Appendix

SOVIET ARCTIC POLICY SINCE MIKHAIL GORBACHEV'S MURMANSK SPEECH

At the time when I was completing this book, Mr Gorbachev gave an important speech in Murmansk which in some respects proved a turning point in Soviet policy (Pravda 2 October 1987).

On 2 October 1987, while visiting the Soviet Union's northemmost city, Mr Gorbachev concerned himself with the political situation in the Arctic, just as in Vladivostok in 1986 he had spoken on the situation in the Pacific. Similarly, the policy of the 'Common European Home' was developed as part of a major new approach of Soviet Foreign Policy. In the words of a Soviet commentator: 'The Murmansk initiatives are new political thinking applied to the problem of Nordic security and cooperation' (Deryabin 1988).

The Murmansk speech contained five proposals: a nuclear-free zone in norlhern Europe, a reduction of naval activities in northern waters, and cooperation in the fields of Arctic exploitation, scientific exploration and environmental protection.

Speaking on security in the Arctic, Mr Gorbachev reverted to the old post-war spectre of a 'polar strategy', an airborne attack across the pole on the Soviet Union, first mentioned in 1947 (see Chapter 5). This threat, the cold breath of the Pentagon, should be averted by negotiations. However, all proposals in the speech were limited to northern Europe, while the main security problem on the northern flank was not even mentioned: the presence of strategic forces in the Murmansk area. Instead, Mr Gorbachev offered the abolition of nuclear testing on Novaya Zemlya and the closing of the Baltic Sea to foreign warships. The proposals included limiting naval activity in some Arctic Seas and clearly favoured the Soviet Union.

The speech at Murmansk was of course widely publicized and in January 1988 was followed by a visit of Prime Minister N. Ryzhkov to Norway and Sweden, the first such visit in more than a decade (Pravda 14 and 16 January 1988). Moreover, in April a seminar was held for Finnish members of parliament and members of the Supreme Soviet (Izvestiya 27 April 1988).

-175-

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The Soviet Arctic
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Russian Policy in the Far North 1897-1917 6
  • 2 - Soviet Sovereignty in the Arctic and the Advent of Flying 1917-32 21
  • 3 - The Stalinization of Arctic Exploration 35
  • 4 - In Stalin's Time 1932-53 53
  • 5 - Arctic Policy During the Cold War 67
  • 6 - Historiography in the Cold War 84
  • 7 - The Age of the Nuclear Submarine 109
  • 8 - Arctic Shipping Since 1953 120
  • 9 - The Western Section: Winter Navigation 127
  • 10 - The Season of 1983 139
  • 11 - Arctic Studies Since 1953 152
  • Conclusion 170
  • Appendix 175
  • Glossary 179
  • Bibliography 181
  • Index 222
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