Political and Legal Aspects of Russias and US Natural Resources Strategies in Arctic Region


N. Pankevich, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Science, 16, S. Kovalevskoi Str., Ekaterinburg, 620990, Russian Federation (disser5@yandex.ru)


The article deals with the situation of competition for resources (primarily oil and gas) between states, in the Arctic Region. The reasoning is generally based on the assumption that today’s competitive process is mainly shaped and determined by the specificity of the international political system. At present, the founding principle of international environment is the assumption of the state territorial sovereignty that reduces the possibilities of action towards resources, mainly to remote supplies via international trade and territorialisation, i.e. embracing the parcel of interest by the state border and its inclusion into the space guarded by state sovereign authority. In turn, this leads to a crucial increase of the expansion on the sea importance, since the land territory is already delimited among the sovereign polities. For Russian Federation this means that the Arctic Region will acquire the greatest importance in the state territorial strategy. The author further analyses the strategies of Russia’s competitors from Arctic Region and beyond, and finds out that the U.S. strategy is of the principle importance, even though the Arctic does not present a first rank priority for this state. Nevertheless, the politics of the USA is an example of a novel approach to the outer territories that goes beyond the traditional view on international system. This approach is unilateral and is based on a novel reading of the sovereignty concept. The indicating point is not signing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that enables the USA to act with lesser need for coordination with other participants of the international system. The instrumental support for this policy is the increasing usage of extraterritorial application of national laws and particular norms. The article provides case analyses of such policies towards resources, companies, international organizations and can be used in the Arctic that presents an ideal place for extraterritorially shaped policy to implement. The article also posits that in Russia the lack of interest toward extraterritoriality of laws is evident, while this could become an effective instrument of the state interest promoting.


Arctic, USA, Russian Federation, Arctic policy, sovereignty, territoriality, extra-territoriality, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

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For citation:
Pankevich N. Political and Legal Aspects of Russias and US Natural Resources Strategies in Arctic Region. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2015, No 7, pp. 97-110

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