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Article

Научное измерение арктической политики России

The article considers the role of science in international cooperation in the Arctic and the setting of Russia’s foreign and domestic policy in the region. To date, the Arctic has become the world's main laboratory for studying the processes of climate change. A comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of climate change is becoming not only a tool for managing climate risks, but also increasingly the basis for the interpretation of the norms of international maritime law (in particular, the interpretation of Article 234 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), and potentially the specific actions of stakeholders in the Arctic.
The paper examines several cases of scientific cooperation in the Arctic focusing mainly on China and Finland. China is a significant Russian foreign partner and simultaneously a new actor in the Arctic region which uses scientific diplomacy as an important tool to expand its influence in the region. Finland, in contrast, is a traditional partner of Russia in the region, sharing common interests for the Arctic countries.
The paper concludes that there is a need for a radical revision of the role of scientific research and its positioning in the state policy on the development of the Arctic. The task of ensuring the conditions for security and development in the Arctic requires a shift of Russian science from joining and catching up actor to the leading country that would involve other members  of the international community into cooperation. This task also demands a significant increase in funding for the Arctic science, a revision of the existing institutional links between science, government and business. Besides, there is a need for the transition from an extensively exploitative to a raw materials innovative model of the development of the region, based on the principles of environmentally friendly high-tech development of the Arctic together with other regions of Russia, primarily Siberia and the Far East.