Factors and prospects for the development of geostrategic territories in contemporary geopolitical processes of the Greater Caspian Region (the case of Astrakhan region)
Keywords:Caspian region, geostrategic territory, geopolitics, cross-border territory, transport hub, priority territory, Convention, Russian Federation, Astrakhan region, national security, transport and energy framework
Russia's spatial development strategy has a geopolitical dimension and aims to streamline it, accelerate socio-economic development of regions, and integrate them more closely, defining a list of macro-regions and their composition, and identifying priority geostrategic areas and cross-border geostrategic areas of the country. However, the status of these territories is not filled with real geopolitical content as a major transport hub, which determines their geostrategic character in matters of national security. On the example of the Astrakhan region, we studied the peculiarities and prospects of development of geostrategic territories in modern geopolitical processes of the Greater Caspian Region. The methodological basis of the study is a comparative analysis of the adopted legislative documents "Strategies of Socio-Economic Development of Regions of the Russian Federation" in 2005, the Spatial Development Strategy of Russia until 2030 (from 2016) and the Spatial Development Strategy of Russia until 2025. A number of criteria have been identified as essential: "borderland", concentration of socio-economic development efforts in a particular region,
ensuring Russia's national security. The Astrakhan region represents the middle priority geostrategic transboundary territory of the Russian Federation and the world at large. In the framework of the implementation of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea of 12.08.2018, the Astrakhan region may be granted certain priority competences deriving from the provisions of the Convention and defining the status of the Caspian Sea. In modern geopolitical conditions the Astrakhan region acts as a kind of buffer of national security in the South of Russia, providing geostrategic and political interests of the country, which allow fully vesting the studied region with a special geostrategic status "a priority geostrategic territory of the Russian Federation".