President Vladimir Putin at the plenary session of the 5th International Arctic Forum «The Arctic is the Territory of Dialogue», which was held on April 9-10, 2019 in St. Petersburg, said that the sanctions interfere, but not in a critical way. «To a certain extent, this even encourages us to actively develop our own technologies». In 2018, President Putin’s government invested about 1 billion rubles in import substitution and plans to scale up these efforts.
It is important to note that the melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean opens up entirely new opportunities, but the West is not able to use them because of the complete absence of the icebreaking fleet. Russia's main rival, the United States, has only a few large dilapidated icebreakers, which, in turn, are already under 50 years old, while Russia has 40 of them, as well as the newest LK-60s. Thus, it is obvious that Russia has no competitors in the Arctic region.
It is clearly visible that the United States continues the sanctions policy towards Russia and thus tries to limit or stop the influence of the Russian Federation not only in the Arctic region, but also in other important directions. Sanctions also prohibit investing in Russian LNG projects abroad. Thus, any LNG-related operations, and in particular gas liquefaction plants, for example, «Etinde» in Cameroon, where «Lukoil» owns 30%, «Rosneft» and «ExxonMobil» partnership in Mozambique, can come under the bill, as well as the possible participation of «Gazprom» in LNG projects in Iran, which is already complicated by US sanctions.
But nevertheless, according to analysts` opinion, Russia has managed to set a record for oil production, the nuclear power industry is actively developing, and foreign contracts are also being implemented. But Finland and Hungary, that are the members of the European Union, that supported sanctions against Russia, both are implementing nuclear power plant construction projects with Russian «Rosatom». Moreover, the Finnish project uses funds from the Russian National Wealth Fund.
Moreover, on April 10, 2019, in the government of V. Putin they stated that due to the great interest of foreign investors, Russia, in turn, is ready to protect and guarantee these investments. It is obvious that foreign investors do not intend to «turn off» projects that are extremely beneficial for them in the Arctic and are still set up for a long-term partnership with the Russian Federation. Thus, Moscow, even under sanctions, remains «afloat», once again, confirming its status as a key player in the global economic arena.