Last week northern Scandinavia and Russia faced heatwave similar to this in southern Spain. In the meantime
In the new school
Russia is getting ready to the Arctic conquest – the North Pole fires the imagination, not only of Russian travel agencies. From several years the region has been a subject of vigorous discussions in the general staff as well as
The Arctic is perceived by Russian policymakers as lever using for raising
The aim of Arctic Forces, being under the Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command, is to ensure security to Russia on its northern frontiers. The observers’ attention is especially paid to Arctic brigades. The first one was created on 31 December 2014 and placed in Alakurtti military base, close to Finland.
It is not an isolated case. Soldiers equipped with winter scooters, skis and mosses may be found not only on the territory of this former Soviet base. Reaching far North (Alexandra Land or Kotelny island) we would see other bases where air
Although Russianness of the North Pole only brings a smile of pity to the faces of foreigners, for Russian citizens the situation is very different. Shots with atomic icebreakers melting sea ice spread across the horizon, Jamal LNG or other mega-projects and missile launchers spiced up by slogans reminding USSR period may foster a sense of real pride. This has an effect on Putin’s popularity that has recently fallen below 50% and requires an immediate improvement.
However, propaganda is not a key aim of developing military capabilities on the Arctic territory. According to various estimates, the continent is a home for about 22% of undiscovered world gas and oil resources. This is why Putin as early as in 2001 (at the beginning of his promising pro-western cadence) laid claim to the Arctic at the UN.
Further actions taken by
Putin’s Arctic policy was continued by Medvedev. He was a president while the Arctic Doctrines were announced (in 2008). In the document Russians officially
Their role was then confirmed in later versions by Vladimir Putin. We may read that exploitation of Arctic resources of oil and gas aims at establishing reserves. This seems to be essential in the face of depletion of natural reserves on the continent that is expected shortly after 2020.
Of course, not everybody is wearing rose-tinted spectacles. The ‘shale gas revolution’ in the United States with its sharp increase in resources prices caused lower profitability of Arctic’s exploitation. Gas and oil production in such
We should not forget about one more issue. The Arctic cake has not been yet distributed among claiming countries. Russia has attempted to
In 2015 Russia deposited at the UN additional documents to its application from 2001 with further arguments supporting its demands. In fact,
Taking control over ‘the Arctic cake’ has fundamental importance for Russia, and not only because of resources. Along with increasing temperature in the North and melting icecap, chances of yearlong operation of
Taking into account all of the above factors influencing high costs of transport via Northern Passage, it is used only when necessary. This problem is also one of the key points included in the Arctic Doctrine with
Gradually melting icecap in the North may benefit to Kremlin’s new perspectives. In Russia’s