Early Maritime Russia and the North Pacific Arc

Dianne Meredith

Abstract


Russia has a longer Pacific coastline than any other Asian country, yet a Pacific identity has been difficult to assume in spite of over four hundred years of exploration. Russia expanded its Pacific coastline through a series of territorial acquisitions from China, which gave it the port of Vladivostok as its opening to the Pacific. However, this was interrupted by the Russian Revolution and the xenophobic Stalinist era which closed Vladivostok and Pacific Russia to the world until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Continental and maritime stances – inward and outward– can determine and express outcomes and identities. Russia’s expansion to the Pacific was never based on a cultural preference to become Asian rather than European, preferring instead the term Eurasian to describe its huge longitudinal destiny.

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