Foundations for Russia's Arctic Strategy

This limited translation provided by the U.S. Naval War College details the foundational principles for Russia's Arctic policy up to the year 2035. The actual Russian document is massive and covers many areas. Read pages 1 - 14 on the pdf here for the english translation.

I. General Terms

1. Current Foundations is a strategic planning document to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation (hereinafter national security) and is designed to defend the national interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic. Current Foundations defines the goals, main trends and objectives, as well as the means for implementing the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic.

2. The regulatory principles of these Foundations is the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Federal Law of 28 June 2014 No. 172-FZ “On Strategic Planning in the Russian Federation,” National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, Fundamentals of the State Policy for Regional Development of the Russian Federation for the Period up to 2025, as well as the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 7 May 2018 No. 204 "On National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Development of the Russian Federation for the Period up to 2024.”

3. The following terms are used in this document: a) the Arctic - the Northern Polar region of the Earth, including the Northern edge of Eurasia and North America (except the Central and Southern parts of the Labrador Peninsula), Greenland (except the Southern part), the seas and islands of the Arctic Ocean (except the Eastern and Southern parts of the Norwegian Sea), as well as adjacent areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; b) the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation - land territories defined by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation issued on 2 May 2014 No. 296 “On Land Territories of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation,” as well as the internal waters adjacent to these territories, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf of the Russian Federation.

4. The implementation process of the Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic is factoring in the national priorities of the Russian Federation.

5. The primary national interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic are: a) ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation; b) preserving the Arctic as a territory of peace, stability, and mutually beneficial partnership;

c) increasing the quality of life and well-being of the population of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; d) developing the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation as a strategic resource base, and its sustainable use to accelerate the economic growth of the Russian Federation; e) developing the Northern Sea Route as the Russian Federation’s competitive national transportation passage in the world market; f) protecting the environment in the Arctic, preserving the native lands and traditional way of life of indigenous peoples residing in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation (hereinafter indigenous minorities).


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III. Goals, Primary Trends, and Objectives of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic

9. The goals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic are: a) to improve the quality of life for the population in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, including indigenous minorities; b) to accelerate the economic development of the territories of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and increase their contribution to the economic growth of the country; c) to protect the environment in the Arctic, and protect the ancient lands and traditional way of life of indigenous minorities; d) to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and peaceful settlement of all disputes in the Arctic based on international law;

e) to safeguard the national interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic, particularly in the economic sphere.

10. The primary trends for implementation of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic are: a) social and economic development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, as well as the development of its infrastructure; b) development of science and technology to advance exploration of the Arctic; c) environmental protection and environmental security; d) development of international cooperation; e) protection of the population and territories of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation from natural and human-made emergencies; f) public safety in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; g) ensuring the military security of the Russian Federation; h) guarding and defending the state border of the Russian Federation.

11. The primary objectives for social development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation are: a) ensuring the availability of primary health care, quality pre-school, elementary and basic general education, secondary vocational and higher education, cultural opportunities, physical fitness and sports amenities in settlements located in remote areas, including traditional lands and economic activities of indigenous minorities; b) providing citizens with affordable, modern and quality housing, improving the quality of housing and communal services, and improving the living conditions of people belonging to indigenous minorities who lead a nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyles; c) accelerating development of social infrastructure in areas where agencies and organizations are responsible for safeguarding national security and (or) serve as headquarters for the development of mineral resource hubs, implementation of economic programs, and (or) other infrastructure projects in the Arctic; d) establishing a state support network for delivering fuel, food, and other vital goods to remote populated areas to ensure affordable prices on various goods for citizens and business entities; e) providing year-round mainline, inter-regional, and local (regional) air transportation at affordable prices; f) ensuring that the state fulfills its obligations to provide housing subsidies to citizens relocating from the Far North regions and other equally challenging areas;

g) promoting a healthy lifestyle, including introduction of corporate programs to improve workers’ health in the workplace.

12. The primary objectives for the economic development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation are: a) providing state support for businesses, including support for small and medium-sized businesses, in order to establish attractive conditions for private investment and ensure their economic efficiency; b) expanding participation of private investors in the implementation of investment projects on the Arctic shelf while maintaining state control over the operation process, and improving the infrastructure of mineral resources hubs logistically connected to the Northern Sea Route; c) enlarging geological exploration projects funded by public and private investment in the development of hydrocarbon raw materials and solid minerals fields; promoting the development of hard to recover hydrocarbon reserves; increasing oil and gas extraction rates, advancing oil refining, and producing liquefied natural gas and gas-chemical products; d) establishing conditions for improved efficiency of exploration and management (fishing) of marine biological resources, and promoting production of high value-added fish products and development of aquaculture; e) expansion of reforestation; promotion of forest infrastructure development and complete processing of forest resources; f) promoting locally produced agricultural raw materials and food; g) developing cruise, ethnic, environmental, and industrial tourism; h) preserving and developing traditional industries, indigenous crafts, and trade that contribute to employment and self-employment of indigenous minorities; i) facilitating access of indigenous minorities to the natural resources necessary for conducting their traditional way of life and performing traditional economic activities; j) expanding procedures for participation of the indigenous minorities and their authorized representatives in the decision-making process on the industrial activities in the places of their traditional lands and economic activities; k) advancing the system of secondary professional and higher education in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation to meet the projected demand for qualified personnel; l) providing state support to the working-age, gainfully employed population of Russia who are ready to move (relocate) to the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation for employment.

13. The primary objectives for infrastructure development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation are:

a) construction of a sufficient number of icebreaker, rescue, and auxiliary fleets with the capabilities necessary to ensure year-round, safe, uninterrupted, and cost-effective navigation in the waters of the Northern Sea Route and other maritime transportation passages; b) establishment of a network for monitoring safety of navigation and traffic management in areas of heavy traffic in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, including the implementation of a range of measures for hydro-meteorological, navigation, and hydrographic support; c) development of an effective system for prevention and elimination (minimizing) of the consequences of accidental oil and oil product spills along the entire length of the Northern Sea Route and other maritime transportation passages; d) construction and modernization of seaports in the waters of the Northern Sea Route and other maritime transportation passages; e) increase of navigability along the rivers of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, including dredging and improvements of port infrastructure and port facilities; f) construction of rail lines to ensure the export of goods from the European and Asian regions of the country along the Northern Sea Route; g) expansion of the network of airports and landing fields; h) ensuring accessibility to transportation for the communities that are not connected to the network of public roads; i) development of a network and means of continuous integrated space monitoring of the Arctic, independent of foreign technologies and information support systems; j) improvement of information and communication infrastructure, which provides communication services to the population and economic entities throughout the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; this includes laying undersea fiber-optic communication cables along the Northern Sea Route; k) development of energy supply network; modernization of local power facilities; expanding the use of renewable energy sources, liquefied natural gas, and local fuel resources.

14. The primary objectives for the development of science and technology to advance progress in the Arctic are: a) to increase activities focused on conducting fundamental and applied research in priority trends of scientific and technological development, as well as to implement expeditions conducting integrated research in the Arctic; b) to design and implement technologies that are critical for development of the Arctic, including the technology to meet the demands for defense and public security, and develop supplies and equipment for use in the Arctic; c) to increase research on natural hazards and man-made hazardous activities in the Arctic, and develop and implement modern methods and technologies for predicting these effects in a changing environment, as well as methods and technologies to reduce threats to human life;

d) to develop and implement practical engineering solutions to prevent damage to infrastructure components due to global climate change; e) to design and improve technologies to protect the health and increase the life expectancy of the population in the Arctic; f) to develop the research fleet of the Russian Federation.

15. The primary objectives for protecting the environment and ensuring environmental security are: a) a science-based development of the network of specially protected natural areas and waters to preserve ecological systems and make them resilient to climate change; b) ensuring preservation of the Arctic natural flora and fauna, protecting rare and endangered species of plants, animals, and other organisms; c) persistence in the elimination of accumulated damage to the environment; d) improvement of the monitoring system of the environment, and implementation of modern information and communication technologies and communication networks to process readings and measurements received from satellites, sea and ice platforms, research vessels, ground stations, and observatories; e) implementation of the best available technologies, ensuring minimization of atmospheric emissions, pollution of waters, and reduction of other types of negative impacts on the environment while conducting economic and other activities; f) ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources, including in traditional lands and places of economic activities of indigenous minorities; g) development of an integrated waste management system for all types of hazardous material, and construction of modern environmentally friendly waste recycling complexes; h) implementation of a set of measures to prevent the introduction of toxic substances, infectious disease, and radioactive elements in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.

16. The primary objectives for the development of international cooperation are: a) strengthening good-will bilateral relations with the Arctic states as well as multilateral regional cooperation forums including the Arctic Council, the coastal Arctic “Five,” and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council; expanding international economic, scientific, technological, cultural and cross-border cooperation, as well as coordination of research on global climate change, environmental protection, and sustainable development of natural resources in compliance with high environmental standards; b) establishing the Arctic Council as the leading regional association coordinating international activities in the region;

c) guaranteeing Russian presence on the Svalbard archipelago on terms of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with Norway and other states - parties to the Treaty of Svalbard of 9 February 1920; d) maintaining cooperation with the Arctic states on the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, taking into account the national interests of the Russian Federation, based on international law and binding agreements; e) contributing to the Arctic states’ greater efforts to establish a unified regional search and rescue network, to prevent human-made disasters and eliminate their consequences, as well as to coordinate rescue forces; f) actively engaging the Arctic and non-Arctic states in mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; g) providing assistance to indigenous minorities in building cross-border cooperation, cultural contacts, and establishing economic activities with other minority and ethnic groups residing outside the Russian Federation. In addition, facilitating the contribution of indigenous minorities to international cooperation on ethnocultural development between the states and in accordance with international agreements of the Russian Federation; h) communicating the results of the Russian Federation's activities in the Arctic to the broad international community;

17. The primary objectives for protecting the population and territories of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation from natural and human-made emergencies are: a) implementing scientific, technical, regulatory and methodological support of activities to protect the population and territories from natural and human-made emergencies, and maintaining fire safety and security on sea platforms in the Arctic environment; b) developing Arctic integrated emergency rescue centers and fire rescue units to respond to accidents and emergencies on the water and the mainland, improving their structure, personnel, logistics, and base infrastructure, and deliver new technologies, equipment, and gear to meet the challenges of the Arctic environment; c) providing air support for the measures aimed at protecting populations and territories from natural and human-made emergencies in the Arctic.

18. The primary objectives for providing public safety in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation are: a) establishing internal affairs agencies of the Russian Federation and the National Guard forces of the Russian Federation in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and their personnel numbers per the objectives for providing public safety, and building and modernizing adequate infrastructure, including housing construction; b) increasing community participation in maintaining public order; promoting citizen voluntary efforts to maintain public order, and expanding the activities of community law enforcement associations, primarily in remote areas where there is no law enforcement force or their presence is required; c) broadening measures aimed at preventing and combating crimes related to the theft of federal funds allocated for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; d) reducing the number of road accidents that endanger the life and health of the population, reducing the severity of their consequences.

19. The primary objectives for providing military security of the Russian Federation in the Arctic are: a) implementing a set of measures aimed at preventing the use of military force against Russia, and protecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity; b) increasing the combat capabilities of general purpose forces (troops) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military units, and military bodies in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, and maintaining their combat readiness and capabilities at a level that guarantees the success of counter-measures against any aggression towards the Russian Federation and its allies; c) improving the system of integrated control over air, surface, and underwater activities in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation; d) construction and modernization of military infrastructure facilities, ensuring the operability of general purpose forces (troops) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations, and agencies.

20. The primary objectives for defending and safeguarding the Russian Federation state borders are: a) improving the quality of state border management through the development of information technologies that allow monitoring the situation at sea and in coastal areas; conducting situational analysis, and coordinating the response measures; b) expanding cooperation with border agencies (Coast Guard services) of foreign countries; c) improving border control infrastructure and renovating passport control checkpoints across the state borders of the Russian Federation on a timeline dictated by the implementation of capital projects; d) technological upgrade of border control organizations, construction of modern, aviation capable ice-class vessels, and aircraft fleet modernization; e) increasing capabilities of the federal air space intelligence and control system of the Russian Federation; f) completing the database update of the baseline measurements of the width of the territorial seas and the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation in the Arctic.


21. Objectives outlined in these Foundations are executed by state authorities and local government bodies in cooperation with business entities and civil society institutions in accordance with legislative acts and international agreements of the Russian Federation.



Give us your perspective on Russia's goals in the Arctic here: https://www.biedsociety.com/forum/the-arctic/international-arctic-policies

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