Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 286

286 Arctic Yearbook 2015 development of natural resources and the preservation of the environment in the Arctic. This is in contrast to the somewhat arrogant domestic rhetoric from D. Rogozin that Russia “should come to the Arctic and to make it hers” and that it does not care for what other countries think about its activities in the Arctic (Vzgljad 2015). In his view, the development of the Arctic is characterized by a battle over the first-mover advantages in the region (Vzgljad 2013). The foreign discourse on the Russian Arctic is very much focused on the importance of international cooperation, mutual understanding and peaceful solution of the problems. A. Vasiliev gives a specific argument as to why there is no race for Arctic resources among the Arctic states. He stresses the fact that “according to Danish experts, up to 97% of proven reserves are located in the exclusive economic zone of the Arctic States”. In the view of this experienced diplomat, everything has already been divided up in the Arctic, and it is much more effective to pursue national interests in this region together (Vasiliev n.d.). In its foreign discourse, Russia emphasizes that there is a harmony of interests wi th other actors and indicates that there are no substantial contradictions that might lead to disagreements. For example, S. Lavrov has said: The priorities of the starting Canadian chairmanship in the Council are close to us – development of resources of the North, the use of the Arctic maritime transport route, support of inhabitants of the Arctic region. They are largely concordant with The Development Strategy of the Russian Arctic and national security for the period until 2020 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation 2013). One of the slogans often used in foreign discourse is similar to the name of the international conferences which have been organized by the Russian Geographical Society since 2011, “Arctic – the territory of dialogue.” For example, this slogan was used by V. Barbin for stressing that cooperation in the Arctic Council is resistant to such external challenges as the crisis in Ukraine over which there are disagreements between Russia and the other countries of the Council ( 2015). From Russia’s perspective, the Arctic Council is the best platform for international cooperation. S. Lavrov states that the Arctic Council ensures the legitimate rights of the states which have direct access to the Arctic Ocean. This institution sets the rules of engagement in the region, as well as the safe and careful use of its enormous wealth. In S. Lavrov’s view, no one is mentioning any conflict or talking about confrontation at this forum. Everyone is interested in the Arctic being developed through cooperation and respect for international law, including decisions about the boundaries of the continental shelf (RT 2014). A. Grushko’s idea, that members of the Arctic Council proceed from the fact that the Arctic states have enough instruments to solve problems that might naturally emerge in this region by means of talks, cooperation and on the basis of international law, can be added to this (The Arctic Monitor 2015). A. Chilingarov has expressed the view that Arctic development could actually melt the ice between Russia and the West (Rosneft 2014). His view is based on previous positive experience, for example, the Russian and Norwegian maritime delimitation agreement signed in 2010, as well as common and interdependent interests. In A. Chilingarov’s view, Russia can develop the Arctic shelf on its own, but it would be more effective and less expensive for all sides to do this together with the Western partners (Rikin 2014). Here, the term “the Western partners” can be understood to include not only countries, Foreign & Domestic Discourse on the Russian Arctic