukraine gained its sovereignty from the Soviet unification in 1991, which was as a result of foundation set by the nationalist People’s interest group of Ukraine, Rukh, established in 1989. It was among the major forces behind the referendum in 1991 whereby 90 percent of Ukrainians voted in support of sovereignty (Yang, and Beide 10).
Since the disintegration of the Soviet, Russia-Ukraine interactions went through a number of phases. Initially, Russia relished hopes that the unification might be re-established or swapped with a different yet strongly integrated geopolitical plan. Nonetheless, Ukraine observed its future as a self-governing nation. The main quarrel in the 1990s was relating to Ukraine’s resolution to renounce its strategic nuclear weaponry which was at the moment the world’s third biggest nuclear weapon store (Yang, and Beide 12). The West pledged to afford security pledges to the ex-Soviet nation in exchange for disarmament. Nonetheless, as the relations among Ukraine and Russia continued to worsen, the West was ever more perceived as reluctant to protect Ukraine from Russia.
The debates in Ukrainian from foreign policy makers in contention that disarmament was a total mistake are predominantly strong now, 18 years afterward. In the course of Russia’s battle with Georgia in 2008, the current conflict regarding the Black Sea convoy, secessionism in Crimea, and yearly gas rows, Ukraine’s geopolitical position is rigorously compromised and threatened by Russia (Yang, and Beide 14).
Examining current events in Russia-Ukraine associations is most appropriate in two varying features, which include political and economic aspects. Russia is very beneficial to Ukraine as a trading associate and provider of energy resources and at the same time, Russia depends on Ukraine for moving its oil and gas to countries in Europe (Yang, and Beide 15). Therefore, it is very hard to create a clear line separating politics from economics on issues relating to Russia-Ukraine relations.
Consequently, the issue of Russia is the most important subject in politics of Ukraine. This was the divisive line linking East and West at the times of the renowned Orange Revolution. President Viktor and the Prime Minister Tymoshenko are both supportive of Westernization and incorporation into NATO and probably the European Union, while the president’s Party of Regions maintains a solid pro-Moscow point of stand. The president and numerous other politicians were supporting closer connections with Russia and more autonomous stand in the associations with the West. This was the same manner at some stage in the Orange Revolution that Ukraine got to be separated into those who were in support of deeper incorporation into international institutions versus those who thought that such integration creates a risk to Ukraine’s state interests and equaled involvement in the international practices with conceding to West imperialism. Several people believe that exaggeration of the otherwise inexistent split among the Western and Eastern Ukraine was mere fabrication. Western Ukraine however, is mainly Western-oriented, while the Eastern side is inhabited largely by Russian speakers keen to uphold strong cultural as well as political connections with Russia (Yang, and Beide 17). Consequently, the West supported Yushchenko during the elections, while the Eastern side had their vote for Yanukovych.
Following the heavily contested presidential voting in November of 2004, it became apparent that the sitting Leonid Kuchma’s administration manipulated the results to the benefit of his protégé and Moscow’s beloved, Yanukovich. The opposition side led by Viktor declared that the elections to be unmerited and called upon a countrywide remonstration. Some demonstrators called for complete takeover of governmental offices but Yushchenko discouraged any action that that could have aggravated hostility (Yang, and Beide 20). There was a reasonable danger of secessionism and whether to bestow Russian the status of the second national language continue being an obstacle in every political effort in Ukraine.
The president’s condemnation of Russia’s war with Georgia in September of 2008 led to the collapse of the ruling coalition of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko. The party of Tymoshenko united with the opposition and endorsed legislation restraining presidential powers. Tymoshenko has been advocating for separation in the relations of Russia but lately she has supposedly made a deal with Kremlin without anybody’s knowledge. Her editorial for The World in 2009, the yearly compilation of predictions for the year at the forefront compiled by Economist, indicates the post-1945 reunion between France and Germany as a mock-up for Ukraine and Russia (Yang, and Beide 21).
Presently, majority of Ukraine citizens think it was incorrect to separate from Russia. Rapprochement with the country is normally structured as a debate involving idealism and common sense whereby sovereignty is agreeable although economically unhelpful. Aggressive affirmation of independence instantly results to elevated gas prices, business interruptions, and pulling out of Russian businesses and resources. Ukraine’s product boom was to a large scope made achievable through Russia’s energy financial backing (Yang, and Beide 23). However, as Ukraine moves out of Kremlin’s scope, a weird tradition has surfaced where each year during Christmas period Russia renegotiates the deal for gas supply and this is followed by hiking of prices. This is supposedly done to intimidate Ukraine into vending its gas transportation network. Recently, the row resulted to Russian gas supply to the European Union being cut for several days, in the middle of allegations of Ukraine hijacking gas shipped through its region.
In 2009, the Ukrainian Prime Minister resorted to Russia, America the EU, and Japan for funding so as to meet IMF obligations. Yushchenko as a threat to nationwide security (Yang, and Beide 26) dismissed a loan from Russian loan. However, since 1990s, Russia has steadily offered financial backing to Ukraine, but Ukraine preferred more expensive credits from US for geopolitical grounds. The launch of the Eastern Partnership 2009 infuriated Russia, given that the EU was viewed as an intruder into the Russian orbit of privileged interests, which was tinted as a compromise of the nation’s security. Concurrently, Moscow was also pleased to take notice of the fact that EU does not plan to incorporate Ukraine as its affiliate anytime soon.
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