Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Russia Odd Man Out among Arctic Countries, Pryanikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 26 – The Kremlin is counting on using its two years as chairman of the Arctic Council to extend its influence across that region, but in one important respect, it faces a serious obstacle, Pavel Pryanikov says. No other country in that region is not social democratic politically and attentive to the needs of its population above all.

            “All the northern countries, except Russia, are constantly among the leaders of all ratings involving human development to the best forms of urban life,” the Russian journalist says. That is understandable: if you have to live with terrible weather, you want the other conditions of your life to be as good as possible (

            People in these countries thus view Russia as “an anomaly,” and that perspective alone limits Russia’s ability to project influence on them. But it also means, and this may be more important, that whatever the short-term trends in Russia are, over the longer term the country will be pushed by its own climate and its own citizens toward “left-wing democracy.”

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