Russia’s Arctic Policy: A Power Strategy and Its Limits Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 117, Ifri, March 2020
Despite the deterioration of its relations with the West and economic stagnation limiting its room for maneuver, Russia continues to have an ambitious policy for the Arctic region.
Moscow sees the Arctic as one of its main strategic bastions, a key region for asserting its status as a great power, and a major source of energy for decades to come. The Russian government has therefore implemented strategies to promote a coherent power and development policy, with some notable successes like the remilitarization of its Arctic borders and the energy development of the Yamal Peninsula. But it has also faced mixed results over the international status of the Northern Sea Route, and in managing population settlement as well as environmental challenges. While the Arctic offers Russia undisputed great power status, this status is not easy to sustain and costly for its federal budget.
Marlène Laruelle is a Professor at George Washington University (Washington D.C.), Director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) and co-director of the PONARS-Eurasia program. Since January 2019, she has been an associate research fellow at IFRI’s Russia/NIS Center.