It is short-sighted to discount Russia as a power in Northeast Asia and perceive it only as a problem. True, Moscow will have to work hard indeed if it wants to become a regional power in Northeast Asia and will need to concentrate its resources on a set of clear policy priorities. Russians will have to stop thinking of themselves as an Asian or a 'Eurasian' nation, for they are neither. They clearly belong to Europe, and are only present in Asia. And yet it is in the latter, not the former, that the fate of their country will be decided. The world may or may not be entering a 'Pacific century'.
For Russia, at any rate, the first decades of the coming century could be dominated by both problems and opportunities coming from Asia. Among strategic challenges in the region, the fate of the Russian Far East ranks first for Moscow, ahead even of a possible new war on the Korean Peninsula.