Alaska - Kamchatka Connections
following summary highlights some of the key connections between
the State of Alaska and the Kamchatka Oblast.
Alaska Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development
Division of Trade & Development
relations with Kamchatka have covered a wide array of governmental,
business, educational, humanitarian, cultural, ethnic, tourism,
and other ties.
Gov. Tony Knowles met with Kamchatka Oblast Gov. Vladimir
Biryukov, April 13, 1997, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, en
route to Sakhalin on a Russian Far East trade mission. There
was interest in enhancing relations between Alaska and Kamchatka.
State House of Representatives Speaker Brian Porter met with
Kamchatka Gov. Biryukov during a stopover in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatksy,
October 1998. Gov. Biryukov expressed concerns about the critical
need to maintain air links between Kamchatka and Alaska.
Vice Governor Leonid Lelchuk has visited Alaska three times:
in 1992, to Juneau, for the 250th anniversary celebration
of Bering's voyage to Alaska; in 1993, to Juneau and to Anchorage
for a meeting of the Northern Forum; and in 1995, to Juneau,
where he met with Alaska Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer. Vice Gov. Lelchuk
was instrumental in facilitating the first charter from Alaska
to Kamchatka and follow-up exchanges between Alaska and Kamchatka.
Lelchuk, formerly vice governor and now the Kamchatka governor's
representative in Moscow, proposed in March 1999 that Kamchatka
and Alaska pursue future cooperation and exchanges in energy,
industry, construction, infrastructure, tourism, education,
culture, northern issues and government.
serves as the exclusive air link for all flights between Kamchatka
and the West.
first flights to Kamchatka were chartered Aeroflot flights
beginning in 1991 with a Kamchatka stopover en route to Vladivostok,
followed by direct flights to Kamchatka.
Airlines provided regularly scheduled service, offering two
roundtrip flights per week to Kamchatka during the summer
and one flight per week in the winter. Alaska Airlines suspended
its Russian Far East service in October 1998, citing economic
Aleutian Airways increased its once weekly service to Kamchatka
to twice weekly roundtrip service in October 1998. Reeve had
been flying weekly charter service from Anchorage to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, but has moved to two weekly scheduled
flights for its combination passenger-cargo service. Reeve
can add flights based on demand. The Alaska governor's annual
Exporter of the Year honor in 1998 was awarded jointly to
Reeve Aleutian Airways and Circumpolar Expeditions of Anchorage
for their work in linking Alaska to the Russian Far East.
International, a major freight company with offices in Anchorage,
has delivered cargo into Kamchatka, primarily for mining operations.
Although Lynden does not have regular freight deliveries to
Kamchatka, it has an infrastructure established in the Russian
Far East for regular flights to Sakhalin as well as shipments
to other locations based on demand. Other air cargo and passenger
carriers in Anchorage serve the Russian Far East.
an international freight forwarding company, has offices in
Anchorage and in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Council / Aleut International Association
peoples of Kamchatka and Alaska have formed the Aleut International
Association. Various Kamchatka-Alaska exchanges and relations
between the Aleuts on either side of the border led to creation
of a formal association in the fall of 1998, with a constitution,
by-laws, board of directors and non-profit organization status
in the state of Alaska. The association held its first formal
meeting in Anchorage in September 1998.
Arctic Council --- a high-level forum of officials representing
the eight arctic nations, the United States (Alaska), Russia,
Canada, Iceland, Denmark (Greenland), Sweden, Norway and Finland
--- accepted the Aleut International Association as a permanent
participant group at the Council's September 1998 meeting,
in which the rotating Arctic Council secretariat passed from
Canada to the United States.
Aleut International Association will focus on Alaska-Kamchatka
Aleut issues involving the economy, culture, environment,
and other common concerns.
Aleuts have taught Alaska Aleuts long lost traditional songs
/ Gore-Primakov Commission
Business Development Committee
Russian Far East - West Coast Ad Hoc Working Group
is an active participant in the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission,
now the Gore-Primakov Commission, Business Development Committee
Russian Far East -West Coast Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG).
Alaska took part in the group's May 1997 meeting in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky,
sending a delegation led by Deputy Commissioner of Commerce
Jeff Bush. Alaska has had the U.S. chairmanship of the RFE-West
Coast working group's Energy Sector since its inception. Alaskans
have also served as U.S. co-chairs for the Finance, Training
and Legislative Sectors. This trade promotion group has 12
project proposals involving Kamchatka were considered and
approved by the AHWG Energy Sector, co-chaired by energy industry
executives from Alaska and Kamchatka, at the May 1997 meeting
in Kamchatka and at the follow-up AHWG meeting in Portland,
Oregon in October 1997. The Energy Sector co-chairs, Bill
Stamps of Peak Oilfield Services Co. of Kenai, Alaska, and
Vladimir Lakhtin of Kamchatsenergo Co. of Kamchatka, sherphered
the energy project proposals through the working group. The
projects involve gasification of the Kamchatka region, oil
and gas prospects in the Koryaksky region of the upper Kamchatka
Peninsula as well as promoting ongoing dialogue on investment
and development issues and exploring other RFE energy projects.
University of Alaska American Russian Center (ARC) has had
a significant presence in Kamchatka for the past four years.
ARC's main campus is in Anchorage with RFE branches in Magadan,
Khabarovsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Yakutsk, but ARC has performed
considerable outreach activities in Kamchatka. Since August
1995, ARC has conducted 12 basic business training course
for 441 participants. ARC has brought ten entrepreneurs from
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Anchorage for business management
training and arranged to bring nine more in April 1999. ARC
has also trained Kamchatka accounting professors in managerial
accounting and finance.
University of Alaska Anchorage has had good relations with
the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Maritime Academy for more than
exchanges at the secondary school level have sent Alaska teachers
to Kamchatka and Kamchatka teachers to Alaska. Two Alaska
teachers who went to Kamchatka in 1991 are still there. Russian
language teachers from Kamchatka are now teaching in four
different Alaska school districts.
exchanges at the secondary school level have brought Kamchatka
students to several Alaska high schools, and Alaska has sent
students to Kamchatka. At the college level, Kamchatka students
are among the RFE students studying at the campuses of the
University of Alaska, which grants RFE students in-state tuition
addition to the formal training offered by the University
of Alaska's American Russian Center in Kamchatka, training
has been arranged for professionals on an individual basis
by sister cities, organizations and private citizens.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute and the
Alaska Volcano Institute have worked with the Russian Academy
of Sciences and the Research Institute of Volcanology and
Geochemistry on Kamchatka focusing on the Aleutian volcanic
arc. In July 1998 Alaska Geophysical Institute Professor John
Eichelberger co-chaired the first International Seismic and
Volcanic Workshop on North Pacific Subduction Processes held
in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Kamchatka scientists are expected
to visit Alaska in the summer of 1999. The Alaska Volcano
Observatory has been expanding its network westward and over
the past five years scientists from Alaska and Russia have
met to share information about Kamchatka's seismology and
volcanic history. Scientists and students have conducted joint
research and field work.
geology of the Aleutian Arc in the Alaska Peninsula and the
Aleutian Island chain is similar to the Komandorsky Islands
and the Kamchatka Peninsula. There are similar volcanic and
geothermal structures, and Alaska has a number of experts
in geothermal energy.
Alascom, based in Anchorage, has installed an earth station
in Kamchatka and established a digital satellite link that
provides direct air traffic control communications between
the Alaska control center and Kamchatka. This was installed
in 1995, upgraded in 1997, with maintenance in 1998. This
project involved contract and licensing procedures, as well
as work with the local telephone company, and bringing in
the equipment, installing it and making it operational. Alascom
is in a joint venture with the local telephone company on
pioneered tourism to Kamchatka with charter flights and friendship
visits, which have led to direct scheduled air links.
from around the world visit Kamchatka in the summer via Alaska,
which provides the only direct flights to Kamchatka from the
companies are in the forefront of agencies specializing in
travel arrangements to Kamchatka. An industry familiarization
tour in the summer of 1998 involved five travel agencies,
four of them based in Alaska. Other Alaska agencies also arrange
Kamchatka tours. Companies offer both individual and package
tours from Anchorage to Kamchatka.
of the most unique Millenium events on the planet involves
a trip from Alaska to Kamchatka and back to Alaska to celebrate
the Millenium New Year twice. Thanks to the international
dateline and the proximity of Alaska and Kamchatka, tourists
will have an opportunity to celebrate New Year's eve and New
Year's day 2000 first in Kamchatka and again in Alaska.
long-time Alaskan, Martha Madsen of Homer, helped arrange
tourism training with grant funding for Kamchatka, and establish
the Yelizovo Tour Service and now lives in Kamchatka working
full-time on tourism development and further cultivating Alaska
tourist agency connections.
Region Director of Tourism Alexei Stukalov visited Alaska
in 1993 to study Alaska's tourism infrastructure.
companies have worked on key infrastructure development study
projects for Kamchatka involving the airport and port serving
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. These projects involved economic
and engineering planning for improvements, tourism, financing,
future demand and other issues. The principals, who worked
closely with regional and local government administrations,
were Alan Christopherson of Peratrovich, Nottingham &
Drage, and Patrick Burden of Northern Economics, both based
in Anchorage. (These firms also conducted a comprehensive
infrastructure study for Sakhalin.)
have also worked at the pre-feasibility stage in Kamchatka
energy projects, focusing on natural gas and geothermal resources.
This work has taken place on several levels, including public
and private consultancies and for the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission
Russian Far East - West Coast Ad Hoc Working Group. Those
involved included Rupert "Bucky" Tart of Golder
Associates Engineers in Anchorage, which employs a Russian
geologist who specializes in permafrost; Alan Christopherson
of Peratrovich, Nottingham & Drage of Anchorage; and Bill
Stamps of Peak Oilfield Services of Kenai, Alaska.
is considered an excellent prospect for hard metals mining
and one of the foremost international experts on Kamchatka
mineral resources is Alaskan Tom Bundtzen of Pacific Rim Geological
Consulting in Fairbanks, Alaska, and formerly with the Alaska
Dept. of Natural Resources Division of Geological & Geophysical
Surveys. His work in Russian Far East mineral resources dates
back many years and spans the Russian Far East, including
Kamchatka. He has worked with the Soviet and now Russian Academy
of Science, with scientists in the Russian public and private
sector. His expertise in this area has made him the featured
speaker on Russian Far East mining at international symposiums.
Dome, which has active mining operations in Alaska and exploration
in the Russian Far East, has done early stage reconnaissance
exploration in the northern Kamchatka Peninsula and maintains
an office in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Alaska geologist Lance
Miller of Juneau has been in charge of the exploration and
work program for Placer Dome in the Russian Far East.
/ Petroleum Products
Alaska Petroleum Co. has its Russian Far East base of operations,
Tesoro Vostok Co., in Alaska along with its RFE manager, Jim
Meitner. Tesoro has provided diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline
to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The diesel and gasoline have
come from Tesoro's Alaska refinery. Tesoro was the exclusive
supplier of these petroleum products to Kamchatka until the
August 1998 ruble devaluation and economic crisis, which made
lower-priced Russian domestic products more profitable. Tesoro
has also built two new gasoline stations in Kamchatka. (Tesoro
has also been involved in the Vladivostok region and Sakhalin.)
Associates Exports, based in Juneau, supplied food products
to Kamchatka in 1993-1995.
Exports of Juneau (reorganized from the above company) began
exporting various products in Kamchatka in 1995, including
machine oil, filters, toilets and heavy equipment.
Machinery Co., an Anchorage company that traces it roots back
200 years to the Russian America Co., sells Caterpillar products
and heavy equipment in the Russian Far East, particularly
to the mining industry, including in Kamchatka to platinum
mining companies. The largest sale in Kamchatka was in 1996,
but there have been other sales, including recent ones. The
company has offices in Magadan and Anchorage.
Detroit Diesel - Allison serves the Russian Far East from
its Anchorage office and has sold generators in Kamchatka
the last two years.
pioneer in providing business advice and consultations for
Kamchatka is JoAnn Grady, the principal in Grady & Associates
of Juneau, Alaska. She has specialized in business and social
service strategies for Kamchatka, working with regional and
local governments, private industry and non-governmental organizations
since 1989. She has provided services, advice and consultation
in Kamchatka in business, public administration, economic
issues, transportation, and social issues as well as initiating
exchanges, seminars, travel and sister city relations.
established a women's center in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky,
thanks to a San Francisco philanthropist and other donations.
The Lovett Women's Center in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the
first of its kind in the region, has since been replicated
in Magadan and is seen as a model for a center in Yakutsk
and perhaps other cities. The Kamchatka women's center was
established as a women's health center in 1991, but has since
expanded to a general service agency dealing with social,
economic, health and other issues. Alaskans involved in this
effort have been returning once or twice annually. The establishment
of the center has involved extensive training by Alaskans.
Juneau, Alaska residents instrumental in this are JoAnn Grady
of Grady & Associates and Marie Helm, among others.
is a member of the Northern Forum, which focuses on issues
of concern for its northern latitude regional members. The
secretariat is in Anchorage.
Oblast Director of Foreign Economic Relations Alexander Potievsky
attended the Northern Forum Board of Directors meeting in
Anchorage in September 1998. Kamchatka Vice Governor Leonid
Lelchuk attended the Northern Forum General Assembly meeting
in Anchorage in 1993.
A full container of clothes donated by the public in a collection
drive organized by Youth With A Mission was shipped to Kamchatka
for free distribution. The fall 1998 collection drive gathered
new and used winter wear, sweaters, boots, hats, warm clothes
and some bedding.
$25,000 in cash was donated by the public in 1998 to meet
the needs of five orphanages in Kamchatka, two in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
and one each in Yelizovo, Esso and Milkovo. Homer provided
the aid to Rotary Clubs in Kamchatka to distribute.
Harbor: Two major efforts to aid Kamchatka were undertaken
in the winter of 1998-99: one by the city itself and the other
a private voluntary effort. The city of Unalaska on Dec. 8,
1998 appropriated $25,000 of city funds to pay transportation
costs for delivering donations to Komandorsky Island villagers
off the east coast of Kamchatka. Two long-time Unalaska residents
spearheaded the aid effort to provide clothing, food and blankets
to the residents of Nikolskoye on Bering Island.
Cities: Homer - Yelizovo
Alaska, on the southern Kenai Peninsula, is sister city to Yelizovo,
the location of the Kamchatka international airport, a short distance
from the Kamchatka capital, Petropavlovsk- Kamchatsky.
city relations established 1995.
and exchanges: Mayors and public officials, lawyers, tourism,
Rotary Clubs, business and numerous citizen delegations. The
next exchanges are planned for Kamchatka lawyers to come to
Alaska in the fall of 1999 and for Homer to send a sister
city delegation in 2000.
aid to orphanages and emergency medical assistance has been
Cities: Unalaska - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Harbor, Alaska, at the eastern end of Alaska's Aleutian Island
chain, America's No. 1 fishing port, is sister city to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky,
the capital of Kamchatka.
city relations established 1990.
exchange visits have occurred since the establishment of sister
city relations, involving citizens, businesses, Aleuts, officials,
religious groups, school classes and exchange students.
Harbor has long been a stopping off point for the Russian
North Pacific fleet for fuel, supplies, R&R and crew changes.
Numerous companies have done business with the Russian fleet
and Russian companies.
has been linked to Kamchatka since early Russian exploration
in the 1740s.
1799 Czar Paul I signed the charter establishing the Russian
America Company as the exclusive agency of the czar in Russia's
Alaska territory. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was one of the
major supply points for the Russian America Co.
Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Ascension is one of the
oldest relics from Russia's colonial history in Alaska. It
was built more than a century ago using the remnants of even
earlier Russian structures and is a key lasting symbol of
the historical connections between Alaska and Russia. This
"Pearl of the Aleutians" contains parts of the original
church built in 1825 by Innocent Veniamov, who arrived in
Unalaska from Russia. He became the bishop of Kamchatka, the
Kuril and Aleutian Islands and was known as the "Enlightener
of the Aleutians and Apostle to America." He has since
been canonized as Saint Innocent. Unalaska's Holy Ascension
Cathedral became a National Historic Landmark in 1970. The
church remains active and services are conducted in English,
Aleut and Slavonic.
missionaries and traders who began arriving in the mid-1700s
have left their mark on Unalaska and throughout the Aleutians,
and many residents even today have Russian names from colonial
Aleutian Island chain reaches almost to Kamchatka and its Komandorsky
(Commander) Islands. Kamchatka was long a closed region, closed
even to Russians, and Alaska was instrumental in opening Kamchatka
and forging relations.
is 2,000 miles from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Moscow is 4,213
miles from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Aleutian Island chain ends in the Near Islands, which are
just across the International Dateline and the U.S.-Russian
maritime border from Kamchatka and its Komandorsky Islands.
are two flights per week from Anchorage to Kamchatka, taking
4 1/2 hours. There are one or two flights per week between
Moscow and Kamchatka, taking 8 hours or longer.
of Anchorage and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky are about the same,
and Alaska are known for their wilderness, wildlife and adventure
and Kamchatka have similar geology and energy and mineral
resources. Kamchatka's resources are largely undeveloped,
though Kamchatka has done some development of its geothermal
resources and Alaska has not.
and Kamchatka have similar climates and terrain. Both have
- Russian Far East Connections
has been a pioneer is establishing ties with the Russian Far East.
explorers, traders, missionaries arrive in Alaska, mid-1700s.
States purchases Alaska from Russia, 1867.
celebrates two official state holidays: Seward's Day, the
last Monday in March, commemorating the treaty for the U.S.
purchase of Alaska from Russia, and Alaska Day, Oct. 18, marking
the anniversary of the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia
to the United States in 1867.
Russian Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas according to
the old Russian calendar, the only Eastern Orthodox diocese
in the U.S. to do so.
13, 1988: Alaska to Chukotka "Friendship Flight"
opening Ice Curtain border.
the thawing of the Ice Curtain border, numerous delegations
--- official government-led groups, trade missions, citizen
delegations, native groups, performing artists, and educational
and scientific groups --- from both sides of the Bering Strait
began traveling back and forth.
established as the gateway for flights to the Russian Far
travel for Bering Strait natives.
of Alaska Anchorage establishes American Russian Center campuses
in Khabarovsk, Magadan, Yakutsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
businesses conduct trade and tourism in the Russian Far East.
Sakhalin Working Group formed to promote business between
grants funds to Alaska for Sakhalin projects.
provide humanitarian aid to the Sakha Republic, Chukotka,
Magadan and Kamchatka.
Alaska Contacts for Kamchatka
Dept. of Community & Economic Development
Division of Trade & Development
Wolf, Director, 3601 C Street, Suite 700, Anchorage, AK 99503-5934.
Telephone 907-269-8115, fax 907-269-2185, Greg_Wolf@dced.state.ak.us
Berliner, Russian Trade Specialist, P.O. Box 110804, Juneau,
AK 99811-0804. Telephone 907-465-3962, fax 907-465-3767, Jeff_Berliner@dced.state.ak.us
Dept. of Commerce
Export Assistance Center
Becker, Chairman, 3601 C Street, Suite 700, Anchorage, AK
fax 907-271-6242, Chuck.Becker@mail.doc.gov
Federal Aviation Administration
Derry, International Liaison Officer, FAA International Office,
Anchorage, 907-271-5534, fax 907-271-3261, email@example.com
Aleutian Airways, Anchorage, 907-243-1112, fax 907-249-2303
Expeditions, Anchorage, 907-272-9299, fax 907-278-6092, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pathways, Anchorage, 907-653-1958, fax 907-653-1959, email@example.com
Tour Service, Martha Madsen, Yelizovo, Kamchatka, (7-41531)
International, Rick Pollock, Vice President, Alaska &
Russian Far East Region, Anchorage, 907-243-6150, fax 907-243-8159,
Anchorage, 907-245-8008, fax 907-245-8018
of Alaska Anchorage, American Russian Center, Russ Howell
Director, 907-786-4338, fax 907-786-4319, ANRBH@uaa.alaska.edu
Eichelberger, Group Leader for Volcanology, Professor, University
of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, Alaska, 907-474-5530,
fax 907-474-7290, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beget, Professor of Geology, University of Alaska Fairbanks,
(formerly worked for Chevron Geothermal). 907-474-5301, fax
Motyka, leading geothermal expert in Alaska; extensive studies
of the Aleutian Arc for the Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources,
Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys. Currently,
a private consultant and university professor in Juneau, 907-586-1994,
scientists in Alaska also have experience working in geothermal
energy in Alaska.
/ Support Services
Stamps, Peak Oilfield Service Co., Kenai, Alaska, 907-776-4030,
fax 907-776-3665, email@example.com
Chairman, Energy Sector, West Coast - Russian Far East Ad Hoc
Working Group, Gore-Primakov Commission Business Development
Meitner, Russian Far East Operations Manager, Tesoro Alaska
Petroleum Co., Kenai, Alaska, 907-776-3571, fax 907-776-8031,
Bundtzen, Pacific Rim Geological Consulting, Fairbanks, Alaska,
907-458-8951, fax 907-458-8511. (Formerly with the Alaska
Dept. of Natural Resources Division of Geological and Geophysical
Surveys. Extensive knowledge of RFE mineral resources; many
Miller, Placer Dome, Juneau, Alaska, 907-463-5186, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alvarado, AT&T Alascom, major Alaska telecommunications
company has sent teams to the Russian Far East, including
Kamchatka, to install satellite communications equipment.
Anchorage, 907-264-7325, 800-478-9000 ext. 7325, fax 907-264-7027,
/ Business Consulting, Logistics, Shipping, Customs
Khmelev, Pacific Exports, Juneau, Alaska, 6310 Glacier Highway,
Suite 1, Juneau, AK 99801, 907-780-4427, email@example.com
Equipment / Generators
Doran, Pacific Detroit Diesel - Allison, Anchorage, Alaska,
907-522-3434, fax 907-522-1198, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clark, NC Machinery, Anchorage, Alaska, 907-561-1766, fax
Machinery traces its roots back 200 years to the founding of
the Russian America Co. by Czar Paul I.
Planning, Economics, Infrastructure, and Engineering
Burden, Principal Economist, Northern Economics, Anchorage,
907-274-5600, fax 907-274-5601, PatrickB@norecon.com
Christopherson, Senior Vice President, Peratrovich, Nottingham
& Drage, Anchorage, 907-561-1011, 907-563-4220, email@example.com
"Bucky" Tart, Golder Associates Engineers, Anchorage,
907-344-6001, fax 907-344-6011
& Social Service Strategies
the opening of Kamchatka to Alaska. Contacts in business, political
and social service areas.
Affairs & Business Strategies
of the Yelizovo-Homer Sister City Association. Kamchatka activities
include lawyer exchanges, humanitarian aid, Rotary Club exchanges,
tourism, commercial law, market reforms, economic development,
establishing legal team for businesses in debt issues, logistics,
Hight, professional photographer, has made more than a dozen
photo trips to Kamchatka. Photographs of Kamchatka have appeared
in national publications. Anchorage, 907-248-9716, firstname.lastname@example.org
& Cultural Exchanges
Steve Yoshida, Attorney, President of the Homer-Yelizovo Sister
City Association, 907-235-5255, fax 907-235-8126, email@example.com
Carolyn Reed, Bering Sea Art Exchange, Aleutian Arts Council,
907-581-2316; City of Unalaska, Dept. of Administration,
Nica Caoile, 907-581-7733, fax 907-581-3664, firstname.lastname@example.org