The Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) opens new development opportunities for Russia in general, and its Eastern regions in particular, via larger-scale and multi-level international cooperation. The eastern regions of Russia, rich in natural resources, have traditionally focused on resource extraction. In the context of the SREB, the issues of environmental security in Eastern Russia come to the fore. Here, we propose tools for ‘diagnosis’ if a chosen path of regional economic development proceeds according to the concept of a green economy. We use different indicators based on eco-intensity. We determine ecological-economic development trends in the Eastern border regions of Russia at the initial stage of the Silk Road Economic Belt formation to serve as a starting point and guideline for development processes within the SREB. If cooperation is directed to implementing the best Chinese production chains, significant improvements in the quality of economic growth in Russia will be achieved.
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