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Li, M.; Li, Z.; Xing, X. Russian Arctic Sustainable Development. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/47085 (accessed on 13 June 2024).
Li M, Li Z, Xing X. Russian Arctic Sustainable Development. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/47085. Accessed June 13, 2024.
Li, Menglong, Zhilun Li, Xiaoman Xing. "Russian Arctic Sustainable Development" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/47085 (accessed June 13, 2024).
Li, M., Li, Z., & Xing, X. (2023, July 20). Russian Arctic Sustainable Development. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/47085
Li, Menglong, et al. "Russian Arctic Sustainable Development." Encyclopedia. Web. 20 July, 2023.
Russian Arctic Sustainable Development
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For the development and utilization of the Arctic region, Russia proposed a plan many years ago, and in 2020, it proposed a new “Foundations of the Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic for the Period up to 2035”, which reaffirmed the importance of Arctic work in principle. The focus on development further demonstrates the reality that Russia regards the development of the Arctic as an important boost to national rejuvenation. The development of the Arctic requires a lot of funds, manpower, and the joint efforts of the international community. The joint construction of the Arctic region seems to be an excellent platform for building a community with a shared future for mankind and for opening up a new level of international cooperation. The manpower, material resources, and wisdom required for the construction of the Arctic have greatly exceeded that of a country or even the entire Arctic Council.

Arctic Russia

1. Introduction

For the development and utilization of the Arctic region, Russia proposed a plan many years ago, and in 2020, it proposed a new “Foundations of the Russian Federation State Policy in the Arctic for the Period up to 2035”, which reaffirmed the importance of Arctic work in principle. The focus on development further demonstrates the reality that Russia regards the development of the Arctic as an important boost to national rejuvenation. Geographically, Russia is indeed the country with the largest territory and the widest actual control area among the countries in the Arctic Circle. The Arctic is extremely rich in mineral resources, and the Arctic waterway is also within its control. Compared with the traditional Suez Canal, the Arctic waterway can be greatly shortened. The voyage distance can reduce the voyage time and cost, and at the same time avoid the risk of piracy. With the trend of global warming, the commercial value of the Arctic waterway has become more and more significant. However, Russia’s use and development of the Arctic does not conform to the concept of sustainable development [1]. At the same time, it has an unshirkable responsibility for the deterioration of the Arctic environment. In recent years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headed by the United States, has also developed a strong interest in the development of the Arctic. The United States advocated that the Arctic waterway should be opened as an international open water area, but Russia and Canada have successively identified the northeast and northwest sections of the Arctic route as both. Therefore, all passing vessels must obtain a passage permit from Russia or Canada before they pass. At the same time, NATO and Russia’s military presence and military installations in the Arctic are increasing, posing a certain degree of threat to the stable development of the regional situation.
The development of the Arctic requires a lot of funds, manpower, and the joint efforts of the international community. However, over the past few years, there has been a significant decline in the population of the Arctic region. At the same time, Russia’s investment in the Arctic region has shown that it has more than enough energy. In terms of the Arctic, other member states of the Arctic Council have decided not to participate in all remaining meetings of the Council, with Russia as the chairman of the Council. This move will greatly weaken the peace and stability of the development of the Arctic region and deal with a fatal blow to the sustainable development of the region.
Russia’s concept of resource exploitation and sustainable development in the Arctic constitutes an irreconcilable contradiction. Russia promises to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, but the damage to the environment before then will be irreversible. As Russia responds to the expanding sanctions imposed by various countries on the rapid development of the Arctic region, it is likely that the destruction of permafrost will aggravate greenhouse gas emissions, thereby greatly accelerating the melting of Arctic glaciers. If international cooperation and regulatory intervention are not strengthened, by 2060, humans will lose a lot of land, and many countries will even be below sea level. This kind of irresponsibility toward all mankind should be stopped and changed as soon as possible, and the promotion of international cooperation is the best solution to solve the development of the Arctic.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the current global economic recession, it is imperative for the international community to prioritize actions that benefit humanity’s fate. Rather than pursuing self-serving interests and disregarding the world at large, people must collectively work toward responsible and beneficial behavior. The joint construction of the Arctic region seems to be an excellent platform for building a community with a shared future for mankind and for opening up a new level of international cooperation. The manpower, material resources, and wisdom required for the construction of the Arctic have greatly exceeded that of a country or even the entire Arctic Council. The ability to build a new, stable, and sustainable Arctic is a major event that can benefit the entire international community. As Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization member state meeting, “I hope that the international community will attach great importance to development issues, promote the establishment of global development partnerships, and achieve stronger, greener, and healthier global development [2]. ”A sustainable Arctic is the only way out. The peace, stability, and sustainable development of the Arctic region will be beneficial to the whole world and accelerate the pace of economic globalization. In this era of great change, people should abandon the confinement of the Cold War mentality and strengthen cooperation between the East and the West. People should not distinguish by ideology but work hard for the common interests of all mankind. If human society can reach beneficial cooperation on the Arctic issue, it will become a template for resolving other disputes, and it will be a new chapter in history to sell part of the interests in exchange for the common development of all mankind.

2. Russian Arctic Sustainable Development

There is a lack of consensus among scholars from various countries regarding the current state of affairs in the Arctic region. For example, Russian scholars generally express their absolute control and hegemony over the Arctic region, and they usually support their views from the historical level. As Serikova mentioned in his article [3], Russia began to explore the Arctic region in the fifteenth century, and this exploration has continued to this day. The fact is that Russia was the country with the most Arctic territory and resources. Meanwhile, as early as that period, Russia realized that the strategic role of the Arctic region was full of diversity. As Jerusalem and Davydov mentioned, “resources, logistics, and military strategic levels” are all important development directions for the Arctic region [4]. The utilization and exploration of the Arctic started slowly as early as the fifteenth century. Since the end of the 19th century, the security situation in the Arctic attracted the attention of all parties. And has fully demonstrated military deployment in the Arctic region and the conflicts between the parties since the 19th century. Therefore, most Russian scholars have a strong sense of historical responsibility for Arctic affairs, and Russia should fully occupy the dominance of the Arctic region.
However, in the eyes of Western scholars, there should be more choices for the development of the Arctic region, and they believe that Russia’s excessive development in the Arctic region has an unshrinkable responsibility for the environmental problems and unsustainability caused. As Hjort et al. mentioned in their article [5], Russia’s development in the Arctic has caused the melting of the permafrost, which has caused irreparable damage to the environment and has had a fatal impact on the sustainable development of the Arctic. At the same time, the continued escalation of the arms race in the Arctic region, and the confrontation between NATO and Russia will make the future of the Arctic region full of uncertainty. In Odgaard’s article [6], he also pointed out the current tense situation in the Arctic region and its possible negative influences.
Scholars such as Denisov and Chernogradskii have chosen the Sakha Yakutia Republic, a neighboring country of Russia, as a specific research subject. They analyzed the specific measures taken by countries similar to Russia in terms of natural and climatic conditions for Arctic governance, aiming to address the social issues faced by the local population while ensuring the sustainable development of natural resources [7]. Andrey Novoselov, Ivan Potravny, and others are also focusing on the issue of sustainable development in Arctic indigenous communities, with a particular emphasis on mining companies in the Republic of Yakutia. They use a comparative approach to tentatively propose optimal resource extraction plans, technological utilization, and the potential impacts of the projects [8]. Potravnaya and Hye-Jin Kim, among others, employed gender-sensitive research methods to explore the individual economic development behaviors of Arctic residents. They utilized quantitative methods to assess the ripple effects generated by these behaviors and proposed governance strategies that the government should adopt [9]. Potravnaya and Yashalova conducted a detailed study on the lifestyles of indigenous and migrant populations in the Russian Federation’s Arctic region. They primarily conducted a questionnaire survey among 859 local residents in the Arctic region to analyze the contemporary characteristics of Arctic inhabitants and to assess the environmental impacts of mineral exploration and extraction [10]. Compared to previous research, Potravnaya and Tishkov delved more into the positive aspects of mining companies in improving socio-economic development and promoting employment in the Russian Arctic region. By studying local population outflows and youth employment trends, they pointed out the real challenges faced by Arctic development [11].
The development of the Arctic region has not always been smooth sailing. The Arctic Council has always had some problems in promoting the development of the Arctic region. At the same time, after reading nearly one hundred Russian articles on the Arctic region, more than 70% of the authors firmly believe that Russia has absolute rights and advantages in the Arctic. These articles highlight Russia’s sovereignty over the northwestern section of the Arctic route in the international community and intensify the exploitation of its seabed resources. They emphasize that the affairs of the Arctic region are Russia’s internal affairs, and there is no need for countries outside the region to dictate. The ecological environment of the Arctic region has been greatly affected, and infrastructure construction has been slow. However, military confrontation continues to be tense, and it is generally difficult for the international community to truly participate in the construction of the Arctic. In the huge differences between Russian and Western scholars, people can see that the situation in the Arctic region is full of uncertainties and the reality that it is difficult to cooperate. With the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia, the secret contest in the Arctic region has also become a confrontation between the West and Russia. However, confrontation is difficult for promoting the sustainable development of the Arctic region. Conversely, it brings great uncertainty to the development of the Arctic region. At the same time, the confrontation may cause Russia to continue its development in the Arctic region without any supervision; its negative impact may be irreversible due to the destruction of permafrost in Russia over the years, as Hjort mentioned [5].

References

  1. Novoselov, A.; Potravny, I.; Novoselova, I.; Gassiy, V. Social Investing Modeling for Sustainable Development of the Russian Arctic. Sustainability 2022, 14, 933.
  2. Ride on the Trend of the Times and Enhance Solidarity and Cooperation to Embrace a Better Future. Available online: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/202209/t20220916_10767110.html (accessed on 10 October 2022).
  3. Serikova, U.S. History of the Development of the Arctic; History and Pedagogy of Natural Sciences; No. 4; Routledge: London, UK, 2016; pp. 35–40.
  4. Jerusalem, Y.Y.; Davydov, V.V. The Role of Peter the Great in the Development of the Russian Arctic; Series: History and Political Sciences; No. 2; Bulletin of the Moscow State Regional University: Moscow, Russia, 2022; pp. 58–68.
  5. Hjort, J.; Streletskiy, D.; Doré, G.; Wu, Q.; Bjella, K.; Luoto, M. Impacts of permafrost degradation on infrastructure. Nat. Rev. Earth Environ. 2022, 3, 24–38.
  6. Odgaard, L. Russia’s Arctic designs and NATO. Survival 2022, 64, 89–104.
  7. Denisov, V.I.; Chernogradskii, V.N.; Potravny, I.M.; Ivanova, P.Y. Directions of the Balanced Socioeconomic Development of the Arctic Zone of Russia (with the Example of Yakutia). Stud. Russ. Econ. Dev. 2020, 31, 404–410.
  8. Novoselov, A.; Potravny, I.; Novoselova, I.; Gassiy, V. Sustainable Development of the Arctic Indigenous Communities: The Approach to Projects Optimization of Mining Company. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7963.
  9. Potravnaya, E.; Kim, H.-J. Economic Behavior of the Indigenous Peoples in the Context of the Industrial Development of the Russian Arctic: A Gender-Sensitive Approach. REGION Reg. Stud. Russ. East. Eur. Cent. Asia 2020, 9, 101–126.
  10. Potravnaya, E.V.; Yashalova, N.N.; Hye-Jin, K. Social portrait of a resident of the Arctic in the conditions of industrial development of the territory case study of Yakutia and Taimyr). Econ. Soc. Chang. Facts Trends Forecast 2021, 14, 185–200.
  11. Potravnaya, E.V.; Tishkov, S.V. Why young people leave the Arctic: The results of sociological research. IOP Conf. Ser. Earth Environ. Sci. 2022, 962, 012030.
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