Comparative Analysis of Regional Features of Contemporary Economy
Moscow city plays a significant role in the region as a commercial and cultural hub. The city also brags of a diverse range of innovativeness in various manufacturing sectors, for instance, building, engineering, metal work, building materials, and defense. These industries’ sectors depend on the city’s population skilled labor force more than the raw materials available. The engineering industry, on the other hand, specializes in ball bearings, machine equipment, such as grinding lathes, precisian cutting equipment’s, and textile industry tools. Aerospace design, measuring equipment, such as watches, are also part of the engineering economy sector specialization in Moscow. In the chemical industry sector, the city was initially involved in producing dyestuffs for textile industries like natural fiber and synthetic clothes. However, the city currently specializes in the production of natural fiber, synthetic clothes, synthetic natural rubbers, rubber tires, paints, plastics, pharmaceutical products, and perfumes. Most of these products are created from the Moscow oil refinery processing petroleum of the Volga-Urals oil filed (Encyclopedia Britannica).
In the service delivery economic sector, Moscow entails a variety of services, for instance, banking, finance, and telecommunications, which are expanding every year as a result of increasing oil industries in the Russian economy (Sassen 17). Furthermore, Moscow plays a significant role in the transportation sector as a destination hub. Moreover, Moscow has also been known for its importance as a research and development center despite the much efforts put in place in the creation of academic towns in other remote places in Russia especially during the Soviet era. Presently, 20 % of all the Russian innovations and developments are situated in Moscow region entailing the most important economic zones in the area of technology research.
One of the distinct features of Moscow economy is its inconsistency in sharing the national wealth by concentrating it on the Soviets. The city has accounted for almost one fourth of the Russian wealth at the beginning of this new millennium, not considering most of the undocumented transactions. The average salary of the employees in Moscow region is relatively higher than other regions, which only forms a quarter of the city dwellers’ earnings in comparison to all other Russian population. The other populations of Russia mostly generate their income from entrepreneurship and property renting, a factor that is attributed to the traditional high prices in the Russian real estate prices.
Western Serbia economic region is among the twelve economic regions of Russia encompassing Al Tai territory, Altai Republic, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous area, Tyumen region, Tomsk region, Omsk region, and Novosibirsk region. The economic conditions are diverse among these regions. For instance, Altai republic boasts of agricultural practices like distant pasture livestock rising, horse breeding, deer and goats rearing, and bee keeping. The Altai territory brags of a well-developed industry in engineering, metal working, and chemical production. Altai region produces a sixth of all the tractors in Russia, 90 % of the tractor ploughs, 50 % of the Russian economy generators as well as the entire railway flight cars. Lastly, Altai region produces the third highest production of rain and milk, sunflower, soya beans, and sugar beets.
In Novosibirsk region, agriculture is considered one of the main activities. The area produces grains, potatoes, vegetables, flax, milk, eggs, beef, pork, lamp, and poultry. The region is also characterized by horse breeding, bee keeping, fur, and fish farming as part of its main activities. According to the Russian profile, the Novosibirsk region produces 95% of the oblast production volume. The city represents the center of business activities in the western region of Russia. For example, the city hosts the Siberian interbank Currency Exchange as well as other numerous offices in Russia and other foreign organizations. There are also industries located in the Novosibirsk region, for instance, machine building, metallurgy, and the production of electric generators used for cutting metals, wood processing, textile manufacturing, polymers, plane spare parts, and chemicals.
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous area is the Russian main oil and gas region and one of the world’s oil producing regions. Furthermore, Tyumen region is also among the other leading regions in Russia producing industrial output that depends considerably on oil and gas. The area also relies on the production of milk, eggs, vegetables, greenhouse products, as well as reindeer herding in the agricultural sector.
It is worth noting that most of these West Serbian regions concentrate on oil and extraction processes, which applies to Omsk region that doubles with other small economic sectors like wood working, timbre, and defense manufacturing. Tomsk, on the other hand, produces rich iron peat reserves to add on the petrochemicals. This region is the home of Siberian Chemical Complex, which is the Russia’s largest nuclear industry enterprises. At one point, the city of Tomsk was designated as a special economic zone for research and development. Yamalo-Nenents Autonomous region has oil and gas reserves that form the major part of its economic industrial production. The area also produces 90% of Russia’s natural gas and a small percentage of oil, approximately 12 %. Kemerovos region, on the other hand, is the main economic industry in coal mining hosting the Kuznetsk Coal basin that is among the largest globally. The region has engineering and chemical industries that are well developed.
Ukraine suffered a steep economic decline after the collapse of the USSR, the loss of nuclear armaments, and misappropriation of national wealth that created a negative image of a nation, that is, a non-market economy among the foreign investors. The foreign investors could not easily enter the Ukraine market until 1990s.The international donors, for instance, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had to deal with shock therapies in the rapid privatization of national assets and deregulation of markets in the process of dealing with the aftermath of the of the post-soviet crisis. The redistribution of wealth in Ukraine in the early 1990s created numerous oligarchs that exposed the remaining population to miserable poverty. The persons who were well-thought-out to be the soviet intelligential like the scientist and artists suffered highly since the national government was not in position to finance the scientific and cultural sectors of the economy. This rendered many highly skilled population and the youths hopeless who resorted to migrate to Europe and the United States during the decade.
During the period before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was among the leading nations that contributed a quarter of the USSR’s GDP at its lowest times. The nation had developed strong sectors in metallurgy and mining that formed some of the backbone of the nation’s economy. Other economic sectors that characterized Ukraine included chemical industry, textile industry, and agriculture and service delivery industries. The nation was among the ones hit hard by the global financial crisis. There was a prompt decline of its main exports, steel, besides the closure of international capital markets that caused negative effects in the banking and real economic sectors. This called for the nation to take a loan from the International Monetary Fund in order to stabilize.
Before its independence, Armenia’s population depended on the manufacturing industry, that is, chemicals production, electronics production, machinery, processed foods, and textile industry (Platz 115). These, however, depended on raw materials from outside sources. The agricultural sectors also accounted for 20% of the material products and employment before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Armenian wines also produced copper, zinc, gold, and lead. In the energy industry sector, it produced alongside imported fuel, for example, gas and nuclear fuel from Russia. The nation’s main energy source is hydroelectric as well as other small amounts of coal, gas, and petroleum that have not been fully developed.
The nation’s economy like other neighboring nations lacks the legacy of a centrally planned economy. Furthermore, the economy suffered a big blow from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Investments in the nations sharply decreased and the nation has suffered natural catastrophes that have had a negative impact on the economic stability of the nation, for instance, the 1988 earthquake that claimed 25, 000 lives and made more than 500, 000 people homeless. The nation’s conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has also affected its economic stability. This is because it resulted in the closure of both Azerbaijani and Turkey borders, cutting down the supply of energy and other raw materials in the production of the nation’s industrial outputs. The eland routes thorough Azerbaijan and Turkey were also closed, leaving the nation to use Georgia and Iran land routes, which are inadequate and reliable. The nation GDP, thus, was affected drastically. However, since 1995, the nation has registered a strong and steady economic growth as a result of the creation of new economic sectors like the prestigious stone processing, jewelry, and the communication sector. This position has earned the nation numerous financial help for global institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank.
Kazakhstan comprises numerous economically valuable natural resources. These include fossil fuel reserves and metals (Olcott and Endowment 1). The main exports for Kazakhstan include metals, oil, machinery, ferrous materials, chemicals, and grain. The region has also a developed service industry sector in the economy, followed by agriculture. Foreign direct investment is paramount to the nation’s economy, as it contributes to the national GDP. The nation’s major exports are destined to China and Germany. The land in the nation also exhibits agricultural potential, attributing to its walnut and apple production.
Contemporary Russia Ukraine Relations
Ukraine affirmed its liberation from the Soviet Union in 1991 for reasons based on the national people’s movement of Ukraine, Rukh, which was formed in 1989. This was one of the force behind the nation’s referendum in 1991, whereby a large population of the Ukraine citizens voted in its favor. After the downfall of the Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine engaged in several relations that took place in different stages. Initially, Russia had hope that the union would be restored or the member nations would come up with new collaboration measures in a geopolitical arrangement. Conversely, Ukraine focused on its future as a sovereign and independent nation (Szporluk 5).
One of the major conflicts between the two nations occurred in the 1990s when Ukraine gave up on its plan for strategic and nuclear establishment that was the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. This was attributed to the fact that the west nations promised to offer security guarantees for Ukraine in return for the disarmament. In as much as the relations between Ukraine and Russia deteriorated, the West did not live up to its promise to help Ukraine in handling its security concerns, especially from its neighboring nations from the east. This led to numerous voices from the nation’s foreign policy, in dispute that the disarmament process was a big mistake the nation undertook later on. Russia, on the other hand, was in war with Georgia in 2008 over the black sea fleet, secessionism in Crimea and the normal gas conflicts. Ukraine’s geopolitical standing, therefore, represented a delicate compromise and threat from Russia.
Therefore, in analyzing the event relations between Russia and Ukraine, there are two major aspects that are apparent: the political and economic aspects. Russia is a significant trading partner for Ukraine as well as a supplier of energy resources. On the other hand, Russia depends on Ukraine for transporting its oil products to Europe, which a major contributor to its economy. It is very difficult to draw a clear line between Russia and Ukraine’s relations, politics, and economics. The issue of Russia has become the most striking concerns in the politics of Ukraine in the divisive line between whether to go the west way or East during the Orange revolution period (Aslund and McFaul n. p). President Victor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are for the idea of westernization through integration to NATO and then after the European Union. On the other hand, Yanukochiv’s party maintains the pro-Moscow relations.Yanukochiv among other leaders in Russia are advocating for the nation of Ukraine to maintain a close relationship with Russia and keep a stance with the west. In this manner, during the orange revolution, Ukraine was spilt into two groups; one group entailed those in support of deeper integration with global institutions and the other group believed that integration poses a great threat to the nation’s national interests that will mean subjecting to the western imperialism. Many people believe this is the reason for the split of Ukraine into two groups: The Western and Eastern Ukraine. Western Ukrainians are largely Ukraine language speakers and they are western oriented while the Easterners are predominantly Russian speaking and also favor Russia relations.
After the presidential election in November 2004, that was highly contested, it was apparent that the incumbent Leonid Kuchma regime was involved in election malpractices that favored its candidate, Victor Yanukovich, who was a Russia darling. The opposition called for mass protests as a way of reacting to the rigged elections. They even went further and threatened to take over the government buildings the way it had earlier happened in Georgia, but Yanukovich could not compromise any further action that would escalate violence (Aslund and McFaul np). Several years later, the situation in Ukraine remained the same as the former Orange associates,Yuschenko and Yulia, continued to fight for power because the nation was not experiencing any meaning full transformation.
Many of the Ukrainians believe that the decision to move away from Russia was not the best of their interest. However, reunion with Russia has remained to be an argument between idealism and pragmatism. Self-sufficiency is agreeable but it is also economically distressing. Antagonistic assentation of self-sufficiency translates to increased gas prices, trade instabilities, and withdrawal of Russian investors and businesses from the Ukrainian capital. Furthermore, Ukraine’s economic recovery was highly enhanced by the Russian energy grants. In early 2009, Ukraine prime Minister approached Russia, U.S., European Union, China, and Japan to assist the nation in meeting the IMF requirement for assistance. However, any potent help from Russia was dismissed by Yushencko, as it would have been a national security threat. This was also due to the fact that Russia had persistently offered Ukraine with loans in the 1990s but the nation refused to pay, opting for costlier loans from the US because of geopolitical reasons. The initiation of the Eastern Partnership that was meant to be a new structure for relations among the ex-soviet nations and Easter Europe in 2009 did not go well with Russia. Russia sensed a scheme by the European Union to intrude to the Russia sphere of influence as well as compromise the security. However, there was relief in Russia as the EU did not consider Ukraine in the partnership. The relations of Russia and Ukraine, therefore, depend on who wins the elections and lead the nation.
Major Features of the Environment and Contemporary Economic and Social Conditions in the Russia Arctic
The longer part of the northern coast of Russia is well placed above the Arctic Circle. Moreover, there are several islands that also belong to the Arctic region located in Barents Sea, Laptev Sea, Kara Sea, East Siberia Sea, Bering Sea, and Chukchi Sea. The inhabitants of this region are mainly native tribes, for instance, the Komi, Enets, and Eskimos among others. Nevertheless, a good number of Russians settled here formerly after during the Soviet times to work at several ports as well as naval sea military bases.
One of the developments that produce negative impacts on the economic and social aspect of the Russian Arctic is the issue of climate change. Climate change has severe effects that have already been felt in the region. Since many of the native population in this region are nomads, their main activity entails fishing, hunting, and rendering for survival. This means that a steady increase in temperature has adverse effects in their customary way of living and surviving. Communities and tribes in this region travel to the north during summer and towards the south in winter. This means that annually, they have to cross the frozen lakes and rivers, and this affects the reindeer due to lack of pasture.
Another environmental problem affecting people in the Russian Arctic involves the melting of the permafrost that is responsible for the increased rates of landslides and release of huge amounts of methane in the atmosphere (Borgerson 63). This can result in the region having impassable swamps. However, many people believe that the trend is significant in bringing benefits of being the coldest nation in the world, and this way, it free up the melting Arctic, thus, paving way for oil and gas explorations.
Arctic region is a disputed sector between Russia and other nations, such as Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the United States (Frolov np).The nation of Russia has laid down the future plans to establish the Arctic as its major resource base by the year 2020, an initiative that has already been approved by the government. The climatic transformation in the region has also permitted several oil drilling access since the roads and regions were initially inaccessible. For instance, a rail road was created in Bovanenkovo at the top of Yamal that connected the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany in 2012. At the same time, the Russian government projected a tax reduction in the region to attract foreign investors in the drilling of frozen mass lands with massive field reserves that would lead to further development of the region.
Moreover, another likely change associated with the changed warm climate entails the retreat of the North Pole Ice that enables navigation to the Northern seas without the icebreakers. The northern passage could turn out to be a striking route like the one that passes through the Suez Canal. Consequently, it is probable to conclude that the climate change will have severe impacts on the Russian Arctic. However, some of the Russian scientists have doubts that the rising temperatures are because of human activity, and therefore, predict the cooling of the Arctic to take place soon.
It is apparent that the survey of the region will have more drawbacks than benefits to the numerous native tribes inhabiting the place, and the oligarchs in Russia cities are encouraged with the new change of events.
Aslund, Anders, and Michael McFaul. “Revolution in Orange.” The Origins of Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough (Washington, 2006) (2006).
Borgerson, Scott G. “Arctic meltdown.” FOREIGN AFFAIRS-NEW YORK– 87.2 (2008): 63.
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Frolov, Vladimir. “The Coming Conflict in the Arctic: Russia and the US Square Off Over Arctic Energy Reserves.” Russia Profile (2007).
Olcott, Martha Brill, and Carnegie Endowment. “Kazmunaigaz: Kazakhstan’s National Oil and Gas Company.” (2007).
Platz, Stephanie. “The Shape of National Time: Daily Life, History, and Identity during Armenia’s Transition to Independence 1 991–1 994.” Altering states: Ethnographies of transition in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (2000): 114-138.
Sassen, Saskia. “Locating cities on global circuits.” Environment and urbanization 14.1 (2002): 13-30.
Szporluk, Roman. Russia, Ukraine and the Breakup of the Soviet Union.2000. Hoover Press.