Apr 22, 2012 – APIR CENTER Press Conference

Presentation of the Asia Pacific International Relations Study Center was held in Khabarovsk press center Interfax.

Journalists, academics, representatives of government and nonprofit organizations have been invited to the presentation. The participants acquainted with the mission, goals and objectives of the Centre, got an idea of the problems that contributed to the emergence of such a center in the Far East. Participants were able to ask scientists questions. The press conference passed from brief speaches of experts to the discussions of the most relevant topics. Thus, participants of presentation have received more comprehensive idea of the activities and opportunities to participate in projects of the Centre.

An introductory speech was made by the Director of the Center, Professor, Head of the Department of General History of the Far Eastern State University of Humanities, Ph.D. History Valery Timoshenko. He said that in Russia there was no unite Far – Eastern center for the studying international relations for a long time.

“In the beginning of the 1990s already was an attempt to create such a center in the Far East. However, due to the lack of financing, it has been closed. At this time the center has received investment from a Russian company that is interested in research in the Far East “, – emphasized V. Timoshenko.

He also explained that the Center would study international relations in a comprehensive manner, as it is practiced in many countries of the Asia-Pacific Region.

“There are more than 20 such Centers only in Australia. In addition, abroad they study international issues of APR in a comprehensive manner. In particular, in the “East – West  Center”, located in Hawaii, USA, covers not only political and economic problems, but also, for example, ecological”, – said the Director of the Centre.

V. Timoshenko noted that one of the Center’s mission is to mobilize scientists, public figures, journalists, businessmen, students for the strengthening of international relations. Besides US agencies APIR Center has adjusted a close cooperation with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The Center is in constant correspondence with foreign experts. They are very interested in the opinion of Russian experts on various issues. APIR Center is supported by local scientists.

” We closely cooperate with counterparts from Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Far Eastern Studies and other research groups, which render us greater support “, – said the Director of the Center.

Manager of the Project, corresponding member of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences named by Vernadsky, Ph.D. History, Marina Romanova said that one of the basic directions of the Centre is to study the impact of Western liberalism and democracy in Eastern countries.

“It has a connection with another project for the study of the mentality of the peoples of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. It is devoted, first of all, to exploring of the world, stories, traditions and customs of people”, – said M. Romanova.

“The third project involves the study of history education and historic policies of the Asia-Pacific region. And here we can learn from the peoples of the Asia Pacific region. Some of them are living in the Far East for more than five thousand years and can appreciate its history “, – stressed M. Romanova.

“In the activities of the center deployed 12 staff and experts, but I would also like to attract researchers from Irkutsk, Blagoveshchensk, Krasnoyarsk, Vladivostok, Sakhalin and Kamchatka and Magadan. At that point, there will be more opportunities and possibilities “,-said the expert of the Centre, Ph.D. History Alexander Anisimov.

The expert of the center, Ph.D. Philosophy, professor Leonid Bljaher drew attention to the fact that in dealing with certain issues it is necessary to define the interests of Russia.

“Europe is integrated and it needs Russia as a supplier of raw materials, minerals. Asia-Pacific countries are less integrated, and there are many different forces and different interests. Accordingly, you can enter international markets. And for this we must understand where we go. If not, then we will remain a raw materials appendage “, – professor said.

“The interest of Russia in Far Eastern policy is based on the need of ‘tambour-adapter’ and on the possibility to change the mode from Western Europe political regime to the East Asian. That is why need to understand what is the Far East. Serious research in this direction have not been conducted. «We live in the suburbs. I understand that in the wild northern cities – I mean Moscow and St. Petersburg – everything is more complicated, but, nevertheless, – yes, we live in the suburbs. We are side by side with another suburb called North China. They are also suburbs. And, paradoxically, the problems that exist at the suburb, to fiction are similar to the problems that exist in this – our – suburb. And it may be that the interpenetration, which is now really occurs between these suburbs, will create a new synthesis …»  – L. Bljaher said.

As noted at the press conference, the expert of APIR Center, Ph.D. History, Alexander Pyatkov, the center will also help create a positive image of eastern territory of Russia in neighboring countries, it is necessary for successful integration in the Asia-Pacific region. However the analysis lead by the Khabarovsk scientists shows that neighbors have little idea of the Russian Far East.

According to Alexander Ivanov, Ph.D. History, in Russia, the lack of attention paid to our close neighbours-study of North and South Korea. He drew attention to a number of territorial and economic disputes between South Korea and Japan. Unfortunately, this topic has not been studied and is not used in the interests of Russia.

“Image of Russia is rather weak among the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The media monitoring, which was carried out over the past months, showed that their opinion of us, if not distorted, then blurred. There is no clear understanding of our problems and our future”, – he said.

Participants of press conference have paid attention that Russia in the Far East should have a reliable military board.

“For example, relations between Japan and China could emerge in a different way. Be strong and you will be respected. Unfortunately, Russia today is not a strong power. Therefore, studying international relations at the Far East, it was necessary to take into account the military factor “, – Expert of APIR Center, Ph. D. History, professor Andrey Samohin has told.

“In this connection it would be desirable, if Center would have an applied orientation. Its scientists could give the recommendation to businessmen and politicians. And as the policy is not deprived from a military vector, to unite efforts of politicians and militaries”, – has emphasized A. Samohin.

The Centre established Club of debates to discuss problems that affect Russia. They are on the web-site of the Center www.apircenter.org. Now, for example, discusses issues on the Kuril Islands, the holding of elections in Russia and other topical issues.

APIR Center created on the basis of History Faculty of Far Eastern State University of Humanities. It aims to unite under the one roof not only Khabarovsk scientists but all over the Far East. The Centre will study the economy, policies of countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Special attention will be paid to the role of our country in the region. In Russia there are new. Therefore, site Center will work in two languages – English and Russian, to share discoveries with our foreign colleagues.

Those who are interested in the topic of International Relations in Asia-Pacific region – students, graduates of the universities, as well as public figures, journalists and businessmen, will be able to join the work of the Center.


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