High North, High Tension: The End of Arctic Illusions

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
May 16, 2023 | Foreign Policy Research Institute

For Russia, the Arctic is an essential area of interest not only in terms of national security but also for economic reasons. Russia’s hydrocarbon sector depends on Arctic resources: they account for 80 percent of Russia’s natural gas and 17 percent of its oil production. In her article for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Minna Ålander notes that Russia’s Northern Fleet, with nuclear-capable submarines, is located in the Arctic to protect these gas and oil resources. Russia has 30 percent more military bases in the Arctic region than NATO. The future of Russia’s Arctic resource exploitation will depend to a large extent on how the nation’s relationship with China develops and whether Russia can secure India as a customer. The current prospects look promising for Moscow on both accounts.

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