Russia’s Maritime Province lies in the Nation’s southeastern outskirts, in the very south of the Far East on the Japan Sea coast. Its area is 165.9 thous. sq.km, which equals almost 1% of the area of theRussian Federation.
Russia’s Maritime Province to one of her medium-size regions, though much larger than, say, Greece (131 thous. sq.km), Bul garia (111 thous. sq. km) or Iceland (103 thous. sq. km). Again, the combined area of Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Switzerland is less than that of Primorye.
In addition to its continental part, the Maritime Province includes numerous islands, e.g. Russkyi, Popov, Putyatin, Reineke, Rikorda, Rismky-Korsakov, Askold, Petrov, etc. many of them having been named in honor of Russian navigators, who either discovered or investigated Russia’s Far Eastern seas and lands, and also in honor of vessels aboard which those voyages were made. The northernmost tip of Primorye is near the sources of Dagdy River (tributary of Samarga River)(480 23’ N. lat.), and its extreme point is in the estuary of Tumannaya (Kor. Tumangan) River on the border with the North Korea (42018’ N. lat.). Its extreme western point lies near the source of Novgorodovka River (Khasan District) on the border with China (130o 24’ E. long. the extreme eastern point being Cape Zolotoi on the Japan Sea coast (139o 02’ E. long.).
The distance between the extreme northern and southern points is 900 km, and between the western and eastern points 430 km.
Of the total 3,000 km of Primorye’s boundaries, almost 1,500 km borders the sea.
The southernmost tip of Primorye borders on North Korea, the southwestern sector of the bolder starting from the estuary of Tumannaya (Tumangan) River to pass along it till Khasan.
The western sector includes the border on China. It passes in the northwestern direction toward Hill Zaoziornaya (altitude 167 m) and further to the north, crossing a boggy locality. It reaches Povorotnyi peak (454 m) to subsequently pass along the ridge of Chorniye Mountains. Further along Granitnaya River, it crosses Razdolnaya River to emerge onto the watershed of the border range to pass to the estuary of River Tour. Then the national border crosses Lake Hanka along a straight line to reach the source of River Sungach flowing from Lake Hanka and pass along its course until its inflow into Ussuri River to further pass along the Ussuri till the boundary between Primorye and Khabarovsk Territories.
In the north, the boundary between the Primorye and Khabarovsk Territories passes mainly along the watershed of the basins of Bikin and Khor Rivers (right-hand tributaries of Ussuri River), and thence along the watershed of Rivers Khor and Samarga, which flows into the Sea of Japan.
The northeastern sector of the national border passes along the watershed of the basins of River Samarga and smaller streams that run from the eastern slope of Sikhote Alin (Botchi, Nelma and other small rivers) in Khabarovsk Territory. From the east and southeast, the Sea of Japan, a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean washes Primorye.
Primorye’s geopolitical position is determined by the fact that over 1,000 km of its national frontier borders on China, Russia’s major neighbor, and nearly 30 km on North Korea, passing through the Sea of Japan to the sea frontiers of Japan and South Korea and other nations of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). Besides, Primorye serves as a link, as it were, in Russia’s international ties with numerous APR nations.
The nations bordering on Primorye greatly differ in population size and density, economic and social development, natural resources, culture and political systems. Such major differences are beneficial, allowing establishing diversified ties with numerous nations and using their economic, technological, cultural and scientific accomplishments. At the same time, however, major socio-economic and political distinctions frequently complicate relations between nations and regions. All this should be taken into account in promoting Primorye’s diversified relations with APR countries in protecting Russia’s ground and sea borders.
Russia’s Maritime Province enjoys free access to the Pacific and a very special geopolitical status along with highly diversified natural resources, and this makes its geographic position highly advantageous.
P. BAKLANOV et. al. Geography of Primorye Territory.
Ussuri Publishers. Vladivostok, 1997.
Institute of Geography, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
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