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Does Russia belong to Europe or Asia?

Hello everyone,

since we have been talking about Russia... A while ago, I had a very interesting class in university: Business Modell Russia. There we learned that Russians neither considers themselves European nor Asian. They are something in between, a little bit of both, and a unique case. They say the are Eurasian.

What do you guys think about this?

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well, geographically speaking they are correct. Europe is considered to end along the Ural mointain chain. Anything furthr East ist considered Asian.

So, in a sense Russians are Eurasians. Anyhow, generalizations hardly ever work. In my view of things, it depends where the person comes from and where s/he spent most of her/his life so far. There are quite significant differences and Russian is not Russian. However, this concept is true for Austrians, Germans and most of the other cultures as well.

There are only very few things which are generally speaking true for all Russians (or Austrians, or...) Any additional information is usually very much dependent on the personality and background of your partner or counterpart.

This makes everything more fun and much more interesting. ;-)



Mark Hauler Mark Hauler

Interesting question. I hadn't thought of this question before.

Generally speaking, I think that if you were to ask a group of Americans if they thought of Russia as being in Europe or Asia, the majority would go with Asia, primarily due to the great breadth of the country and the fact that the vast majority of the country is undoubtedly in Asia - regardless of where the population center is.

If one takes the Urals as the boundary of what's considered to 'belong' to Europe, then of course the correct answer is that Russia belongs to both Europe and Asia.

it's also an interesting point because if one takes the eastern borders of Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland, then you have a nice, neat north/south 'dividing line' between what many in the west consider the border between Europe and Asia.

Now, if they could only move the Urals over to the 30th meridian, everything would be nice and tidy.

Mark Hauler Mark Hauler


but as far as OpenBC forums are concerned (this one in particular), I would tend to include Russia in the Europe group since the (broad) general focus here is generally business/social/cultural issues and the large majority of the populace is in the western part of the country.

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I tend to agree with Mark's view. For the sake of this forum Russia should definitely be part of Europe.

At least until and unless someone manages to move the Urals over to the 30th meridain. ;-)

With best reagards from Austria,


P.S. just to add another twist to the discussion: Malaysians consider themselves Eurasian as well. Probably with more weight to Asia. Small world, isn't it? ;-)

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Hello Victoras,
you are absolutely right, it is a relatively philosphical question, after all. Your comments definitley deserve a big ;-)))))

BTW, Bavaria is actually the 10. state of Austria. ;-)))))

Best, Hannes....

Peter Luiks Peter Luiks Moderator

Hi there All,

Well, well, well! Great topic. Who is right and who is wrong is not the matter here I think. Having had the privilege of traveling and working in Russia (btw. for the Americans) just after the collapse of the Warsaw pact, I was struck by its extremes. But so was I by my first visit to China in 1979...! Nothing was like I was used to; life, housing, buildings, cities, infrastructure, industries, logistics, pollution, health care, people, maintained land, farming etc.

Looking back at history, learning about the harsh conditions of the climate and its sheer incredible large size, it made me think outside the bigger cities of a huge Finland, Northern Sweden, Canada. Some parts even Southern Chili. Now bearing in mind the shear size of the country, which has a tremendously strong own identity as well as culture, it could well be the immigration country of the future, when the current global economic equilibrium has struck the West hard enough in about 30 years from now!

After all, Russia has some of the best scientists of the world, (they never seize to amaze me), a lot of natural resources as well as minerals, plenty and I really mean gigantic opportunities to explore in environmental planning, townplanning, space to live, eat, work and after a good clean up in some places a great wide open space to live...

To me Russia is neither Europe (granted geographically - yes) nor the East, as was already defined before but a still sleeping entire continent, that has one gigantic future if and when it gets its act together! And they will..!!! It is just that they hardly do see it yet, or are already aware the new ways of strategic and tactical positioning the global economic power-shift to China, India and Asia will bring to Russia!

Russia will soon be forced into some harsh reality checks on its global stage position as a player, but I do have all trust that it will have a future like a rising star in the new economic world, competing with the Asian nations at large on an unimaginable scale!! Now, whether it is the continental divide between Europe and Asia to me is semantics as many of the countries we currently live in here in the West, could well wish they had a future the vast Russian country alike in the not to far away future...

In my view, Globalization will lead the Russians to a complete new global economic awareness on a brand new set economic playing field and will create unprecedented chances for the huge nation to bloom in the very near future, that it could well pale many other, now rich nations today.

Enjoy it while you can in the West. Reality will rule here. .. and then I am not even speaking about the geopolitical chances Russia will get soon if the West continues with its current politics and its lacking of measures in renewed economic strategies toward the global economic equilibrium shift to Asia...!!

Peter R. Luiks