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Arctic Yearbook 2012
State of the Arctic Strategies and Policies – A Summary
resource base is seen as a prerequisite to solving challenges of social and economic
Further, taking into consideration that delimitation of maritime spaces in the Arctic Ocean
(and maintenance of a mutually advantageous presence of Russia in the Spitsbergen
archipelago) is one of the strategic priorities of the State Policy, it is easier to understand why
Norway and Russia were able to agree on a resolution to the dispute of a maritime border in
the Barents Sea by signing an agreement concerning maritime delimitation and cooperation
in that area, as mentioned earlier.
Another interesting notion is that the State Policy describes the Arctic both as “a zone of
peace and cooperation”, where it is necessary to preserve its unique ecological systems; and
as a “sphere of military security” including the maintenance of a favorable operative regime,
such as “a necessary fighting potential”. Such contradiction is also found where concerns
the environment. On the other hand, according to its definition of the Arctic the region only
includes the five littoral states and the Arctic Ocean. International forums and regional
organizations, such as the AC and the BEAC, as well as bilateral relations, such as the
Russia-EU partnership, are mentioned, although not greatly emphasized.
All in all, at the same time when the Russian State Policy in the Arctic can be interpreted as a
response to the new geopolitical situation in the post-Cold war Arctic, it should be taken
more as a pragmatic means for domestic politics of the Federation to achieve the primary
aim of the early-21
century’s administration, the stabilization of the Federation and its
economy. Finally, the Policy can be seen as a process through which Russia will again
become a major power and a global energy player in world politics.
Sweden’s Strategy for the Arctic Region
“Sweden’s strategy for the Arctic region” was adopted by the Swedish Government and
published in May 2011 (Government Offices of Sweden, 2011; Swedish Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, 2011).
Since Sweden was the last of the eight Arctic states to issue and approve an Arctic strategy
or policy, there was growing international pressure on Sweden as well as domestic calls for
the Government to do so. Indeed, it was on the very day that Sweden launched its Arctic
strategy in May 2011 that the country took over the chairmanship of the AC and published
its “Chairmanship Programme for the Arctic Council 2011–2013”.