Russia’s Arctic Papers:
The evolution of Strategic Thinking on the High North
by Nazrin Mehdiyeva
Russian Studies Series 4/2018
(Review of the Documents: “Principles of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic to 2020 and beyond”, September 2008; “The Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Provision of National Security to 2020”, February 2013; “State Programme of the Russian Federation – Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone to 2020”, 21 April 2014; “State Programme of the Russian Federation – Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone to 2025, 31 August 2017)
The Arctic has been characterised by President Putin as a region of “concentration of practically all aspects of national security – military, political, economic, technological, environment and that of resources”.1 In Putin’s assessment, the goal of Russian state policy in the Arctic is to enhance, continuously and systematically, the positions that Russia has gained there over “the dozens of years” by “strictly adhering to… our strategic planning”. Already in September 2008, the Russian government adopted a comprehensive strategic document on the “Principles of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic to 2020 and beyond” (henceforth “Principles of State Policy”).2 An Arctic Strategy, formally known as “The Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Provision of National Security to 2020”,3 was signed into law in February 2013. And a state programme, adopted in April 2014 under the title of “Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone up to 2020” (2014 State Programme),4 has become the main mechanism for the implementation of Russia’s Arctic Strategy. In August 2017, the State Programme was updated and extended to 2025 (2017 State Programme). 5
To understand Russian thinking and action in the region, it is essential to see these documents as forming a broader whole.
This review essay examines the key tenets across these four Arctic documents, reflecting on policy aspects that have stayed constant, despite profound changes in the geopolitical context, and those that have been altered, either in tone or substance. The review makes references to the geopolitical considerations of Russian policymakers and considers how the context has shaped decision-making on the Russian Arctic during the last decade, also referencing other relevant documents that have been adopted in Russia since 2008 to provide essential context.A common feature of Russia’s strategic documents on the Arctic is that they highlight two policy strands that Russian planners see as fundamental to enhancing the country’s sovereignty over the “Arctic macro-region”. The first is the assertion of Russian jurisdiction over the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which is expected to be mostly ice-free and navigable in the summer months by 2025-30. The second is extending Russian jurisdiction over the exploration and exploitation of natural resources of Russia’s continental shelf beyond the commonly accepted 200 nautical mile limit. Both objectives are linked to resources. Unimpeded access to, exploitation and transportation of the mineral riches is seen as serving Russia’s national interests and is deemed to become increasingly strategic in the post-2020 framework as global competition for resources and markets intensifies. 6 Achieving the two objectives is expected to strengthen Russia’s national security, give it control over a larger share of global resources and improve its competitiveness by enabling it to reach exports markets via a shorter transportation route.
This review demonstrates the evolution in Russia’s attitude towards the Arctic. It reveals that while the earlier documents assign paramount value to the region’s resources, they consider their development primarily within the framework of international cooperation. By contrast, the later documents juxtapose the question of developing the reserves, particularly of the continental shelf, with that of enhanced security of the Arctic and suggest that security is a precondition for successful resource development.
The dual objectives of claiming jurisdiction over the NSR and the extended continental shelf appear to be more difficult to achieve in the climate of heightened tensions between Russia and the West. Yet the Russian leadership has continued to assert its determination to claim both and sought to justify its positions within the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The review concludes, therefore, that while the military reinforcement of the Russian Arctic should be expected to continue, Russia would prefer to contain the spill-over of its negative relations with the West in other theatres and conduct a differentiated regional policy that enables peaceful co-existence in the Arctic.
Russia’s strategic resource base
Developing oil and gas resources has long been declared to be a paramount objective in the Arctic. The “Principles of State Policy” envisage the “use of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation as a strategic resource base”.7 While the socio-economic development of the region and the rights of the indigenous population are paid lip service in the document, it is the development of the region’s reserves – in words that position the Arctic as a resource appendage of European Russia – that stands out.
The document elaborates that the expansion of the Arctic resource base is needed to “meet … Russia’s requirements in hydrocarbons, marine biological resources and other types of strategic raw materials”.8 The fact that the development of hydrocarbons is cited as number one national interest in the Arctic corroborates the views that were prevalent in energy and policy-making circles in Moscow at the time.
For instance, in his book published in 2011, Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov stated that the hydrocarbons resources of the Volga-Urals province and West Siberia had reached critical lows, with limited opportunities for increasing onshore reserves through exploration. Alekperov cited worrying statistics, such as low average oil recovery factors, especially in comparison to global majors, high percentage of discovered oil and gas fields already under development and inadequate geological exploration and prospecting, among the key industry problems which could lead to irreversible declines in production.9
Similarly, the General Scheme for the Development of the Oil Industry to 2020 claimed that the oil resource base of Russia was in a “critical state”, with over 25 percent of oil reserves yet to be discovered and the reserves of the undistributed fund lingering at an “inconsiderable level”. The conclusion, enshrined in the many iterations of Russia’s Energy Strategy, was that if Russia was to maintain its position as a leading energy producer and exporter, the resources of the Arctic, and specifically the Arctic offshore, needed to be explored and exploited. This conclusion was also reflected in the “Principles of State Policy”, which sets a tangible growth in reserves, including on the continental shelf, and the start of drilling operations as a “key task” (glavnaya tsel) in the region.10
The priority given to Arctic resources in Russia’s strategic documentation is not surprising given the size of reserves at stake. Putin has quoted Russian expert views that the overall energy reserves of Russia’s Arctic zone exceed 1.6 trillion tonnes of oil equivalent while the continental shelf holds “almost a quarter of all the hydrocarbon resources on the entire world sea shelf”.11
Ambitions vs. reality
In stark contrast to the “Principles of State Policy”, the “2014 State Programme” does not cover oil and gas in much detail. Indeed, its main aim appears to be to slot in with the existing programmes on both the federal and regional levels, covering a broad array of issues from tourism to the introduction of advanced technologies. The subsection titled “State programme on the replacement and exploitation of natural resources” states that third generation geological maps will be created, with the emphasis on mapping the areas of the continental shelf for which the maps do not yet exist.12 The subsection on energy and energy efficiency that follows gives a cursory overview of the need to develop new hydrocarbons fields and pipelines, with a mention of only three fields – Prirazlomnoye, Naulskoye and Trebs and Titov.
When the programme was adopted, two of the three fields – Prirazlomnoye and Trebs and Titov – had already been launched, making the programme look unambitious, out of date and unconnected to other strategic documents, such as Russia’s Energy Strategy, National Security Strategy and Maritime Doctrine. The 2014 State Programme was widely criticised by many in Russian policy-making circles, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, for its “analytical character” and lack of funding.13 In response to this criticism and to address the heightened fears expressed in the National Security Strategy to 2020 (2015) regarding Russia’s ability to defend its Arctic interests given the global and regional instability caused by the formation of a new international political order,14 the government adopted in 2017 a revised, updated and extended state programme to 2025.
In its scope and ambition, this “2017 State Programme” is more in line with the “Principles of State Policy” and the Arctic Strategy. It sets out three sub-programmes that need to be realised by the end of the planning period:15
- Creation and development of core development zones (opornye zony);
- Development of the NSR and increasing Arctic navigation;
- Developing equipment and technologies for hydrocarbons and other mineral deposits to be used in the Russian Arctic.
The 2017 programme also builds on the selective approach to Arctic development set out in the 2014 programme. Referred to as a carcass-cluster approach (karkasno-klasternyi podkhod),16 this approach envisages the creation of a group of development zones (clusters), which will receive priority government attention and treatment, with funding channelled to transportation, energy and social projects to create the backbone (carcass) of regional development.
Medvedev stressed that the creation of infrastructure along the NSR and the development of the continental shelf would be the priority tasks for the period. He highlighted the finding for the programme of 12 billion roubles ($180 million) for 2018-2020 and up to 150 billion roubles for the period of 2021-25.
In 2018-20, the “2017 State Programme” envisages the implementation of pilot projects for the core development zones, the modernisation and upgrading of a shipyard in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the commissioning of an ice-resistant self-propelled platform Severnyi Polyus (“North Pole”). The platform, which is a joint project with the federal meteorological service, is already under development and is likely to be completed as planned in 2020.
But the funds allocated to the 2017 State Programme as a whole are inadequate for the task at hand. From the measly committed sum of 12 billion, almost 7 billion will be spent on the platform.17 According to Russian sources, in January 2017, the Ministry of Economic Development requested 209 billion roubles to implement the first stage of the programme (to 2020).18 The funds for 2020-25 remain unconfirmed.
Faced with the multitude of competing priorities, Russia will have to choose its key tasks. The direction in which the government has been heading is clear: consolidate control of the NSR as a waterway within Russian jurisdiction and justify its claims to the extension of the continental shelf. By attaining these tasks, Russia would come to control a strategic military and (potentially highly significant) commercial waterway and secure control over the larger share of world resources. If it controls resources, then, in a world of enhanced competition that Russian strategists envisage, Russia will be in a good position to attract capital and technologies from around the world. Thus, the aim of ensuring control over the resources supersedes that of developing domestic hi-tech. Furthermore, if with global warming, the NSR becomes more navigable, as Russian projections indicate, then Russia would be able to access export markets via a shorter route all year round.
Russian strategic documents have consistently claimed the NSR as part of Russian jurisdiction and argued for the extension of the continental shelf. But, more recently, the tone has become more assertive as the issues have been more overtly linked to national security. The emphasis in the “Principles of State Policy” is firmly on cooperation with the Arctic states, which the document asserts should be within the bounds of international law. Russia undertakes to implement the Principles in three stages:
- In stage 1 (2008-10), conduct geological and geophysical works to justify the external border of the Arctic zone of Russia;
- In stage 2 (2011-15), complete the legal delimitation of its external Arctic border and develop the infrastructure and communication control systems to allow the country to start realising its ‘competitive advantages’ in extracting and transporting energy resources;
- In stage 3 (2016-20), transform the Arctic into the strategic resource base of Russia.
Read on its own, the document does not appear to anticipate much resistance with regard to the incorporation of the NSR into Russia’s jurisdiction or the extension of the continental shelf. This, however, could not be true as Russia witnessed an international outcry following the planting of the Russian flag on the seabed below the North Pole in August 2007. The episode was widely understood as a Russian attempt to advance its claims to the Arctic seabed.19
Subsequently, Russia went to great lengths to demonstrate that it was interested in preserving the Arctic as an area of cooperation and peace. In 2010, Russia and Norway resolved a 40-year long dispute over an area covering 175,000 square kilometres in the Barents Sea. In March 2017, Russia hosted an international forum under the title “Arctic: Territory of Dialogue” in which Putin insisted that “Russia believes that there is no potential for conflict in the Arctic” and that all issues, including “such sensitive ones as the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean and the prevention of unregulated high seas fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean”, could be resolved within UNCLOS.20 The “Principles of State Policy” and the “Arctic Strategy”, with their emphasis on international law and cooperation among the Arctic states, fit into this trend when the Russian government worked hard to demonstrate that it had a shared interest with other Arctic littoral states to adhere to the UNCLOS regime.
Russia’s support for the international law in the Arctic suits Moscow’s interests. Under UNCLOS, national jurisdiction applies to the living and non-living resources of the state’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as to the mineral resources on the continental shelf which the littoral state can explore and exploit. The Arctic littoral states are unanimously opposed to any international legal regime for the region such as the one that governs the Antarctic. Instead, they support the prevailing division of the Arctic into national sectors. This unity of interests is important in the light of the inroads that extra-regional states, such as China, have been making in the Arctic. In the prevailing context when Russia needs Chinese investment, upholding UNCLOS enables Russia to set the terms on which non-Arctic states can get involved in regional affairs. This creates a strong stimulus for Russia to work together with other Arctic states.
Simultaneously, Russia has been using provisions in UNCLOS to advance its national interests. Moscow is currently claiming 350 nautical miles as its EEZ, which is significantly larger than the generally accepted 200-mile EEZ. In 2013, Russia achieved an important success with a positive decision from the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) regarding the Okhotsk Sea enclave, which increased Russia’s territory by 50,000 square kilometres. Currently, Russia is claiming as a continuation of the Russian continental shelf the total area of 1.2 million square kilometres. Around 550,000 square kilometres of that area are disputed by Denmark, and there is the expectation that Canada will also dispute this when it submits its claim in 2019.
Already by the time the “Arctic Strategy” was adopted in 2013, the tone of Russia’s strategic documentation had become more cautious, showing greater awareness of the obstacles on the way to realising Russia’s ambitions. On the issue of the outer limits of Russia’s continental shelf, the “Arctic Strategy” states that a key policy strand in the Arctic would be to prepare and provide evidence to CLCS in order to justify the extension.21 The “2014 State Programme” reiterated this. In a clear sign of the importance that Moscow attaches to the issue, Russia finalised its submission to the CLCS in February 2016.
The Northern Sea Route
Russia acknowledges in principle the legitimate navigation rights of non-Arctic states in the NSR. Nevertheless, it insists that the waterway should be subject to Russia’s national regulation as it has been historically its internal waters. It does not agree to the waterway to be governed by an international regime.
The strategic documents (re)affirm that the NSR is part of Russian jurisdiction. The “Arctic Strategy” refers to the creation of a “single Arctic transport system for the Russian Federation” of which NSR is an integral part. In 2012 and 2015, Russia adopted other legislation which confirmed the status of the waterway as Russia’s historic national transport line and approved an integrated project for its development. Infrastructure, hydrography, security, management and other associated services are subjects of regular discussion at the highest governmental level.22
The main reason for the development of the NSR stipulated in the Arctic strategic documents is the creation of a Russian ‘national transport route’ (natsional’naya transportnaya magistral’) in the Arctic.23 Within this goal, the transport of mineral resources to international markets is of paramount importance.24 Currently, of the 15 main investment projects in the Arctic, 11 are in the oil and gas sector and four are in iron ore and coal. In his annual address to the Federal Assembly on 1 March 2018, Putin stressed that the NSR would become “a truly global competitive transport artery” and “the key to the development of the Russian Arctic and the regions of the [Russian] Far East”.25
Russia’s ability to turn the NSR into a major route should be considered in the context of historical transit levels. Peak annual cargo transit through the NSR was recorded in 1987 when 6.6 million tonnes was transported. After that, the volumes declined steadily until the revival of the NSR was made a government priority. The volumes have risen steadily: from 4 million tonnes in 2014 to 7.5 million tonnes in 2016 and 10.7 million in 2017. This trajectory is in itself impressive and has been facilitated by the development of such major industrial projects as Yamal LNG. Nonetheless, the target specified in the 2014 Programme is 63.7 million tonnes per annum to be reached by 2020,26 which is very ambitious. In his speech to the Federal Assembly, Putin preferred to omit that target, opting instead for a new figure of 80 million tonnes of cargo transported via the NSR by 2025.
The security component has risen on the list of government priorities since 2014 following the deterioration of relations with the West. The Maritime Doctrine, adopted in 2015, devotes considerable attention to the Arctic regional direction and highlights the region’s value in enabling the Russian fleet to access both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. It is noteworthy that the admission of the Arctic’s – and more specifically, the NSR’s – strategic military value does not feature anywhere in the Arctic documents. Indeed, the fact that the passage serves as an interoceanic connector for the navy significantly increases the NSR’s importance and illuminates why the Russian leadership is adamant about controlling it.
Rebuilding and upgrading regional military infrastructure and enhancing command and control have emerged as consistent themes in Russia’s strategic thinking on the Arctic. The formation in December 2014 of the Arctic Joint Strategic Command (AJSC) as the fifth military district of Russia, with the Northern Fleet as its mainstay, reflected the priority that Russia began to attach to the defence of the Arctic. In December 2015, the AJSC received its own air force and army with the formation of the 45th Air Force and Air Defence Army of the Northern Fleet. According to Russian sources, 50 bases are expected to be built across the Arctic.
Yet the Arctic documents offer little insight on the military dimension of Russia’s strategy. They mostly reiterate the need to reduce threats to national security and ensure stability. Nonetheless, the “Arctic Strategy” does not exclude military confrontation and states that in any situation of conflict in the Arctic, Russia should be ready to “reflect the aggression and stop military action on conditions that suit its national interests”. Chairing a meeting of the Security Council on national security in the Arctic in April 2014, Putin spoke of the ever more frequent “collision of interests” in the region and concluded that “giventhe circumstances”, Russia would need to “take additional measures”,27 and in 2015, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu highlighted the wide range of threats to Russia’s national security forming in the Arctic. 28
Significantly, however, none of the Arctic strategic documents explicitly consider a conflict with NATO. Instead, measures such as the development of dual use infrastructure to enhance border security and contribute to SAR activities are emphasised. The “2014 State Programme” envisages the establishment of 11 SAR stations along the entire coast by 2020. A military conflict is being considered as a potential, albeit undesirable, outcome in the future.
Putin’s direct and frequent involvement in Arctic matters, the role of the Security Council in setting Arctic policy and Shoigu’s assessments of the regional situation all signal that there is a distinctly military component to Russian strategic thinking on the Arctic. Yet the emphasis laid in the 2014 and 2017 State Programmes on the creation of regional infrastructure, notably to improve sea-river communication and develop the mineral resources of the Arctic, suggests that the appointment of Putin’s former chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, as special presidential representative on environment, ecology and transport in August 2016 may not have been the demotion that many believed it to be. Indeed, it was Ivanov who, in a meeting with the Danish Foreign Minister held on the sidelines of the Arctic international forum, floated the idea of joint development of the NSR.29 This, no doubt, presumed recognising the waterway as part of Russian jurisdiction.
The extension of the responsibilities of former Natural Resources Minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev to include the development of the Russian Arctic highlights the government’s focus on the region’s mineral wealth. Moreover, Trutnev is also presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, which illuminates the effort to align strategy with action by achieving synergies across the regions and projects.
Following his appointment in May, Trutnev has characterised the inter-ministerial work on the Arctic as lacking coordination and stated his intent to create a “unified system” for implementing the priority tasks for the Arctic. Russian sources suggest two somewhat contradictory paths. The first is that Trutnev is seeking to reduce the size of the State Committee for the Arctic, created in February 2015, in order to streamline its work.30 The Committee was until May headed by then Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and consists of 80 members. The second is that Trutnev may choose to duplicate the Committee, at least partially, and focus its efforts on the development of the NSR (and regional aviation), which would enhance synergies between projects in the Far East and the Arctic.31 Doing so would advance the tasks specified in the Arctic strategic documents and achieve influence with Putin who has spoken about the need to create a new distinct body for the NSR.
Three observations stand out regarding the strategic documentation on the Arctic. First, the Arctic has emerged as a region of immense importance in Russian strategic planning. Its resources are seen as vital for the future of Russia: extracting, exporting and simply claiming more mineral reserves are paramount state objectives.
Second, Russia considers the expansion of the continental shelf and the consolidation of the NSR within its jurisdiction as two principal ways of strengthening its control over the Arctic resources. Extending the limits of the continental shelf would give Russia access to more resources, including (but not limited to) oil and gas, while securing control over the NSR would provide it with a shorter route to the international markets, particularly in Asia. In addition to commercial transport, Russia is seeking control over the NSR for military reasons even though this dimension is de-emphasised in the Arctic documents.
Third, the overall tone of all Arctic documents continues to be that of cooperation. In the documents, the balance has subtly shifted towards security since 2014, but the focus remains on defence capabilities and SAR services along Russia’s very long northern border. Russia is still strongly interested in international cooperation and will continue to adhere to UNCLOS, not least because it serves its national interests.
1(back) Meeting of the Security Council on state policy in the Arctic, 22 April 2014, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/20845
2 (back) Osnovy gosudarstvennoi politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsii v Arktike na period do 2020 goda i dal’neyshuyu perspektivu [Principles of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic to 2020 and beyond], 18 September 2008, http://static.government.ru/media/files/A4qP6brLNJ175I40U0K46x4SsKRHGfUO.pdf
3 (back) Strategiya razvitiya Arkticheskoi zony Rossiiskoi Federatsii i obespecheniya natsional’noi bezopasnosti na period do 2020 goda [The Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Provision of National Security to 2020], 20 February 2013, http://static.government.ru/media/files/2RpSA3sctElhAGn4RN9dHrtzk0A3wZm8.pdf; http://government.ru/info/18360/
4(back) Gosudarstvennaya programma Rossiiskoi Federatsii “Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoye razvitiye Arkticheskoi zony Rossiiskoi Federatsii na period do 2020” [State Programme of the Russian Federation “Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone to 2020], 21 April 2014, https://www.prlib.ru/en/node/468341
5 (back) Gosudarstvennaya programma Rossiiskoi Federatsii “Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskoye razvitiye Arkticheskoi zony Rossiiskoi Federatsii na period do 2025” [State Programme of the Russian Federation “Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone to 2025], 31 August 2017, http://static.government.ru/media/files/GGu3GTtv8bvV8gZxSEAS1R7XmzloK6ar.pdf
6 (back) Nazrin Mehdiyeva, “When Sanctions Bite: Global Export Leadership in a Competitive World and Russia’s Energy Strategy to 2035”, Russian Studies 01/17, NATO Defense College, January 2017.
7 (back) “Principles of State Policy”, Part II, Section 4 (a).
8 (back) Ibid., Section 6 (a).
9 (back) Vagit Alekperov, “Neft’ Rossii: Proshloye, Nastoyascheye i Buduscheye” [“The Oil of Russia: Past, Present and Future”], Kreativnaya Ekonomika, Moscow, 2011, p.370.
10 (back) “Principles of State Policy”, Part IV, Section 8 (a).
11 (back) Meeting of the Security Council.
12 (back) 2014 State Programme, p.15.
15 (back) 2017 State Programme, pp. 34-40.
16 (back) 2014 State Programme, pp. 24-25.
17 (back) O stroitel’stve ledostoikoi samodvijuscheysya platformy “Severnyi Polyus” [On the construction of the ice-resistant self-propelled platform “North Pole”, 7 April 2018, http://government.ru/docs/32090/
18 (back) Pravitel'stvo zadumalos o sokraschenii raskhodov na Arktiku v 17 raz [The government is thinking of reducing the costs in the Arctic 17 times], RBK Business, 30 June 2017,
19x (back) “Artur Chilingarov: My dokazali – Arktika nasha” [“We have proved that the Arctic is Ours”], MKRU, 7 August 2007,http://www.mk.ru/editions/daily/article/2007/08/07/88555-artur-chilingarov-myi-dokazali-arktika-nasha.html.
21 (back) Arctic Strategy, Part V, Section 29 (b).
22 (back) See, for example, Federal’nyi zakon “O Vnesenii izmenenii v otdel’nye zakonodatel’nye akty Rossiiskoi Federatsii v chasti gosudarstvennogo regulirovaniya torgovogo moreplanvaniya v akvatorii Severnogo morskogo puti” [Federal Law “On introducing amendments into the legislative acts of the Russian Federation in the area of state governance of commercial seafaring in the water area of the Northern Sea Route”], 30 July 2012, http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/16075; and Spravka o Kompleksnom Proekte razvitiya Severnogo morskogo puti [Note on the Integrated Development Project of the Northern Sea Route], 8 June 2015, http://government.ru/orders/selection/405/18405/
23 (back) See, for example, 2017 State Programme, p.13; Arctic Strategy, Part III, Section 12.
26 (back) 2014 State programme, p.13.
27 (back) Meeting of the Security Council.
28 (back) “Shoigu: Shirokii spektr ugroz formiruetsa v Arktike” [Shoigu: A wide spectrum of threats to Russia is being formed in the Arctic], RIA-Novosti, 25 February 2015, https://ria.ru/defense_safety/20150225/1049607549.html
29 (back) “Rossiya predlojila Danii vmeste razvivat’ Severnyi morskoi put” [“Russia offered Denmark to develop the Northern Sea Route Together”, RIA-Novosti, 30 March 2017, https://ria.ru/world/20170330/1491145265.html
30 (back) “Vitse-premier Trutnev ne isklyuchil preobrazovaniya goskomissii po Arktike” [“Vice-premier Trutnev did not exclude the reform of the State Committee for the Arctic”], RIA-Novosti, 5 July 2018, https://ria.ru/economy/20180705/1523968374.html
31(back) “Northern Sea Route, aviation are Arctic development’s priorities — senator”, TASS, 5 July 2018, http://tass.com/economy/1012087