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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 21:11 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 21:11 | SYDNEY

Russia's border cooperation: Some light

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21 August 2008 14:36

I want to tie together three themes running through recent blog posts: Russia’s willingness to change borders; Northeast Asia’s continuing border disputes; and the idea of growing cooperation among Russia, China and other authoritarian states.

Two weeks ago, Russia announced that it would redraw its Tumen River border with North Korea for the first time since 1990 when the present border agreement was reached. Topographical changes to the river have led Russia to ask for this change with Russia likely to expand its territory by up to 30 square kilometres.

This follows last month’s agreement between China and Russia resolving a long-standing border dispute that led Russia to 'return' one and a half islands to China. The agreement with China and negotiations with North Korea re-emphasise Russia's concerns about its borders. In this case though, Russia seems to be taking a cooperative approach to address its border concerns in its far eastern periphery, in contrast to its recent military actions in the Caucuses. The China-Russia agreement also gives us hope that border disputes can be solved diplomatically even among re-emerging powers with 'modern' (not post-modern) views of sovereignty. Of course, Russia and democratic Japan are as far apart as they ever have been on their territorial disputes. 

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