ON THE WAY TO FATHER-AMUR
One of the major reasons of Russian defeat on Amur definitely was unstable political situation in Russia. Moscow experienced severe fight for the throne. Top aristocracy was busy with its own problems. Princess Sofia was about to give up the crown to Peter I. His enter influenced all affairs in Priamurye (regions in the area of Amur river) right away.
Peter The Great knew about Amur a lot, and never let it "out of his sight." First of all he arranged with Streltsi (sort of national guards) to move to Zabaykal'ye (Siberia), he also kept up trade with China. By that time exploration of the Far East was going on. Russian villages grew on Sea of Okhotsk coast, Kamchatka, and Chukotka.
Not having yet finished the war with Sweden, Peter I was looking at the north-east of his country. In 1713 he considered proposals of F.S. Saltyukov, who tried to establish what we call now Northern Sea Way (through the Arctic Ocean to Asia). That was a chance to find the shortest way to America. In 1724 the Tsar decided to send an expedition to Kamchatka under the command of Vladivostok. Bering and personally wrote the instruction for him.
Peter's age on the Far East is mostly famous by its marine explorations and negotiations with China.
Nerchinskiy treaty was not clear enough as the geographical knowledge on the moment of its signification were not complete and correct. There was a growing need for new treaty, although Russian policy was pretty decent. "If Amur could serve us as for supply of our territory by the Sea of Okhotsk and Kamchatka, it (Amur) would have been important for us."-these are words of Ekaterina II. "That's understanding of Priamurye's role by our great monarchs!"-concluded "Amur Admiral" G.I. Nevelskoy.
Exploring safe and reliable ways to Japan and America our travellers visited the mouth of Amur a lot with great precautions as China threatened to use severe economical penalties for any activity of that sort.
"Secret" marine expeditions of XYIII century under V.Bering and I.Billing as well as other ones were considered secret because these were not just geographical explorations-they also had economical and political goals.
Chinese side promised to shut down beneficial trade through Kyahta and do a whole bunch of other nasty things in case any explorer gets noticed near Amur.
Losing Amur did not stop Russian movement to the Far East; moreover exploration of the northern part of that region increased. Time of intense geographic discoveries changed with time of economical and federal growth. Russian villages stretched from the northern point of America till California. The remains of those can still be found on Hawaii Islands. Greatest colonisers like Great Britain and France sent their ships to north Pacific; but they lost it forever.
So, the Far East "capital" moved to Okhotsk in the XYIII century.
It became the first official Russian port where ships were built, cargo was stored. It also was a central communication point for Kamchatka, Chukotka, the Kuril and the Aleutian islands. This city's growing was provided by Peter I associates. General Prosecutor P.I.Yagushinskiy signed a so called Instruction of Senate and Siberian Department to the Chief of Okhotsk Administration G.G. Skornayakov-Pisarev. That document declared Okhotsk to be a center of Russian agriculture, trade, and ship-building on the Pacific Ocean. A navigational school opened in Okhotsk was practically the first educational unit on the Russian Far East.