Baltic Studies in 2017Abstract
Amid a worsening geopolitical situation and Big Eurasia plunging into geoeconomic uncertainty, Russian regions are working towards new interregional collaborations and looking for partners in other markets. Russia’s outposts in the Baltic — St. Petersburg and the Kaliningrad region — play a central communicative role in relations with European countries. An exclave under transport and logistics blockade, the Kaliningrad region is increasingly seeking new areas and forms of cooperation with St. Petersburg. In this study, I consider the historical connections between the Kaliningrad region (once, part of East Prussia) and Saint Petersburg in terms of infrastructure, logistics, marketing, production, human resources, recreation, research, and education. I place emphasis on the dependence of the Kaliningrad region on Russia’s ‘hub’ in the Baltic. With a reference to the Framework for a Strategy for Russia’s Spatial Development until 2030, I stress the need for a closer collaboration between Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad in the new geoeconomic and geopolitical conditions. I explore the opportunities for and barriers to the joint geoeconomic positioning of St. Petersburg and the Kaliningrad region in the Baltic. This study has proved instrumental in inventorying all the factors, forms, and areas of cooperation between the two regions. In the article, I also pay attention to individual projects and initiatives.