Russia key player in Arctic Council and in Arctic - Politics | PoFo

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The Arctic has always been a region of clash of interests between two major players in the international arena, Russia and the United States. The Arctic Council, designed to promote cooperation in the field of environmental protection and ensuring the sustainable development of the polar regions, continues to function, regulating the security issues and interests of all its participating countries. Today there are 8 of them. These are Russia, the USA, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden. However, despite this, the well-known duet of superpowers plays a leading role in this council. Nevertheless, it is the Russian Federation that plays the leading role, since its political leadership determined the development trends of this region in advance and began to pursue a policy in the spirit of maintaining stability and security not only of its territorial waters, but also of the entire Arctic.
Russia's policy in the Arctic is based on the "Fundamentals of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the period up to 2020 and the future perspective" and the "Strategy for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and national security until 2020." Based on these documents, the main national ideas and interests of Russia in the Arctic are the use of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation as a strategic resource base in Russia, which provides solutions to the country's socio-economic development, maintaining the Arctic as a zone of peace and cooperation, and preserving the unique ecological systems of the Arctic and use of the Northern Sea Route as the national unified transport communication of the Russian Federation in the Arctic.
Relations with the United States regarding the Arctic are not developing in the best way, because the latter claims absolute leadership in the region, and that is impossible in the current geopolitical situation, since Russia is in a clearly winning position because it occupies a unique geopolitical position in the Arctic region, and not none of acute problems cannot be resolved without Russian participation and support, therefore, sanctions against Russia are pointless, and if they are imposed, everyone will be harmed.
Why is Russia in a winning position compared to the United States in the Arctic zone? The answer to this question lies in the fact that Russia predetermined the presence in the region of large oil and gas reserves, which was confirmed by the US Geological Survey. The unexplored reserves of oil and gas in the Arctic are 30% and 13%, respectively. And in order to get to these resources, which are under a thick layer of ice, icebreakers were produced by the Russian Federation. The governance of the United States didn't pay attention to this region at all, getting involved in the internal affairs of other European and Middle Eastern states. Naturally, this has led the United States to be far behind in development. Russia produced 41 icebreakers and began the successful development of the Arctic region, while the United States had only 3 icebreakers, one of which was in disrepair.
The next reason why Russia occupies a leading position in the Arctic is because it provides maximum security in this region. So, Russian military bases were built on this territory, which function to ensure the security of the borders of the state and its territorial waters. By 2020, Russia intends to complete or equip six military bases in the Arctic.
Thus, it can be stated that Russia has confidently entrenched itself in the Arctic region, and the United States will have to “catch up” with Russia for a long time in order to strengthen its position in the Arctic. Naturally, the US will try to do this, including through media and political provocations. However, at the moment, having a powerful military component and the necessary equipment to stay in the Arctic, Russia can dictate its terms not only in the Arctic Council, but also in the entire region as a whole.

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