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Russia’s Evolving Arctic Strategy: Drivers, Challenges and New Opportunities

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Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-86-3
September, 2014

Russia has identified the Arctic as both a strategic priority and a resource base for the 21st century. Against a backdrop of expectations about the opportunities available in the Arctic, Russia has primarily pursued a policy focused on strengthening national sovereignty in the region. However, despite the considerable attention given to the development of the Arctic by the Russian leadership, progress in achieving Russia's goals in the Arctic has been slow.

This Policy Paper analyses the evolving Russian Arctic strategy in the changing international context. The author argues that, while debate has increased in the media and research community with regard to China's potential as a partner for development of the Arctic, significant challenges stand in the way of a major reorientation of Russian Arctic policy towards China. The success of Russia's recent energy cooperation with China will depend on solving previous problems, developing mutually acceptable forms of cooperation and increasing mutual trust.


1. Introduction

2. Russia's Arctic strategy: Ambitions and constraints

3. Russia's turn to the East: A new driver of Russian Arctic development? 

4. Russia and the Arctic: Go east to go north?


Ekaterina Klimenko was a Researcher in and the Coordinator for Conflict, Peace and Security