Cross-Border Cooperation vs “Territorial Issue”: Kuril Islands in the Period of Market Transformations
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Cross-Border Cooperation vs “Territorial Issue”: Kuril Islands in the Period of Market Transformations
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Elena Chernolutskaia 
Affiliation: Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnology, the Far-Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Vladivostok

The article shows the specifics of interaction between the Kuril districts of the Sakhalin Oblast and foreign business at the initial stage of Russian market reforms. In the analysis, the author relies on the characterization of the behavior lines of the participants and the event series from the point of view of historical regionalism. It is concluded that the development of cross-border cooperation in the Kuril sub-region was strongly negatively affected by the counteraction policy of the Japanese authorities, who considered the returning the southern Kuril Islands under their jurisdiction a matter of the nearest future. The reaction of the Russian leadership to this challenge was uncertain and contradictory. All this has put the southern Kuril Islands in a situation of uncertainty about their future political fate. As a result, a model of foreign economic relations was formed here, which was almost completely reduced to the legal and illegal export of marine bioresources and only point interactions in the onshore economy, being a brake on the development of island territories and not contributing to their recovery from the permanent crisis of the 1990s. 

cross-border cooperation, the Kuril Islands, Russian market reforms, Japan policy on the “Northern territories”
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