Russian policy in Arctic likely to remain focused on cooperative, diplomatic approach with other Arctic nations
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As a maritime state with interests in sustaining freedom of navigation on a global stage and in maintaining safety and security in its offshore waters, Russia in the twenty-first century will increasingly share interests long held by the United States and other ocean powers. Russia’s interests in its Arctic will foster a maritime policy that embraces coastal resource management and freedom of international navigation, though likely with a greater emphasis on offshore￼sovereignty and less on distant-water power projection. Strategic security policy will be a continuation of past and current policy, the U.S.-Russian maritime boundary is already resolved de facto (pending official approval of the boundary treaty by the Russian Duma), and current and potential territorial disputes between Russia and U.S. allies Norway, Denmark, and Canada are likely to be resolved through peaceful means. The United States and Russia also have an agreement that maritime-boundary and navigation disputes will be resolved diplomatically rather than by resort to arms.32 The conflicts that do arise will be focused on matters of commercial navigation, boundary delimitation, fisheries management, energy development, environmental protection, and ocean science, all the subjects of international diplomacy and regulatory enforcement rather than warfare.
Tension between Russia and other Arctic nations will remain high as they continue to compete for Arctic territory. Maintaining UNCLOS as a viable legal framework for settling Arctic territorial claims should help avert potential confrontations between Russia and other UNCLOS members.