Representatives from various Russian agencies will gather in Vladivostok today to discuss the Arctic region.
The meeting is one of many various events being held this week in Moscow and Vladivostok for Russia’s Army-2018 forum. Participants are expected to discuss current developments in the Arctic, as well as the region’s shifting political situation.
Over the past decade, the Arctic has become increasingly more accessible due to the reduction in sea ice through many months of the year. The retreat of ice is opening potentially quicker transport routes and making natural resources more accessible. It is estimated that some 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil lies in the Arctic, along with 30% of the globe’s natural gas reserves.
While the growing importance of the Arctic has dawned on a number of countries, including the US and China, Russia has jumped ahead. In recent years Moscow has created an Arctic command, redeveloped old Cold War bases in the region and produced icebreakers necessary for navigation. With Moscow’s actions likely to give Russia superior access to the region’s oil and gas reserves in the coming years, watch for the Arctic to be an increasingly important element of the country’s energy strategy.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.