Russia’s Arctic Ambitions

Moscow's security efforts have historically focused on its western front, but it's increasingly concerned about the east.

The Russian government is reigniting its push into the Arctic. Despite the challenging global economic environment, the Kremlin plans to build at least five new icebreakers, which, according to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, will be used to further develop the Northern Sea Route across Russia’s Arctic coast. On Monday, Russia announced that it had started construction on the Leader project, the world’s most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker, at the Zvezda shipyard in the Far East region. According to the government, the project is worth the expense because it will help make the Northern Sea Route accessible year-round and tap into the growing interest in the new transit corridor between Europe and Asia. But the Kremlin’s own interest in the Arctic is not only a result of the potential economic benefits; it’s also a matter of securing Russia’s eastern borders. The Eastern Front Russia has long concentrated its security efforts on its western front. The main threats to Russia’s territorial integrity have historically emanated from there, and so it has spent considerable time and resources building up its Baltic and Black Sea fleets. But Moscow is increasingly focusing on its eastern frontier, which is facing growing threats from several sources, some of […]

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Ekaterina Zolotova
Ekaterina Zolotova is an analyst for Geopolitical Futures. Prior to Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Zolotova participated in several research projects devoted to problems and prospects of Russia’s integration into the world economy. Ms. Zolotova has a specialist degree in international economic relations from Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. In addition, Ms. Zolotova studied international trade and international integration processes. Her thesis was on features of economic development of Venezuela. She speaks native Russian and is fluent in English.