Putin's Agenda: Russia's Arctic Revival

Putin's Agenda: Russia's Arctic Revival

Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin is increasingly resorting to gunboat diplomacy (see EDM, December 12). However, another key element in Putin’s agenda has been his aggressive campaign to assert Russian interests in the Arctic. The aggressiveness has been manifested in earlier rhetorical exchanges and the resumption of Russian military flights over and from the Arctic, as well as pronounced efforts to rebuild Russia’s military in addition to its economic presence there. The purpose, along with the ongoing Russian scientific expeditions in the Arctic is to gather the materials needed to substantiate Moscow’s claims to major portions of the disputed Arctic territory when it presents its case to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2012 (Interfax-AVN, November 25).

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