Importance The 21st century is seeing how countries are vying for their access to energy resources, which, if available, shape the economic destiny of the country in the foreseeable future. Oil and gas reserves are depleting, with shale gas production still being very expensive. In these circumstances, the Arctic and its substantial hydrocarbon reserves, convenient cross-continental sea and air routes attracts more and more attention of the developed States. It fuels a race for control over the region. Some developed States of the Northeast Asia joined this race to pursue their national interests in the Arctic. Objectives Whereas the Arctic becomes even more important for the national interests of Russia, Russia approved The Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the period up to 2020 and onwards, in 2008. The article shows changes in the global geopolitical situation in 2014-2015, which influenced the Russian buildup plans in the Arctic. Methods Based on an analysis and synthesis of the leading global States' policies and strategies, the article investigates the challenges to the regional stability in the Arctic that affect Russia's interests. We apply a content analysis of regulatory literature and original studies. Results We point out key aspects of the Northeast Asia's activities in the region. Considering the situation in Ukraine, the Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia to isolate it globally. In this respect, the Russian and Northeast Asian cooperation becomes especially important for exploration of the Arctic. It especially refers to the Northeast Asian investment, transfer of information and telecommunications technologies and supplies of equipment used to develop deep water and arctic oil and natural gas reserves. China may become a crucial strategic partner of Russia in exploring and developing the Arctic region. Conclusions and Relevance The research proposes aspects for further cooperation of Russia and the States to explore the economic potential of the Arctic. It also outlines possible steps of the Russian Government to counteract the Western sanctions. We point out that, considering the growing military efforts of the Western countries in the Arctic region, it is reasonable to continue deploying adequate forces and facilities and developing the infrastructure to protect the national interests of Russia in the region.
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