Russia’s Arctic illusions

Russian Arctic brigade exercises on Taimyr

Russian Arctic brigade exercises on Taimyr

Russia appears firmly set on its course of militarization of the Arctic. In a region where economic activities are mostly declining and where environmental challenges are on the rise, Russia appears to be engaged in a one-sided arms race. It is glaringly obvious to observers outside the Kremlin that Russia’s severe economic recession makes this course unsustainable. Russia may aspire to Arctic greatness, but there is little there to achieve and Russia is unlikely to be able to achieve it.

This is the bottom line from my post at the Brookings blog Order from Chaos, August 27.

And there is also a feature article in New York Times by Steven Lee Myers, which has this point:

Some have questioned whether Russia, whose economy is sinking under the weight of sanctions and the falling price of oil, can sustain its efforts in the Arctic.

“The only challenge to Russian exploitation of the Arctic came from Greenpeace,” he said.

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