The increase of the interest to the Arctic region in recent decades has contributed to the emergence of a solid array of various kinds of governmental projects, plans, programmes, concepts, and hypotheses. The scientific community did not remain aloof from this problem, enriching the circumpolar science with an impressive library, which includes both publications devoted to highly specialized topics and general issues. The Arctic agenda is formed from four main plots in an established format, including the international level: the prospect of economic development of the Arctic shelf, the possibility of organizing new transport routes, protecting the environment, protecting the rights of indigenous small peoples inhabiting the Far North.
The currently undefined status of national borders in the circumpolar region results in additional tension in the discussion of the Arctic issues, thereby forcing the interested states to formulate an individual policy regarding the northern territories. Since the Russian Federation has significantly increased its influence in the Arctic, and, to some extent, even provoked an increase in the activeness of other countries, it would be expedient to analyze the chronological sequence of its formation in order to analyze the goals and vectors of the Russian Arctic policy, relying primarily on the fundamental normative documents.
It can be argued, with sufficient conventionality, that the Russian policy in the Arctic, during its transformation from 1991 to the present, has passed at least three phases or stages. The first of these is limited by the time period of the 1990s and is characterized as the initial stage of the accumulation of information, its processing, and attempts to formulate a unified concept with regard to the Northern regions. The second stage, from 2000 to 2007, can be qualified as the time of fundraising for the Arctic projects, active international communications, integration of Russia into the circumpolar community of countries, as the first among equals. The third phase, which began in mid-2007 and has lasted for ten years is the period of Russia's expansion in the Arctic.
It is probably worth pointing out that the Russian Arctic policy at the initial stage, to a large extent, was the continuation of the policy of the Soviet Union. In 1987, the USSR put forward the so-called "Murmansk initiatives," which identified the principal problems of the Arctic, and also proposed specific directions for the development of international relations in the Arctic region. In particular, it dealt with creating a nuclear-free zone in the north of Europe, limiting naval activity in the seas adjacent to Northern Europe, peaceful cooperation in rational development of the resources of the region, scientific cooperation, environmental protection, prospects for using the Northern Sea Route for international navigation . The strategy of Russia, as the legal successor to the Soviet Union in the foreign policy was based on these theses practically throughout the 1990s.
In fact, right after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the corresponding authorized body was formed - the National Commission of the RSFSR for Arctic and Antarctic , transformed in 1992 into the National Commission of the Russian Federation for Arctic and Antarctic , and renamed the same year into the Interdepartmental Commission for Arctic and Antarctic. The Commission functioned until 2004. Its function was to coordinate the economic, socio-economic, scientific and environmental activities of various agencies in the Arctic and Antarctic.
Also 1992 saw the establishment by the Russian government of the All-Russian Research and Coordination Centre for Complex Problems of the North, the Arctic and Activities of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, a kind of moderator for the activities of research institutes involved in studying processes in the Arctic regions, including the problems of indigenous peoples of the North. In 1994, the Council of Federation established the Committee for the Affairs of the North and Small Peoples, which was formed from members of the Council of Federation – senators, representing the northern regions in the "supreme" chamber. Its sphere of interest includes economic and social development of the territories, nature management, and the situation with indigenous small peoples.
It should be stressed that in early 1990s the main task of the governmental policy with respect to the northern territories was to ensure the activities of the regions, to reform the governmental support system, and to reconfigure the scheme of deliveries to the northern areas in the new market economy conditions. There was no unified concept for the Arctic, federal authorities basically solved the operational tasks of supplying fuel, food, medicines, and maintaining transport access to remote northern territories.
However, an intensive process of positioning the Russian Federation in international circumpolar relations began in the same period. As a member of the organization, Russia joined the Council of the Baltic Sea States (1992), the Northern Forum (1992), the Council of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (1993), the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (1994), the Arctic Council (1996) and later the European Union project of The Northern Dimension (1999). In the field of military cooperation, joint military exercises of Russia and Norway took place in 1994 off the coast of northern Norway (Pomor-1994) .
The increase in the state interest in the Arctic region in the mid-1990s was facilitated by the availability of data on possible significant offshore reserves of oil and natural gas, obtained back in the Soviet period . To some extent, the prospects for the offshore production of hydrocarbons not only served as a stimulus for new geological research, but also became a serious argument in favour of Russia's ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea adopted in 1982. It was that international document that guaranteed the extension of sovereignty to both the 12-mile zone of territorial waters and the establishment of an exclusive economic zone of up to 200 nautical miles within the shelf. Moreover, if there is evidence that the shelf is a natural continuation of the territory of the state, the economic zone could be expanded by another 150 nautical miles. In 1996, the government of the Russian Federation adopted a programme of carrying out new geological studies in the Arctic region, designed for four years, and ratified the Convention already in 1997. As practice shows, Russia's territorial policy in the Arctic has been inextricably linked with, and in many ways is determined by the interests of hydrocarbon production in the region throughout the following twenty years, up to the present day.
The beginning of 2000s marked the next, second, stage in the formation of the Arctic policy of the Russian Federation. In 2000, the Ministry of Natural Resources, together with the Ministry of Defence, organized the Arctic 2000 expedition, according to which it was stated that the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleyev Ridges were a continuation of the continent, and, accordingly, the continental shelf of Russia had a chance to increase by 1.2 million square kilometers. Thus, Russia may claim almost half of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole. An application to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to expand the outer limit of the Arctic shelf of Russia was filed in 2001, but it was neither prepared organizationally, nor did it contain documented evidence. As a result, the UN Commission rejected the application, commenting on the need to provide indisputable evidence, which would make it possible to give an unambiguous answer about the belonging of these ridges to the mainland of Russia.
The same year - 2001, President Putin signed the Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2020. The section on the Arctic, in particular, indicated the decisive role of the Northern Fleet for the defence of the country, the possibility of free access to the Atlantic Ocean, the presence of rich deposits on the shelf and in the exclusive economic zone, as well as the need to ensure the national interests of the Russian Federation with respect to the Northern Sea Route, observance of the interests of Russia in the delimitation of sea areas and the bottom of the Arctic Ocean with the Arctic states .
The importance of the Northern Sea Route as an independent Euro-Asian transport corridor was identified back in 1999, but finally that status was secured in the Transport Strategy until 2020 adopted by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation in 2005 . The following was declared as the principal objectives of the development of the Northern Sea Route:
• retaining the Northern Sea Route as the national sea route of Russia in the Arctic, using ships and waterborne facilities under the Russian flag and built at domestic enterprises;
• strengthening national security in the Arctic;
• transport support for the development of Arctic deposits, including offshore, of hydrocarbon raw materials and maritime oil and gas exports;
• development of export and coastal shipping, as well as sustainable supply of the northern territories of Russia;
• the formation of a self-sustaining, revenue-generating Arctic maritime transport system;
• strengthening the positive impact of the Northern Sea Route on the social conditions of life of the peoples of the North.
At that stage, the government of the Russian Federation believed that the Northern Sea Route would function through the separation of functions of governmental regulation and business activities, the establishment of mechanisms for equity participation of the subjects of the Russian Federation, commercial organizations interested in developing the Arctic transport system, financing Northern Sea Route, mobilizing commercial loans and loans of international financial institutions for the development and modernization of the infrastructure of the Arctic transport system. The state retained control functions, hoping eventually to implement the phased formation of a self-sustaining Arctic transport system.
During the same period, the first attempt was made to formulate a state policy in the field of sustainable development of the Arctic. The Council for the Issues of the Far North and the Arctic under the Government of Russia decided in November, 2002 to develop a Concept for the Sustainable Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, which was made public in 2006. The concept, meant for the period until 2015, in particular, declared as conditions for the implementation of the transition of the Russian Arctic to sustainable development, ensuring environmental safety, development of research and innovative activities in the Arctic, and active participation of civil society in this process. Another innovation of the above-mentioned document is to recognize the attempt, along with zones of state interests and zones of economic development of the Arctic, to exclusively designate the zones of old-time residents’ territories and the areas of residence of indigenous small peoples.
A separate section in the Concept was devoted to international cooperation. It should be emphasized that the document was developed taking into account the fundamental principles of strengthening partnership with the Arctic countries and fulfilling the obligations of the Russian Federation in the interests of circumpolar development in the context of the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The expansion of international cooperation was envisaged through participation in the development and implementation of the International Plan of Action of the Arctic Council for the Sustainable Development of the Arctic, joint research and investment programmes, the development of international navigation along the Northern Sea Route, organization of monitoring and protection of the environment, as well as the development of international tourism, international protected areas and water areas in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation .
It is quite logical to consider the summer of 2007 as the beginning of the third stage of the Russian Arctic policy. In May-June, the Arctic-2007 expedition conducts a seismic survey of the Lomonosov Ridge and its zone adjoining the continental shelf. Scientists working on board the icebreaker "Russia" collected additional data to substantiate large-scale territorial claims of the Russian Federation. Within the same expedition, two deep-sumergence vehicles "Mir" were descended to a depth of 4261 meters at the North Pole. During the descent to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, soil samples were taken, but from the scientific point of view, they gave little to obtain even indirect evidence of the legitimacy of Russia's claims to this part of the Arctic.  That action was more political and propagandistic in nature. The immersion at the North Pole ended with the installation of the Russian flag on the ocean floor. The Russian media interpreted the installation of the flag as an unconditional victory of Russia in the Arctic and compared its significance with the moonfall of American astronauts. The international community perceived that symbolic gesture as a demonstration of Russia's expansionist policy in the Arctic region. As a result, the assessments of other countries regarding Russia's claims to the Arctic shelf have become more stringent. In particular, Canada and the United States formulated their arguments on the issue more specifically. An additional negative result of the installation of the national flag of the Russian Federation at the North Pole was that international foundations and organizations which had previously actively participated in various joint Arctic projects, ceased to perceive Russia as a conscientious partner. The fact was that the expedition and submerging were financed by international organizations, but the Russian side did not notify them of the plans for the installation of the flag. In fact, having collected money for a scientific experiment designed to demonstrate the capabilities of mankind, the organizers of the expedition, taking advantage of the situation, staged a presentation of Russia's political ambitions.
Further development of the situation showed that behind the symbolic gesture of Russia there were quite definite plans for defending their interests in the Arctic. The Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation was adopted in July, 2008 which set the task "to establish the outer limits of its continental shelf, in accordance with international law, thereby expanding the possibilities for exploration and exploitation of its mineral resources." It should also be emphasized that the 2008 Concept declares "progressive practical cooperation with the Nordic countries, including the implementation of joint projects within the multilateral structures for cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic region and the Arctic as a whole, taking into account the interests of indigenous peoples" .
The Arctic policy of Russia is formulated in the following document in chronology in a more detailed and careful way. The Foundations of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the Period until 2020 and Further were adopted in September, 2008 at the meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, and in 2009 they were approved . The document outlined four national priorities of the Arctic policy:
• The Arctic is a strategic resource base of the Russian Federation that ensures the solution of the tasks of the social and economic development of the country;
• The Arctic is a zone of peace, stability, and cooperation;
• saving unique ecological systems of the Arctic;
• use of the Northern Sea Route as a national unified transport communication of the Russian Federation.
Essential is the fact that, along with issues of economics, ecology, transport logistics, that document also articulates military strategic objectives, namely, the need to form "a grouping of general purpose troops (forces) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations and bodies (primarily frontier bodies) in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, capable of ensuring military security in various conditions of the military political situation."
It is not superfluous to point out that it was an exit meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, and it took place at "Nagurskaya", the northernmost border post of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on Franz Josef Land. Thus, Russia once again demonstrated its Arctic ambitions, a year after the flag was installed at the North Pole, which undoubtedly was not unnoticed by the world community and, in particular, pushed to the development and adoption of individual strategies for action in the circumpolar zone by the majority of the Arctic and non-Arctic states.
The issue of security in the Arctic received further continuation in the "Strategy of the National Security of the Russian Federation until 2020", approved in 2009. The strategy identified as one of the tasks the need to "complete the formation of the basic transport, energy, information, and military infrastructure in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation" .
In parallel, in 2009-2010, a number of initiatives were being developed in other Arctic spheres. Russia is actively campaigning to attract foreign corporations with appropriate technologies and financial resources to develop deposits in the Barents and Kara Seas. In particular, negotiations are held with Total, BP, ExxonMobil, Italian company Eni. The total amount of joint investments in Arctic projects was estimated at $ 70 billion for the Barents Sea, and $ 200-300 billion for the Kara Sea . In April 2010, Putin, as prime minister, visited the Franz Josef Land Archipelago, where he claimed that it was necessary to "clean up the Arctic", cleanse the islands of technological debris that posed an environmental threat. In June 2010, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University was established by the Presidential Decree, to become not only the country's basic higher educational institution, training staff for working in the Arctic, but also as a research centre for systemic comprehensive studies of the region.
Another landmark political event of 2010 in the Arctic region was the signing of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Norway on the delimitation of maritime areas and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean . The Treaty creates favorable legal conditions for the development of oil and gas resources of the Arctic continental shelf, the possibility of cooperation in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the former disputed area. The Treaty provides, in particular, detailed regulation of Russian-Norwegian cooperation in the exploitation of mineral resources and contains a provision according to which each field crossed by a line of demarcation can be operated only jointly and as a whole. Such an approach should allow for early and efficient removal of possible disagreements in the distribution of hydrocarbon resources in the zone where the national interests of the two countries meet.
We should emphasize a few more documents that have had a significant impact on the formation of the circumpolar policy of Russia. The Action Plan for the Implementation of the Fundamentals of the National Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the Period until 2020 and Further was approved on 13 April, 2009. The executive order of the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation # 364 "On the Establishment of a Working Group for the Development of the Draft Governmental Programme "Economic and Social Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation for 2011-2020" was signed on 5 August, 2010. In 2010, the Ministry of Regional Development tabled the draft Strategies for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period until 2020" , and then a draft governmental programme Economic and Social Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation for 2011-2020, the concept of the federal law of the Russian Federation On the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, as well as the draft federal law On the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation was developed.
However, the process of adoption of the normative documents is delayed, because, on the one hand, the developers do not have a clear understanding of the mechanisms for implementing the intended plans, and on the other hand, the interdepartmental contradictions that constantly arise during the discussion of projects interfere.
As a result, the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period to 2020 was approved only on 8 February, 2013, the governmental programme Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation until 2020 was approved by the government of the Russian Federation on 21 April, 2014.
It should be noted that the Programme of Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2020, which, in fact, should have become one of the tools for the integrated development of the northern territories, did not have a resource base (the budget was not filled) and was the description of the activities of already existing federal programmes. Moreover, the Programme did not specify indicators, which can be used to judge about the efficiency of its implementation. It is necessary to recognize that the only "innovation" contained in the document was the list of land territories included in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. The decree by the President of the Russian Federation , legalizing the list defined in the Programme, was released only ten days later, on 2 May, 2014.
A number of experts believe that the deterioration of relations with Western countries, which occurred in 2014, led to a revision of the priorities of Russia's foreign policy in the Arctic . Certainly, Russia was forced to make adjustments to some plans and projects. On the one hand, the economic sanctions factor depriving Rosneft and Gazprom of access to necessary investments and technologies had an impact. On the other hand, the activities of the Russian Armed Forces increased in the new geopolitical conditions, in the Arctic as well. Nevertheless, there are probably no serious grounds for talking about radical changes in Russia's circumpolar policy, or about any new stage of Russian policy in the Arctic. At least, the normative documents adopted in 2014 and later declare previously stated goals and adhere to the basic principles formulated before the aggravation of the international situation.
The military doctrine of the Russian Federation, signed by President Putin on 25 December, 2014 , defining the principal tasks of the Armed Forces, other troops and bodies in peacetime, included the item "ensuring the national interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic" which was listed the nineteenth, the last. Another mentioning of the Arctic in the Doctrine was a technical reference to the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period until 2020 adopted in 2013.
Let us briefly dwell on what in practice is hidden behind the phrase "ensuring national security in the Arctic". A new military structure - Joint Strategic Command "North" - was formed on the basis of the Northern Fleet on 1 December, 2014. The Ministry of Defence establishes a permanent base for the Northern Fleet on the Novosibirsk Islands. The Spetsstroy of Russia is reconstructing the сantonment of the First Arctic motorized infantry brigade, which is formed in the town of Alakurtti, Murmansk province. Works are underway to build facilities on the islands of Kotelny, Wrangel, Alexandra Land, Novaya Zemlya, and the Cape Schmidt. The restoration of airfields on the Novosibirsk Islands and Franz Josef Land has begun, and the airfields Tiksi, Naryan-Mar, Alykel, Vorkuta, Anadyr and Rogachevo are being reconstructed. Altogether, it is planned to build in the Arctic 13 airfields, one ground aviation ordnance yard, as well as 10 radar stations and aviation guidance points. As part of the establishment of the Integrated Security System for the Population and Territories of the Russian Arctic, the EMERCOM of Russia opens 10 complex emergency rescue centres totalling of 16,000 men strong. 
Unlike the Arctic projects of the law enforcement agencies - the Ministry of Defence, the EMERCOM, and the Federal Security Service, the tasks prescribed in the Arctic Strategy and the corresponding governmental programme, in practice were frozen. The reasons for the difficulties encountered in the implementation of the planned Strategy can be divided into two categories. Conceptual miscalculations of the Strategy itself and the problems of its practical implementation.
The first category includes:
- Discrepancy between the declared goals and the tasks assigned to the realities of the economy of Russia, which is characterized by a long-term institutional crisis;
- Excessive confidence in the possibility of implementing plans to justify the expansion of the Russian Arctic sector falling within the national jurisdiction;
- Vagueness of formulations of goals, objectives and activities, mentioned in the Strategy, their declarativeness, lack of target indicators.
The problems of practical implementation of the Strategy include:
- Lack of budgetary support;
- Non-obviousness of the thesis that the Arctic can turn into a leading resource base of the country in the foreseeable future, the available information on hydrocarbon and other mineral resources is based on forecast data and does not actually take into account the world market conjuncture;
- Overestimated expectations of the possibilities of the Northern Sea Route as a transnational sea way, in the absence of a developed and modern infrastructure providing risk minimization and stable security;
- extremely neglected state of the northern territories from the point of view of the habitat, lack of high-quality transport routes and communications, dilapidated housing stock, worn out communications, pollution of the Arctic zone with toxic and radioactive wastes.
In addition, it is necessary to single out another significant factor that has a negative impact on the implementation of the Arctic Strategy of the Russian Federation, namely, its sectoral nature. Three options were proposed to coordinate activities and overcome interdepartmental disagreements: the establishment of the Ministry for Arctic Affairs, the formation of a new Arctic Federal District or the establishment of a governmental commission on Arctic issues. Preference was given to the third option in early 2015 - the National Commission for the Development of the Arctic was established . The Commission included 79 persons, and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mr.Dmitry Rogozin was appointed its chairman. The first meeting was held on 14 April, 2015.
The principal tasks of the National Commission for the Development of the Arctic in accordance with the approved Regulations  are:
a) specification of the goals and objectives of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic in accordance with changes in the domestic political and foreign policy environment;
b) increase of the efficiency of programmes and projects for sustainable development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation;
c) coordination of activities of federal executive bodies, executive authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation, local self-government bodies, other bodies and organizations.
In fact, another bureaucratic structure was established that was not empowered to implement strategic tasks in the Arctic region. The situation created aroused sharp criticism, primarily from the Council of Federation. At a joint meeting of the Presidium of the Arctic and Antarctic Expert Council under the Council of Federation and the National Commission for Arctic Development on 20 November, 2015, the Chair Mrs. V. Matvienko pointed out that the branch approach and the fragmentation of the regulatory legislation are typical for the legal regulation of the Arctic, emphasizing the need for approving an integrated federal law On the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation. It was also stated that "in total, more than 500 normative legal acts are concerning the Arctic to a certain extent, of which about 50 remain valid from the Soviet times" .
The law On the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation  was drafted in accordance with the instructions of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Rogozin on 15 April, 2016. At the moment, the bill is still under modification. The plan for 2017 of the Arctic and Antarctic Council under the Council of Federation of the Russian Federation contains the consideration of the draft law in June this year.
The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia proposed a new mechanism for regional development of the Arctic territories - "support zones" - at a meeting of the Presidium of the National Commission for the Development of the Arctic in March, 2016. The contents of the project of support zones and, in particular, the identification of priority projects was considered at a joint meeting of the Maritime Board under the Government of the Russian Federation and the Presidium of the National Commission for Arctic Development under the guidance of Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Maritime Board under the Government of the Russian Federation on 24 May, 2016 in Arkhangelsk. In accordance with the proposals of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation , it was suggested that only 17 priority projects should be considered out of 145 projects being implemented and planned in the Arctic zone. Those included, in particular, projects in the field of transport infrastructure development in the Arctic, establishment of “North Latitudinal Passage", the integrated development of the Murmansk transport hub and the construction of a seaport in the town of Sabetta. In the field of mining, the Yamal SPG project and the development of the Prirazlomnoye oil field are being implemented.
The transition to the support zones, which, in fact, are analogous to the territories of advanced development, can be considered, with a high probability, as an optimization of the Arctic projects of the Russian Federation. The plan of measures to implement the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period until 2020, approved by the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Medvedev on 30 August, 2016 , contained the item on the need to develop a new version of the National Programme of Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation for the Period until 2020 and Further. On 29 March, 2017, the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin instructed the government to speed up the development of a new version of the Programme at the meeting on integrated development of the Arctic, during his visit to Alexandra Island of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago.
It would be logical to conclude our review with a quotation from the new version of the "Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation" approved by the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin on 30 November, 2016 . "Russia is pursuing a line aimed at keeping peace, stability and constructive international cooperation in the Arctic. The Russian Federation proceeds from the sufficiency of the existing international legal framework for a successful negotiated settlement of all emerging issues in the region, including the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. Russia believes that the Arctic states have a special responsibility for the sustainable development of the region, and in this regard, stands for strengthening cooperation in the format of the Arctic Council, the coastal Arctic Five, and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council. Russia will firmly oppose any attempts to bring elements of a policy of confrontation and military opposition to the Arctic, to politicize international cooperation in the region as a whole. Significant importance for the development of the region is the use of the Northern Sea Route as the national transport communication of Russia in the Arctic, as well as its use for transit shippings between Europe and Asia."
As a summary. Analysis of normative documents and other open sources makes it possible to formulate a number of theses.
First, the Russian policy in the Arctic is determined by three main factors - the remaining legally uncertain status of national borders in the Arctic region, the presence of significant reserves of natural resources in the bowels of the region, and the strategic importance of the Northern Sea Route as a national integrated system of transport communications.
Second, Russia does not personify both likely rivals and possible partners in the Arctic region in the foreign policy aspect, while in practice other participants in the circumpolar community are often perceived by Russian politicians, if not as opponents, but at least as hostile competitors.
Third, the high level of unpredictability of possible natural and climatic changes in the Arctic region, on the one hand, makes it possible to build forecasts on the positive prospects for the development of transport routes and the production of minerals on the shelf; on the other hand, it is fraught with the opening of Russia's northern borders, which probably serves as an additional factor of building up the presence of the Russian Armed Forces in the Arctic region.
Fourth, it is likely that aggravation of international relations and crisis phenomena in the Russian economy would cause a revision not only of the tactical tasks of the Russian policy in the Arctic, but would also lead to a revision of certain strategic priorities.
*Information about the Author:
Churakov Andrey Anatolyevich, independent analyst, Arkhangelsk, Russia.
The article is based on the presentation at the International Conference «Russian Activeness in the Arctic: goals, trends and security challenges»
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 Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации Медведев Д.А. 30 августа 2016 г. «План мероприятий по реализации Стратегии развития Арктической зоны Российской Федерации и обеспечения национальной безопасности на период до 2020 года»// Electronic resource - http://government.ru/media/files/ObB3ODIP9rOAwfYbgWrOzHIxaHTla8s1.pdf
 Shorthand record of the meeting on complex development of the Arctic, 29 March, 2017 // Electronic resource - http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54147;
 Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (approved by the President of the Russian Federation V.Putin on 30 November, 2016)// Electronic resource - http://www.mid.ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2542248.