ARCTIC RECONSIDERED: DYNAMICS OF RUSSIA’S PRIORITIES
Authors: Martianov Victor S.
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The article reviews the transformation of Russia’s strategy towards Arctic in the context of global rethinking of the potential of Arctic macro-region. General legal and political
principles of the exploration of Arctic are analyzed, with particular interest towards its geopolitical position. Based on the content analysis of Russian press, leading forces and agents are defined, as well as aims and problems of the exploration of Russian Arctic. The dynamics of Russia’s politics towards Arctic are studied. It is argued that the aim of Russia’s politics is symbolical location of Arctic «nearer» to Russia. At the same time, it is shown that contemporary exploration of Arctic remains mostly rhetorical. Moreover, the former Soviet heroic symbols of Arctic exploration dominate over the discourse (polar explorer, North Pole, Arctic Passage, drifting wintering,
etc). Based on the content of Rossiiskaya gazeta (1991–2012), it is shown that the core discourse remains the same, and fluctuations of its elements have just relative significance, depending on current Russian and global political agenda. Additional analysis of official projects of Arctic exploration
demonstrates their controversial character and lack of strategic envision of development of the region. It is argued that the revaluation of Russia’s priorities towards Arctic, which are
relevant to the international legal regime of the region and the potential of various forms of cooperative participation of its development, is essential.