Russia’s Arctic Strategies and Nationalism

Identity Hunters

Written by: John R. /Edited by: Jake Dickson

Russia’s ambitions towards the Arctic have caused concern in Western eyes in the past decade. With increasing tensions between both NATO and the European Union regarding Russia, heightened by events such as the 2014 Crimean annexation and the following crisis, Russia’s stance in the Arctic has come under increasing international scrutiny. To add to the tensions, domestic Russian discourse on the Arctic has had nationalist characteristics to it (Laruelle 2004). Characters such as the nationalist and geopolitician Aleksandr Dugin and the polar researcher Artur Chilingarov have repeatedly given provocative statements such as ‘Historically, [the Arctic] is Russian territorial waters and islands…’, and ‘we are reclaiming [the Arctic]’, which have not alleviated fears of conflict emerging in the Arctic fuelled by nationalist thought (Staun 2017, Laruelle 2004). In Western media, the Arctic has even been presented as a battleground for the next world

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