The New York Times, 10 September 2012
OSTANINO, Russia — When a Chinese investor bought a farm outside this village a few years back, he was pleased enough to name it Golden Land. The soil was rich, the sunshine and rain bountiful.
The land, deep in rural Russia, was also largely devoid of people.
No more. Today, row upon row of greenhouses here teem with dozens of Chinese farmhands picking tomatoes. And in a season with a bumper crop of tomatoes, the foreman said he would happily have employed hundreds more.
The influx of Chinese farm labor in Russia reflects the growing trade and economic ties between the two countries, one rich in land and resources, the other in people.
For years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, both countries have struggled to convert these complementary strengths into real business opportunities. A few mining ventures are succeeding. And state companies have struck big oil, coal and timber deals that form the backbone of the economic relationship.