Analysis results: integration influence on environment
The course “Turn towards East” means non institutional integration with China.
The expected civil society’s reaction is growing alarmism up to ecologic extremism. This is result of possible environmental damages made by resource projects, first of all, energy export projects. The ecologic problems and relevant discussions have intensified and sharpened. As a result different approaches to environmental problems are formed. Single out the most characteristic two of them. They may be labeled as ecological extremism and ecological integration.
The supporters of the first one contend that Russian inclusion in integration process in Northeast Asia has extremely resource-energetic character. The oil and gas industry, which is a key sector supporting the Russian economy, is being developed in Primorsky Krai – the southern and most developed subregion of Pacific Russia .
They call for refusal of any projects for the sake of preservation of unique fauna and flora. First of all it concerns pipeline “East Siberia – Pacific Ocean”. Such approach receives the appropriate "extreme" repulse on the part of regional authorities. The example of such repulse is wide spread in mass media assertion on possible earthquake with magnitude equal 8 at the appointed place for location of East petrochemical plant 4 km from Nachodka . The second approach assumes actions in the direction of ecologic integration. Some say the vector of actions should be formatted this way “from ecologic extremism – towards ecologic integration.
Constitute feature of the Russian economy - its resource character. The most mature resource type of economy is characteristic for Far East region. The problem is that distinctions in abundances of natural resources influence integration processes not as standard as distinctions in security of the capital or labor. That is not in the way as standard modern model of foreign trade predicts.
Integration of resource economy causes the greatest number of problems. It is connected with the fact that integration changes model of the international division of factors and first of all natural resources. The countries, rich with natural resources lose the advantages. Those advantages pass to those who can get and use these resources. As result the control of environment and resources moves to importing and more advanced countries. A principle “do not own, but receive benefit” wins. An establishment of the control on the Russian deposits and, first of all oilfield is the integral element of the development strategy of China.
Results of other researches also specify problem character of integration for economy of resource type. In particular, the proof of rate’s lag of economic growth of the countries with rich natural resources and raw structure of export caused big scientific and a public resonance in Russia . In that case the question “whether it is necessary for Russia to be guided by an integration vector if it causes delay of economic development rates?” is quite natural question.
The answer to the posed question is affirmative and proved by the economic history of other resource economies. The conclusions of the Sax and Warner  were revised by results of recent researches [ 31].
But problems remain. They are connected with widespread among the Russian political elite and the academic circles superstition, that West wants Russia to be transformed into its raw appendage. The point of view on regional integration as on the new form of expansion is also popular.
One more new conceptual turn is shaping now in Russia. It is connected with intermediate results of continuous and mounting debate with relationship and contraposition between resource (raw) and innovative economics. The results of this debate will greatly affect environment in East Russia.
Up to date the most popular point of view proved innovative development as the only way to remove Russian economy from environmental damages and resource dead-lock and to escape resource curse. The opposite opinion, based on Heksher-Ohlin theorem, argue that natural resource abundance of Russian economy will affect its structure for benefit of primary sector and raw-oriented export. This opinion is sharply criticized for the last years . At first sight these points of view are mutually exclusive. Nevertheless they can be balanced and reduced to common denominator. The first public presentation of this view was made by academician Velihov, supervisor of nanotechnology and information technology department of Russian Academy of science. “Raw economy and economy of knowledge should not be opposed. Our products are oil, gas, raw stock. Knowledge should be reflected on our product and we should invest them that way to get maximum return” . In other words innovations in Russian economy will be most profitable first of all in primary sector and it does not contradict to Heksher-Ohlin theorem. Politically it means adherence to course of more intensive natural resource implication into economic flaws.
There are a signs of de facto practical recognition of this position. According to our estimation based on interviews with regional businessmen 40 percents of them don’t connect economic future of Pacific Russia with processing industry. They connect development of the region with logistics , resource extraction and transportation. Another relatively new vector of regional development induced sanctions and affecting environment connect with agriculture. Matsuyama’s model predicts a positive link between agricultural production and economic growth while decreasing the level openness . On one side agrarian development gives more chances to improve border environment. But on the other side the economic decline in Russia has turned green issues into a luxury. That is low acting in any country .
The nearest future will reveal the environmental consequences of new vector of Russian Far East development.