Russisk nordområdepolitikk etter den kalde krigen : forholdet mellom næringsinteresser og militærstrategiske interesser

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This report aims at describing and analyzing important changes that have taken place in Russia’s approach to the European Arctic after the Cold War, emphasizing in particular the relationship between commercial and militarystrategic interests. The report is based on six case studies: (1) The plans to build an oil terminal in Murmansk; (2) the development of oil and gas fields in the Russian part of the Barents Sea; (3) the Norwegian-Russian negotiations on the delimitation of the Barents Sea shelf and economic zones; (4) Russia’s approach to the Svalbard archipelago; (5) the utilization of the Northern Sea Route; and (6) the conversion of the naval yards in Severodvinsk. During the Cold War, the Barents Sea was primarily viewed as a theater of naval operations, and the commercial actors were relegated to playing a subordinate role. After Mikhail Gorbachev’s so-called “Murmansk Speech” in 1987, the Soviet Union’s onedimensional approach to the northern regions was gradually replaced by a multi-dimensional approach. Many of the issues that were previously considered crucial to national security were slowly but steadily “desecuritized”. In today’s post-bipolar context, Russia’s policy in the North is increasingly governed by commercial interests. Whereas the potential of an ideologically based military conflict in the European Arctic has been eliminated, the risk of local resource-related conflicts may increase in the years ahead. It remains to be seen whether such conflicts can be dealt with as negotiable political/economic problems or if they will be “securitized”.
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