The IMEMO Arctic Research (Part II)

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-6-103-113

P. Gudev (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The problems connected with the World Ocean space and ocean resources development, including the Arctic region, have always been at priority level amongst the IMEMO research. The article shows which subjects related to the Arctic region were most demanded at the Institute, and why different forecasts of previous years have not lost their importance and relevance up to the present time. The second part of the research covers problems connected with the resource potential of the Arctic and the need for international cooperation in this field; the Northern Sea Route development, including the safety of navigation problem; the influence of the Svalbard archipelago factor on the Soviet/Russian-Norwegian relations, as well as that of the Wrangel Island – on Soviet-American relations. There are strong evidences that Norway, despite the norm and provisions of the 1920 Paris Treaty, tries to limit different kinds of maritime activities at Svalbard and in waters around it. Its position, as pointed out in IMEMO research, is based on the priority level of UNCLOS implementation to the archipelago. However, at the expert level, there is an absolutely common understanding that all new limitations have to be introduced only through a new international Conference involving all members of the 1920 Treaty. The U.S. had previously set up a claim to some Chukchi Sea islands, including the Wrangel Island. The 1990 USSR–USA Agreement on delimitation in the Bering Strait stopped these claims. Despite some attempts by Alaska’s policymakers to break these arrangements, the U. S. State Department position is ultimately opposite. So, as the IMEMO specialists underlined, this 1990 Deal, with all its negative aspects, is partly in favor of the Russian Federation and should be ratified by Moscow. The IMEMO research discovered huge economic and resource potential of the Arctic Region. However, this potential cannot be put into service without new forms of international cooperation and coordination elaboration. All Arctic States, especially Russia and the United States, should cooperate in the region where they have common interests. This approach was fully supported in IMEMO forecasts. In a similar way, the Northern Sea Route development could not be successive, as pointed out in the Institute’s paper, without construction of a new infrastructure (including port, search and rescue centers), where foreign countries’ investments would have to play an important role. The project of more restrictive measures in regard to the polar navigation, eventually taken as a basis of the so called Polar Code, was suggested by Soviet experts 40 year before its entering into the force. Finally, all these forecasts given and measures proposed by the IMEMO researchers as far back as in Soviet times have not lost their importance until now, thus the modern Russian Arctic policy should take them into account as a mainstay of knowledge upon which new approaches for the Arctic should be based. 

Keywords: Arctic, Arctic Ocean, the UN Law of the Sea Convention, Northern Sea Route, Svalbard archipelago, Wrangel Island, Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, maritime delimitation 


1. Luk’yanov G. M. Problemy Arktiki. Analiticheskaya zapiska [Arctic’s Problems. Analytical Paper]. Arhive IMEMO, 1992. 42 p.

2. Zilanov V. K. Barentsevomorskie rybnye resursy delit’ nel’zya sotrudnichat’ [Barents Sea Fish Resources: Cooperation or Division]. Available at: (accessed 01.04.2016).

3. Vylegzhanin A. N. Sovremennye voprosy ispolneniya Dogovora o Shpitsbergene (k 90-letiyu Dogovora) [Current Issues on the Treaty on Svalbard Implementation (the 90th Treaty Anniversary)]. International Law, 2010, no. 1 (41), pp. 191-217.

4. Vylegzhanin A.N., Zilanov V. K. Shpitsbergen: pravovoi rezhim prilegayushchikh morskikh raionov [Spitsbergen: Legal Regime of Adjacent Marine Areas]. Moscow, SOPS RAN, 2006. 248 p.

5. Arkticheskii region. Problemy mezhdunarodnogo sotrudnichestva. Khrestomatiya v 3-kh tomakh. Primenimye pravovye istochniki. [The Arctic Region. International Cooperation Issues. In 3 Volumes. Applicable Legal Sources]. Moscow, Aspect Press, 2013. Vol. 3. 662 p.

6. Melkov G. M. Yuridicheskaya otsenka Dogovora mezhdu Rossiei i Norvegiei [The Legal Assessment of the Russia-Norway Agreement] Available at: (accessed 20.02.2016).

7. Open Letter on the Treaty with Norway (In Russ.) Available at:;/*1497810369313*/ (accessed 10.01.2016).

8. Zilanov V. K. Vyigrala ili proigrala Rossiya ot razgranicheniya Barentseva morya s Norvegiei? [Win the Russia or Lose from Barents Sea Delimitation with Norway?] Available at: (accessed 10.01.2016).

9. Zilanov V.K. MIDvezh’ya usluga severnomu rybolovstvu Rossii [MIDvezhya Service for Northern Russian Fishing.] Available at: (accessed 10.01.2016).

10. Nikol’skaya E. N. Novoe v problemakh delimitatsii morskikh prostranstv v regione [New Challenges in the Maritime Delimitation in the Region]. Perspektivy razvitiya morskikh vneshneekonomicheskikh svyazei Rossii v Arktike [Prospects of Development of Russian Offshore of Foreign Relations in the Arctic]. Arkhive IMEMO, 1992. pp. 58-79.

11. Starkov V.F., ed. Arkhipelag Shpitsbergen v istoricheskikh issledovaniyakh [Spitsbergen in Historical Research]. Moscow, Nauchniu Mir, 2006, 407 p.

12. Matishov G.G., Tarasov G.A., eds. Kompleksnye issledovaniya prirody Shpitsbergena. Vyp. 4 [Complex Studies of the Nature of Spitsbergen. Iss. 4]. Apatity, KNTs RAN, 2004. 321 p.

13. Voitolovskii G.K., Kutuzov I.M., Livshits V. M. Po raznye storony Beringova proliva [On Opposite Sides of the Bering Strait]. Arhive IMEMO, 1986. 17 .

14. The Northern Sea Route’s Problems. Moscow, Nauka, 2006. 581 p. (In Russ.)

15. 21st Legislature (1999–2000). Bill Text 21st Legislature. CS for House Joint Resolution no. 27(sta). Available at: (accessed 15.02.2016).

16. Carl L. Olson, Mark J. Seidenberg, Robert W. Selle. U.S.-Russian Maritime Boundary Giveaway. Orbis, 1998 (Winter), vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 75-89.

17. Status of Wrangel and Other Arctic Islands. Fact Sheet. Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. September 8, 2009. Available at: (accessed 15.02.2016).

18. Vylegzhanin A. N. Soglashenie mezhdu SSSR i SShA o linii razgranicheniya morskikh prostranstv 1990 goda: raznye otsenki “vremennogo primeneniya” [1990 Agreement Between the USSR and the USA on the Maritime Boundary: Different Opinions about Temporary Application] Available at: (accessed 10.02.2016).

19. Zilanov V. Beringovomorskoe protivostoyanie Rossii i SShA: prodolzhenie napryazhennosti ili sotrudnichestvo? [Bering Sea Confrontation between Russia and the United States: Continued Tension or Cooperation?] Available at: (accessed 12.02.2016).

20. Lyubimov L. L. Mineral’nye resursy sovetskoi Arktiki. Vozmozhnosti sotrudnichestva s SShA v izuchenii i osvoenii arkticheskikh resursov (Analiticheskaya zapiska) [Mineral Resources of the Soviet Arctic. Opportunities for Cooperation with the US in the Exploration and Development of Arctic Resources (Policy Brief)]. Arkhive IMEMO, 1977. 55 p.

21. Livshits V. M. Osvoenie resursov nefti i gaza Arktiki i arkticheskoe sudokhodstvo SSSR [The Development of the Arctic’s Oil and Gas Resources and the USSR’s Arctic Shipping]. Arkhive IMEMO, 1986. 29 p.

22. Ivanov I.S., ed. Predlozheniya k dorozhnoi karte razvitiya mezhdunarodno-pravovykh osnov sotrudnichestva Rossii v Arktike: rabochaya tetrad’, no. IV [Proposal for a Road Map of the International Legal Framework of Russia’s Cooperation in the Arctic: Working Paper, no. IV]. RSMD, Moscow, Spetskniga, 2013. 56 p.

23. The International Situation in the Arctic and USSR’s Interests. Arkhive IMEMO, 1988. 77 p. (In Russ)

24. The Northern Sea Route Act. 28.07.2012. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 15.02.2016).

25. Vasil’ev V., Semenov V., Tsoi L. Mezhdunarodnyi polyarnyi kodeks IMO: aspekty obespecheniya sootvetstviya trebovaniyam kodeksa v Rossiiskoi Federatsii [IMO International Polar Code: Aspects of Compliance with the Code Requirements in the Russian Federation] Available at: (accessed 19.02.2016).

26. Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 17.03.2013).

27. Regulations for the Prevention of Oil Pollution (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 25.03.2016).

28. Topic: The Arctic: a New Region of World Politics (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 02.04.2016). 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Gudev P. The IMEMO Arctic Research (Part II). World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 6, pp. 103-113.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 4
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Financial Contagion Propagation in Europe under the Impact of Global Shocks
  • Regional Powers on the African Continent: Trends and Prospects
  • Investment Activity of the PRC in the Kyrgyz Republic
  • “Land Grabbing” Concept: Global and National Aspects
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.