Nazrin Mehdiyeva
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Polar power
Russia’s twenty-first-century power base
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Energy is integral to the Russian leadership's vision of Russia as a great power engineering a structural transition in international affairs to a polycentric world. If energy makes an essential contribution to the federal budget, it is therefore both bound up with questions of national security and how Moscow seeks to project influence across the world. Indeed, official documents state that energy is a state instrument for conducting internal and external policy, and Russia's role on world energy markets determines its geopolitical influence.

This chapter examines the role of energy in contemporary Russian Grand Strategy by looking at how Russia is seeking to break into new markets, develop new transit routes, and claim a larger share of world resources. It examines the development of oil and gas in the Arctic, and the importance of the Northern Sea Route, as well as how the Russian leadership seeks to preposition Russia in the wider global commons. It will also assess how the interests of different state actors, including state companies, the Russian military, and others align, and their roles in shaping and creating strategy.

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