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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
an interesting, though not well-known, statement by President Putin saying that there is a
need for a long-term Northern policy in the Russian Federation (ITAR-TASS, 2004).
Although nothing tangible emerged at the political level before September 2008, Russia
continued its scientific expeditions in the Arctic as well as the Antarctic. Among them were
the North Pole-35 drift research station, the integrated high latitude Arctic Expedition and
the high latitude deep-water Arctic Expedition to the North Pole in 2007 (IPY 2007/08).
One of those expeditions became somewhat of an international public and media hype,
largely misinterpreted, and thus a manifestation of how easily a scientific activity can be
transferred into a highly (geo) political incident (Heininen, 2010).
However, it was not until September of 2008 that the newly-elected President Medvedev
adopted an official state policy,
Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic
in the Period up to 2020 and Beyond
. Thus, Russia had recovered and (re)defined itself as an
Arctic state, though, for sure even without the State Policy, Russia is viewed as an Arctic
nation. This State Policy was intended as a clear indication of national interests and basic
objectives of the Russian Federation in the Arctic region, and of how Russia’s State Policy in
the region should be developed (Lavrov, 2009). The document was supported by several
other documents, such as (Heininen, 2011: 44-46): the
Russian Maritime Doctrine of 2001
, the
Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation
Russia’s National Security Strategy to 2020; Energy
Strategy of Russia For the Period up to 2030;
The Concept of Sustainable Development Of the Small-
numbered Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East
The strategic priorities of the Russian State Policy are: first, to carry out an active interaction
of Russia with the sub-Arctic states with a view of delimitation of maritime areas on the
basis of norms of international law; second, to create a uniform Arctic search and rescue
regime and prevention of man-caused accidents; third, to strengthen bilateral relationships
within the framework of regional organizations, such as the AC and the BEAR; fourth, to
assist in the organization, management and effective use of cross-polar air routes and the
Northern Sea Route (NSR) for international navigation; fifth, to actively contribute to
international Arctic forums through the Russia-EU partnerships; sixth, to delimit maritime
spaces in the Arctic Ocean and maintain a mutually advantageous presence of Russia in the
Spitsbergen archipelago; seventh, to improve state management of the social and economic
development of the Arctic, such as to increase support for scientific research; eighth, to