Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 285

285 Arctic Yearbook 2015 formalization of the outer borders of the continental shelf of Russia in the Arctic Ocean; 4) to develop the Northern Sea Route; 5) to provide environmental security; and 6) to provide integrated security for the Russian Arctic zone and to create a new generation unified system of surface ships and submarines (Kremlin 2014). The tasks named by V. Putin are in accordance with Russia’s national interests in the Arctic as defined in Foundations of Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic through 2020 and beyond. As a priority region, the Arctic, for Russia, also has geopolitical significance. In A. Chilingarov’s view, during the first two decades of the 21st century, Russia will primarily be associated with the development of the Arctic shelf in a similar way as the space exploration and large-scale infrastructure projects in Western and Eastern Siberia at the time of the Soviet Union (Rikin 2014). D. Rogozin has admitted that without the Arctic, Russia cannot maintain its status as a great power (Bolotin 2015). He even places the development of the Arctic into the context of the annexation of Crimea as a general strategic direction for Russia: Russia is beginning to feel the space and express the claims to the borders and its interests. Last year was a historic event – the restoration of the territorial integrity of Russia, a reunion with Sevastopol and the Crimea. This year there is a new look, a powerful new emphasis on the development of the Arctic. These are things of the same order (Staalesen 2015). Linking the Crimean annexation with Russia’s activities in the Arctic may indeed lead to concerns that the Arctic might be the next hot spot in Russia’s relations with the West, although the foreign discourse on the Russian Arctic is different. The statements addressed to foreign audiences also include a focus on the targeted implementation of Russia’s national interests in the Arctic (Vorobyov 2013), but they stress Russia’s willingness to act within the framework of international legal norms. For example, one of the main points of the agenda, as explained by S. Lavrov, is the submission of a request regarding the continental shelf of the Arctic Ocean to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (Sputnik 2014b). Thus, the foreign policy discourse is aimed primarily at demonstrating that Russia will implement its national interests in the region according to the accepted norms and principles of international cooperation. In N. Patrushev’s view, with the increasing role of Arctic resources in the global economy, this region is becoming an important arena for Russia’s relations with foreign partners in the field of international, military, energy and information security (Egorov 2013). So, in terms of Russia’s national interests in the Arctic an internal political ambition to be the leading power in the promising region can be detected, but at the same time there is a rational understanding of the need for international cooperation and respect for international legal norms as well. International cooperation According to Foundations of Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic through 2020 and beyond (2008: 3) some of the strategic priorities of Russian state policy in the Arctic are to maintain good-neighbourly relations with other Arctic states, both bilaterally and within regional organizations, including the Arctic Council and the Barents/Euro-Arctic region, to promote economic, scientific and cultural cooperation in the Arctic, as well as cross-border cooperation, including in the field of the efficient Bērziņa