we don't often get #Russian #Arctic military-security maritime narratives, so this is interesting from Popov (Dep Sec Security Council) https://www.militarynews.ru/story.asp?rid=2&nid=536507&lang=RU
1. Global maritime threats: the transformation of int system; failing institutions & "desire of to use crisis situations to maintain its leadership" all three combine to increase likelihood of conflict in the world & covid19 exacerbates maritime activities.
2. new draft law "On state management of the maritime activities of the Russian Federation" is currently being developed.
3. "geopolitical, geostrategic & economic interests of the leading world powers have collided in the #Arctic" in this context: dev of the "Northern Sea Route, the development of the Arctic and subarctic territories, as well as the Russian Far East, will receive a new impetus"
4. primacy of Asia-Pacific trade routes: "developing the Arctic will make it possible to increase the share of Russia in the world trade turnover, supplement & relieve...overland transport routes, & open up prospects for increasing Russia's...trade in the Asia-Pacific region"
5. opens up #Arctic 'game' to A8, not focusing on A5: "not only Russia, but also Denmark, Canada, Norway, USA, Iceland, Sweden, Finland are trying to take advantage of new opportunities in the Arctic"
6. tell me again abt the Sino-Russia 'alliance/partnership/axis' in the #Arctic? "China & a number of other countries geographically distant from the region are showing an increasing interest in the resources & strategic potential of the region"
7. US/NATO/WEST continue reconnaissance flights, exercises for warships & submarines in the #Arctic: oddly, not a loaded point, just statement of facts. although - "research vessels are also involved in the performance of intelligence tasks" is a subtle point.
8. on US Arctic Strategy of the DoD: Russia's treatment of the NSR is "challenged" by the Pentagon - it is a "international transport route not falling under Russian jurisdiction". 2020 Arctic Strategy echoes dissatisfaction of neighbours 'undermining' legitimate NSR interests
9. weirdly the German's are called out: with their "guiding principles...which proclaim the need to internationalize both transport routes (NSR, NWP) and all types of resources of the Far North"
10. Russian maritime interests in #Arctic: a) ensuring freedom of Russian fleet from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean b) the riches of the EEZ & continental shelf (....not yet determined) c) sustainable development & security of the state
11. Northern Fleet to up activities: "20 joint defense exercises will be held" inc "a series of landings on the unequipped sea coast of the islands" focusing on energy industry targets - "conduct tactical ex for defense of an important industrial facility" on Taimyr Peninsula
12. plenty of new kit on its way: "In 2019, the Navy received six ships & seven combat boats. More than 100 ships, combat boats & support vessels are at various stages of construction"
13. very little from Russia's indigenous shipyards: 2019 domestic production only 18% total volume of shipbuilding production. Zvezda yard does have on the books: 41 vessel orders, including 12 Aframax tankers & 15 Yamalmax LNG carriers delivering from Dec 2020
14. diversifying capabilities across RAZ: by crafting "territorial clusters...of advanced social and economic development" as well as "special economic zones associated with maritime activities". Arkhangelsk = shipbuilding & fishing clusters; Khabarovsk = aircraft & shipbuilding
15. economic priorities as clusters across whole RAZ: extraction of amber & petrochemicals, fisheries (extraction/storage/processing), shipbuilding, transport infrastructure, tourism (resorts), agriculture, localization of high-tech production for shipbuilding & energy industries
16. Russia as global maritime power: 200th anniversary of the Russian discovery of Antarctica & recent complex voyage to #Antarctica "significantly increased the international authority of the Russian Federation as one of the leading maritime powers"
17. 'streamlining' of Russian marine 'research': towards "a single state operator of ongoing research in order to maximize budget expenditures". expeditions will get a boost w "construction of 2 new multifunctional research vessels... & the modernization of five operating ones"
18. "multifunctional research vessels" aka dual-use for those #Antarctic folks
19. piracy on the world oceans: "increase in the number of pirate attacks in the Singapore Straits, Malacca Strait & the Gulf of Guinea, which required an increase in the anti-piracy efforts of the Navy in these areas in 2020"= not great news for Australia SLOC
20. a "comprehensive assessment of the state of national security in the field of maritime activities" is underway - report to be submitted to Putin for review. how many ice breakers will he demand?