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Russia and the North

Russia and the North(06.08.2009) A new book co-authored by FNI researchers examines how Russia defines and addresses northern spaces, opportunities and challenges within its own borders and internationally.

The geopolitical interests of Arctic states are a hot topic as climate change and a growing demand for energy cause greater concern over disputed borders and overlapping sovereignty claims in the North.

Russia plays a central role in the international politics of the North, being the largest Arctic state geographically and an important player in the regional and global energy marketplace.

Russia and the North examines how Russia defines and addresses northern spaces, opportunities and challenges within its own borders and internationally, with chapters analyzing the politics of circumpolar cooperation, security, fisheries, energy, climate change, population/migration and indigenous peoples.

The book has beem edited by Elana Wilson Rowe of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), and includes major contributions by researchers from FNI's Russia and Polar Programme:

Geir HønnelandIn his chapter 'Cross-Border Cooperation in the North: The Case of Northwest Russia', Geir Hønneland looks at how Northwest Russia, in spite of the military's strong presence, has been drawn into a network of international, civilian collaboration with its Nordic neighbours since the end of the Cold War . The chapter gives a brief overview of the BEAR partnership and the bilateral cooperation between Russia and Norway on fisheries management, environmental protection and nuclear safety in the Barents Sea region. The chapter also discusses the implications of political developments and changing priorities on the Russian side.

Anne-Kristin JørgensenIn her chapter 'Recent Developments in the Russian Fisheries Sector', Anne-Kristin Jørgensen argues that the Russian fisheries sector has been caught in a 'vicious cycle of reform': A number of major reorganizations since the early 1990s, aimed at improving the sector's performance, have instead resulted in a gradual loss of valuable expertise. Moreover, the continuous changes in the legal and institutional framework have caused business actors to focus on short-term rather than long-term gains, resulting in a very low investment rate and widespread poaching and overfishing. However, over the last couple of years the Russian political leadership has given increasing attention to the problems in the fisheries sector, and some progress has been made, particularly in the field of law-making.

Arild MoeIn their chapter 'Northern Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Policy Challenges and Approaches', FNI's Arild Moe and NUPI's Elana Wilson Rowe assess the place of northern offshore petroleum development in the context of overall Russian energy priorities and examine the evolution of offshore policy and strategy at both the federal and company levels. The chapter looks first at key developments in recent Russian energy policy as well as governmental offshore policy development. The offshore strategies of the two companies likely to play a prominent role in Russian offshore development, Rosneft and Gazprom, as well as the interactions thus far between these two companies, are also outlined. Finally, the authors raise and discuss the question of whether the strategic importance assigned to offshore petroleum reserves actually is being translated into coordinated, strategic action and long-term policy thinking.

Further information:
   Book presentation: PDF leaflet
   Read more about FNI's research on Polar and Russian politics
   Contact person at FNI: Geir Hønneland
 The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) is an independent foundation engaged in research on international environmental, energy, and resource management politics.
The Institute maintains a multi-disciplinary approach, with main emphasis on political science, economics, and international law.

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