From the CIAO Atlas Map of Europe 

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CIAO DATE: 07/03

Russian Border Policies and Border Regions

Vasiliy N. Valuev

December 2002

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute


This paper is devoted to Russian border policies and border regions. Border regions are both the referent object and the agent of border policies. In the Russian legislation the regions are entitled to work together with Moscow to perform the border policy. There are also several ways how border regions influence Moscow's decisions on border matters when the issue is out of regions' prerogatives. It means that regions partake in the shaping of the Russian border policy. Although, there have not been always unanimity between Moscow and border regions. Some disagreements were rather strong. Meanwhile, border regions themselves are affected by the center's border policy. Whereas sometimes the implications are positive, in some cases they could be devastating.

In this paper I have a two-fold task. First, I intend to observe different borders of Russia and show some peculiarities of them. Russia has a very long border (about 61 thousand kilometers). The practices related to the border have a lot in common, yet they differ to a certain extent in the spatial as well as in the temporal terms. Borders face different challenges, have different meanings and are treated differently. These features will be reflected while various border related issues will be depicted in general.

Second, as I have already mentioned there will be a set of issues or prisms through which the Russian border will be studied. The logic to do it will be to see what the border is now, what do Russian authorities (national and regional), scholars and public make of borders. Definitely, it will be compared to the Cold War times. Besides, the feature of Russia is that there are some 'new' borders that emerged after the Soviet Union collapse. Whereas most countries experience only how the border has been changing from what was perceived as the border in the past to its current state, Russia is also influenced by constructing new borders.

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