Open Access

Sustainable Development of the Russian Arctic: Legal Implications

   | Dec 11, 2019


Sustainable development has increasingly entered into the Arctic context. For Russia, the Arctic means enormous natural resources and potential for the country’s social and economic well-being. The focus of this paper is the dynamics of environmental and Arctic legislation in Russia; attention is also given to the rationale and justification of legal implications of sustainable development in the Russian Arctic. Specifically, it discusses barriers in transitioning to sustainable development and estimates relevant legal tools used over the last three decades applicable to the Arctic territories. The general idea is that despite strong political will to promote sustainable development, Russia’s unstable economy has impeded the country’s sustainability development objectives. Consequently, resource-based development is prioritized over environmental concerns and puts environmentally fragile territories, like the Arctic, at great risk. The research methods include context analysis of the Russian federal and regional laws and contextual interviews at the federal and regional government levels. The results of the research are the identification of achievements and deficiencies in the rule of law related to sustainable development of the Russian Arctic as well as policy recommendations for public authorities. The paper outlines that as long as Russian legislation lacks specific rules addressing sustainability in the Russian Arctic, it would be difficult for the government to implement international principles of sustainable development across this territory.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration