Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives in Russia’s Arctic Policy

Journal article

Baev, Pavel K. (2019) Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives in Russia’s Arctic Policy, Journal of Slavic Military Studies 32 (1): 25–40.

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Russia’s Arctic policy keeps going along two poorly compatible tracks of expanding military activities and committing to international cooperation. Exaggerated threat assessments are typically advanced to justify the strongly set strategic priority for sustaining investments in building up the military capabilities, including nuclear forces. The option for developing cooperation has become unprofitable due to the sanctions regime, but its main downside is that it denies Russia the opportunity to exploit the perceived and highly valued position of power it holds in the Barents region. Russia has the capabilities and can create opportunities for forceful proactive advances in the High North, and caution is not a behavior pattern that can be expected from an essentially authoritarian regime that is threatened by domestic discontent and external pressure.

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