[Ariel, Visiting Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, “From Russian Competition to Natural Resources Access: Recasting U.S. Arctic Policy, “From Russian Competition to Natural Resources Access: Recasting U.S. Arctic Policy,” http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/from-russian-competition-to-natural-resources-access-recasting-us-arctic-policy, accessed July 12, 2014, EK]
Russia is continuing its efforts. It followed up by sending a scientific mission with a nuclear-powered icebreaker and two mini-submarines to the area. During this meticulously organized media event, the mission planted a titanium Russian flag on the ocean’s floor at the Lomonosov Ridge after collecting soil samples that supposedly prove that the ridge is a continuation of the Eurasian landmass. The U.S. has objected to these claims and stated that they have “major flaws.”
To advance its position, Russia has undertaken a three-year mission to map the Arctic. The Kremlin is also moving rapidly to establish a comprehensive sea, ground, and air presence.
Under Putin, Russia focused on the Arctic as a major natural resources base. The Russian national leadership insists that the state, not the private sector, must take the lead in developing the vast region. The Kremlin published its Arctic doctrine in March 2009. The main goal is to transform the Arctic into Russia’s strategic resource base and make Russia a leading Arctic power by 2020.