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Policy Contribution

On Thin Ice? (Mis)interpreting Russian Policy in the High North

by Roderick Kefferpütz
15 February 2010

On Thin Ice? (Mis)interpreting Russian Policy in the High North

Roderick Kefferpütz

Climate change in the Arctic is expected to make the region a lot busier as new strategic resources are becoming available. The Russian Federation is a key player in this context having put forth a comprehensive Arctic strategy. Russian policy towards the so-called High North, however, is oftentimes not seen in its entirety and has received a plethora of criticism in the Western media and foreign policy community. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of Russian actions in the High North by providing a succinct overview of Russian policies in the region and identifying the fundamental rationale behind them. The paper concludes that Russia’s Arctic policy is not only a lot more nuanced but also not very different from the policies conducted by other riparian states.


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  • Author
    Roderick Kefferpütz
    Roderick Kefferpütz
On Thin Ice? (Mis)interpreting Russian Policy in the High North
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