The new Russian oceanographic program concept paper, "World Ocean" notes Russia’s forced curtailment of oceanographic activities, and states that "restoration of Russia’s position in the World Ocean is of national importance". The program "is aimed at a comprehensive solution of the problem of exploration and effective use of the World Ocean in the interests of economic development and provision for the national security of this country". It provides guidelines, expected results, and measures for 12 fields of ocean related activity, and briefly addresses ways to accomplish the challenging objectives. The principal task of the first phase, 1997-2002, "is to stop the uncontrolled decline, and stabilize the main parameters characterizing activity of Russia in the World Ocean".

by Decree # 11 dated January 11, 1997
of the President of the Russian Federation


of the Purpose-Oriented Federal Program I. General

The necessity of the exploration and rational use of World Ocean resources and potential is economically justified. The World Ocean is an additional source of mineral, biological and other resources required for the social and economic development of nations. The Ocean in many respects affects the climate and weather on our planet. Sea communications and transportation systems are the most powerful and developed in the world.

Military and strategic importance of the World Ocean stems from:

The World Ocean is a very promising region for economic activity on one side, and the most important factor in geopolitics, as well as a region of inevitable rivalry and potential division into spheres of influence.

Traditionally, Russia is considered to be one of the great maritime powers that play an important role in the exploration and use of the World Ocean. For the economic and social life of Russia, the World Ocean, and the seas surrounding the country in the first instance, is of paramount importance. There are objective considerations for that: the length of the sea border of Russia is 38800 km (the length of the land border is 14500 km); the shelf area is 4.2 million square kilometers, of which 3.9 million square kilometers are prospective for hydrocarbons (at least 80% of Russia's oil and gas reserves are in the shelf of its northern seas); the vital activity of Russia, especially of its coastal regions, depends on uninterrupted operation of the sea transport and the proper support of cargo and passenger traffic.

Currently Russia is in a completely new situation in terms of the establishment of the bases for sea policy as well as the realisation and protection of its interests in the World Ocean. The crisis in the national economy has seriously deteriorated the opportunities for Russia to keep its presence in the World Ocean at its former level. Forced curtailment of activities in the World Ocean goes without any order, which aggravates the negative consequences of this process, and decreases the efficiency of the use of allocated resources. Restoration of Russia's position in the World Ocean is a task of national importance. Activities of state, economic, scientific and defense-oriented organizations in exploration and use of the World Ocean shall be performed as an essential part of the integrated national policy in the economy, finance, defense, ecology, science and technology, international relations and utilization of natural resources.

Russia's activities in the World Ocean can considerably affect its competitive power in defense, financial, commercial, scientific and social spheres, since economic activity on the territory of Russia, due to its geographic position and objective natural and climatic factors, with all other conditions equal, calls for significant expenses and investments.

To solve these strategic problems, it is necessary to integrate the efforts of various Russian administrations. This task is to be accomplished with the Federal Purpose-Oriented Program "World Ocean" (hereinafter called "World Ocean Program") aimed at the creation of conditions required to materialize national and geopolitical interests of Russia in the World Ocean.

II. Problem Status

The World Ocean is the field of various economic, scientific technical, humanitarian, defense and political activities performed by states and their unions, intentional organizations, and transitional corporations where interests of subjects of sea activity intersect, straining contradictions between them. Principal subjects of sea activity in Russia are:

Prerequisites for the successful development of each type of sea activity, and preservation of the environment and biologic diversity, are the combined efforts of individuals, society and the state, as well as a new mechanism of interindustry and interagency co-operation for performing sea activities. In recent years, under conditions of sharp changes in the geopolitical situation and widened interindustry and regional disproportion, coordination of the efforts of parties involved in sea activity in Russia has been disturbed.

An analysis of the structural features and the scale of natural resources of the World Ocean, inland seas and territories adjacent to the border leads to the following conclusions:

Competition for the right to use natural resources unevenly distributed in the World Ocean and its coastal zone results in conflicts between industries, regions and states that can transform potential challenges into threats and conflicts, and thereby affect the security of Russia. Some unique deposits are close to the sea border of the Russian Federation, and natural borders of deposit areas do not coincide with state borders or borders of subjects of the Russian Federation.

With the worsened geopolitical and economic situation, the weakened sea component of its geopolitical position, new sea borders, and keen competition between countries for the right to use ocean resources and space, the scale, complexity and importance for Russia of problems associated with activities in the World Ocean require that a program and purpose oriented approach be used for their solution. In compliance with international law and legislative practice, the Russian Federation has sovereign rights to and jurisdiction over main types of activities on the continental shelf and in the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation.

A justified selection of effective directions for strengthening the sea power of the Russian Federation must provide the harmonized and stable development of this country and contribute to the strengthening of national security.

III. Purpose of the World Ocean Program

The World Ocean Program is aimed at a comprehensive solution of the problem of exploration and effective use of the World Ocean in the interests of economic development and provision for the national security of this country.

The policy of Russia in this field is directly affected by the level of social and economic development of the country that determines economic priorities of development of various types of sea activity and by the international situation that affects the selection of a strategy for the realization and protection of national interests in the World Ocean.

The World Ocean Program shall become a tool to be used to harmonize Federal and regional programs associated with the solution of separate problems of the World Ocean, and direct these programs to the accomplishment of common goals of the state policy stipulating the improvement of the economy and provision of national and geopolitical interests of the country.

Implementation of the World Ocean Program shall also:

In the process of the development of the World Ocean Program, it will be necessary to specify principal guidelines for Russia's activities in the World Ocean. They will establish the basis for:

IV. Principal Guidelines for the World Ocean Program and Expected Results from the Implementation of the Program

Within the framework of the World Ocean Program, a common harmonized state policy aimed at the consolidation of national and international approaches of Russia to the exploration and use of the World Ocean, and integration of efforts on the development of sea activity shall be formed in each state of the Program implementation on the basis of the proper selection of high-priority sub-programs and concentration of funds allocated for them. To do that, it is necessary to establish a process of continuous and effective harmonization of specific interests, measures and steps that concern relations between the Russian Federation and subjects of the Russian Federation, state and non-state subjects of economic activity, and civil and military structures. Currently this country lacks common mechanisms of such harmonization and interaction.

Development of the indicated mechanisms within the framework of the World Ocean Program is one of the most important conditions that will enable Russia to preserve its national interests in the World Ocean.

Limited resources and capacities of Russia require that they be concentrated on the most important activities in the World Ocean, in terms of the solution of problems related to the internal development of this country. Moreover, each phase of the Program implementation should provide for scientific research, including fundamental research that would lay the foundation for the implementation of subsequent phases.

Taking into account the variety and complexity of the problems to be solved within the framework of the World Ocean Program, it is appropriate to divide the whole period of tile Program implementation into phases and assign tasks accordingly.

In the initial phase, within such guidelines of the Program as "International and legal problems, their political aspect and tactics for upholding interests", "Military and strategic interests of Russia in the World Ocean", "Utilization of biological resources of the World Ocean", and "Transport service lines of Russia in the World Ocean", the main focus shall be on the following problems:

The subsequent phase of the World Ocean Program provides for the realization of such guidelines as "Research of the World Ocean nature", "Mineral resources of the World Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic", "Humanitarian problems", and "Development and use of the Arctic, and exploration of the Antarctic". The aims of this phase are:

The final phase of the Program comprises "Trade relations and provision of equal opportunities in the world market of goods and technologies", "Creation of technologies for the development of resources and space of the World Ocean" and "Establishment of the common nation-wide system of information about the situation in the World Ocean". The final phase shall provide for:

To materialize the World Ocean Program, it is necessary to put the whole set of measures into effect in the following fields.

1. International and Legal Problems, Their Political Aspect and Tactics for Upholding Interests

Problems of the sea space demarcation and, therefore, jurisdiction over resource utilization, nature protection and other types of activities occupy an important place in intrastate relations and to a considerable extent determine the character of these relations since they affect the interests of the parties involved.

Russia is the acknowledged sea power that traditionally plays a significant role in the exploration of the World Ocean space and resources. Its activity in this field was and is the sphere of cooperation and contradiction.

Recently the problem of upholding the interests of Russia in the World Ocean and the coastal zone has become seriously complicated. New independent states are formed on the territory of the former USSR, and a part of the Russian sea border has the status stipulated by the earlier signed international agreements. Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic states became independent and new sea borders appeared. However, they are not sealed by international agreements with Russia. Moreover, they feature different degrees of protection and explosion risk. The process of demarcation is still underway with Norway, the USA, and Japan. There are specific problems in relations with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran that result from the fact that the legal status of the Caspian Sea is unsettled. The Caspian is not legally a part of the World Ocean and does not have sea borders for the time being.

Changes in the legal regime of the sea space off the Russian coast, the use of this space under new conditions and dynamics of geopolitical processes require from Russia the adequate response to the current situation with the World Ocean.

Both currently and in the long-term, of high priority for the provision of Russian interests in the World Ocean are:

Of the highest importance for the establishment of the legal regime of the sea space is the UN Convention On the Sea Law of 1982 that became effective on November 16, 1994. The Convention was signed but has not yet been ratified by Russia.

The UN Convention confirms free navigation in the open sea, the right of passage through straits used for international navigation, free fishing in the open sea and special rights of coastal states to use animate and inanimate resources, and protect and preserve the sea environment. To implement provisions of the UN Convention, an international body on the sea floor was established.

As to the tactics of upholding the interests of Russia in the World Ocean, with economic difficulties in this country taken into account, the most important is to further develop the rather close cooperation established in recent decades within the framework of meetings of the six leading sea powers (Russia, the USA, Japan, Germany, France and Great Britain). Although Russia and these countries for a long time may have had differences of opinion on certain military, political and economic aspects of the use of the World Ocean, they are together in striving to get the UN Convention provisions fulfilled by those developing countries that still try to illegally expand their jurisdiction over the World Ocean including economic zones and international straits.

It is also appropriate to continue the established regional cooperation with coastal states in the Baltic Sea and the Barents Sea (including a joint use of the Spitsbergen island), in the Bering Sea and the Japan Sea, in the region of the Kuril Islands, in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea (including issues related to the right of passage in Black Sea straits) as well as in the Arctic and Antarctic. During the establishment of the new legal status of the Caspian Sea and the settlement of problems associated with production and transportation of oil and gas, the interests of Russia can be observed only in the active interaction with other interested parties, with Turkmenistan and Iran in particular.

Taking into account a wide spectrum of the interests of Russia in the use of the World Ocean, it is essential for Russia to further actively participate in the discussions of these problems at the appropriate international organizations. It is also important to exert influence on the activity of those non-governmental organizations which are often used to sound the attitude of states towards new legal, economic and scientific concepts of tile exploration and use of oceans and seas.

The strategy of Russia in the protection of national interests in tile World Ocean must be based on legislation that provides the Russian Federation with the necessary legal basis to exercise its rights and liabilities in the internal and territorial waters, in the exclusive economic zone, on the continental shelf and in the regions beyond the national jurisdiction, with international liabilities taken into account.

In the context of international and legal issues, their political aspects, and upholding the interests of Russia, the World Ocean Program shall stipulate:

Assessment of the compliance of the operating Russian sea law with the existing international legal rules, and drafting additional laws concerning navigation and the use of sea resources, if such a necessity arises, with the aim of establishing the integral legal basis;

2. Trade Relations and Provision of Equal Opportunities in the World Market of Goods and Technologies

Overseas transportation is critical for the provision of economic relations of Russia with foreign countries and life support of the northern and far-east regions of this country. The volume of foreign trade carriage by the Russian marine fleet in 1995 amounted to 81.6 million tons, of which 26.2 million tons were transported by oil carriers. Coastal sea transportation of goods to northern and eastern regions of Russia in 1995 amounted to 7 million tons.

However, Russia does not fully use the capacities of sea transport for the expansion of foreign economic relations. New advances in forms of trade and cooperation are under slow development. The experience of other countries in the establishment of special and free economic zones that take into account specific features of coastal regions is insufficiently studied and used.

By now Russia has lost the best ports (in terms of the climate available technical facilities) in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, which has sharply increased the dependence of Russian foreign trade relations on the servicing of Russian ships at ports located on the territory of newly independent states, former USSR republics. As a matter of fact, in 1995, the share of these ports amounted to 26.6 million tons (about 33% of the entire external cargo turnover). New Baltic states and Ukraine are aware of the fact that Russia is interested in using their ports and are trying to impose economic pressure on Russia.

The weakening of the economic and political position of Russia results in the desire of certain countries to expel Russia from the world markets of services, high finishing goods, defense-related equipment and high technology products, and complicated operation and servicing of Russian ships on international lines and at ports. Rules for the passage of sea vessels, and tankers first of all, through straits, especially in the Black Sea, became tougher.

At the same time, Russia has a considerable potential in the sea transport that must find an adequate reflection in the process of appropriate bilateral and multilateral negotiations (including those in the framework of the World Trade Organization). All measures should be taken to ensure equal rights in the multilateral trade system of sea transport.

Therefore, the aims of the World Ocean Program's implementation are to:

3. Research of the World Ocean Nature

The modern science of the natural environment of the World Ocean is one of the fields of knowledge that exert the most significant influence on the development of mankind. This sphere of activity offers opportunities for the solution of many scientific, economic and social problems.

The scale and significance of the World Ocean for all spheres of human activity stem from its fundamental role of an important Earth system, a source of mineral, biological and strategic resources, a principal factor of stability and changes in the Earth climate as well as an important element of the defense potential. Objectively, the importance of mineral and biological resources extracted by man from the ocean will steadily grow.

However, the World Ocean must be considered as an exhaustible source. That necessitates a balance between the extraction and the reproduction of biological resources, and between the intensity of economic activity in the ocean and the efficiency with which the sea environment is protected from pollution. Moreover, the ocean and sea environment present a threat as the source of emergency situations of the natural and man-induced character, dangerous for vital activity of man.

Many nations combine their efforts, and establish large international programs and projects to solve the problems of the World Ocean. Participation of Russia in such programs was obviously insufficient in recent years due to a significant cut in allocations for scientific research. However, active participation in international projects gives the right to get experimental data, and the value of experimental data is many times higher than the costs of participation. The scope and character of Russian involvement in such cooperation must be related to the accessibility of new databanks for Russia and Russia's ability to use this information in the national interest.

To gain new fundamental knowledge in the rational and ecologically safe use of natural resources, support navigation, and to ensure the defense capability of the nation, Russia for the last 20 years has been implementing a nation-wide comprehensive program for the exploration and use of the World Ocean aimed at research of natural processes.

In recent years the program has been experiencing considerable difficulties caused by economic and other problems. The number of sea scientific missions and research projects was sharply cut. The scientific fleet was practically inactive, and scientific specialists are leaving. However, the scientific foundation laid in the preceding years and the scientific personnel still involved in these activities maintain the Russian ocean science at a rather high level. Further curtailment of ocean research activities will inevitably make Russia fall behind in the exploration and practical use of the World Ocean, and result in consequential strategic losses for the economy and security of the nation.

Thus, to ensure the most effective use of funds and accelerated practical output of research activities, the World Ocean Program shall include a gradual transition from the subject matter approach to the problem approach, while forming scientific problems and specifying their financial support.

The World Ocean Program in its research of the ocean nature section shall be aimed at the accomplishment of tasks related to the following high priority fields:

Special attention should be paid to the exploration of seas surrounding the territory of Russia. That includes investigation and protection of the sea environment, study of issues related to justified rational use of biological, mineral and power resources, and preservation of the recreative potential of land and sea.

It is also appropriate to develop research of the open ocean resource potential and the role of the open ocean in global processes.

The indicated tasks can be successfully accomplished, provided that the Russian scientific research fleet is maintained at the proper level of functioning capability.

4. Military and Strategic Interests of Russia in the World Ocean

The Navy is essential for Russia. It is one of the most important tools intended to ensure national interests of Russia in the World Ocean, accomplish national tasks, and support military and political stability in the sea and ocean space, military security and international prestige.

On the security issues, the policy of Russia is based on political, economic and other non-military methods. However, military power, as one of the components of national power Ill the modern world, retains its significance as the means of containment, securing national interests and goals, and the means of checking aggression, if such a necessity arises.

Analysis of the state of the Russian Navy shows that it gradually is losing its ability to safeguard political and economic interest of the nation, and its ability to ensure full-scale security on the sea border. Currently the Navy is able to accomplish only limited tasks in the most important areas of the nearest sea zone.

With the weakening of the Navy, the most real threats to the national interests of Russia in the World Ocean may come from:

In the tactics of upholding its interests in the World Ocean, Russia proceeds from the idea that its Navy must not be considered by any nation of the world as a threat to its security. Development of the Russian Navy boils down to retaining to a maximum degree the combat potential necessary to defend the nation. It is valid, first of all, for maritime strategic nuclear forces, the most effective containment means, and general purpose forces

Thus, the tasks of the Navy in the context of safeguarding the interests of Russia are to:

a. Contain possible threats and ensure safe defense sea activity. That implies the maintenance of maritime forces of nuclear containment as a part of the strategic triad at a level ensuring a reasonable defense capability of the nation, and the formation of sufficient maritime general-purpose forces;

b. Ensure national influence and safe economic activity in the World Ocean. Aims of Navy activity in this field are to ensure strategic stability in various regions of the Russian Federation, adequately respond to challenges to security, national interests and goals of Russia, support of Russia's efforts directed at the settlement of international political problems, and provide protection of economic activity of the nation in the sea space that falls under its jurisdiction. Navy activity shall be performed in compliance with international law.

c. Ensure timely defense and repelling of aggression. The Navy shall be able to counteract aggression from the sea. If a threat of nuclear attack arises, necessary measures are to be taken to eliminate the threat and ensure inevitability of the proper countermeasures.

With the aims of this section of the World Ocean Program taken into account, it is necessary to:

5. Mineral Resources of the World Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic

Many types of mineral resources of the World Ocean and adjacent territories are much superior to those of land in quantity, properties and accessibility. Many nations consider them to be a natural source to provide today's welfare and offer stable development in the future. For separate nations and the world community as a whole, free use of conventional and comparatively new sources of natural resources is the basis of stable and balanced economic development, and meeting vital needs of individuals, society and the nation. Mineral raw materials of the continental shelf are an important part of the national property of the Russian Federation.

Russia performs sea geologic and geophysical surveys, and search and prospecting activities identify the geologic structure and regularities in the location of mineral resources in the shelf zones of seas and oceans with the aim of increasing the mineral resource potential of the nation and preparing the most promising zones for industrial development, especially those with mineral resources of strategic importance. For the survey, development and preservation of the sea floor's mineral resources, the most urgent issues are sea border delimitation, and identification of the sea floor and continental shelf borders of the Russian Federation.

Regions with potential sources of danger that may jeopardize national interests of Russia in the field of exploration, development and use of mineral and energy resources on the continental shelf are mainly adjacent to sea borders of the Russian Federation with new and old foreign countries in the Barents Sea, Chuckchee Sea, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Sea of Japan, Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Baltic Sea, as well as in the region of the Arctic Ocean.

The Russian Federation has the biggest areas of the coastal zone used for the mining of various mineral resources, construction of hydrotechnical facilities, intensive fishing, development of recreational facilities and defense activity. It is obvious that the "land-sea" natural and economic interface is the zone of an intensive interaction of the population, economy and natural environment. The coastal areas are a small part of the ocean. However. their effect on the ocean is significant. Materialization of this section of the World Ocean Program will give impetus to the streamlined development of coastal regions of the Russian Federation.

Implementation of the World Ocean Program shall promote:

6. Creation of Technologies for the Development of Resources and Space of the World Ocean

Development of World Ocean resources is a task commensurate with the scale and material expenditures, expected scientific, technical and economic output with exploration of space. Furthermore, any field in the modern science of ocean (investigation of geologic and geophysical processes and distribution laws for mineral resources, research of ecosystems and biological resources, and study of the World Ocean's influence on the global climate) is a separate problem task to accomplish. Availability of advanced technologies adequate to the tasks is an extremely important prerequisite for the successful solution of World Ocean problems. Advanced facilities that meet specific requirements imposed on ocean application equipment can be developed on the basis of modern conversion technologies. Principal tasks of the advanced technology development program shall be to:

The World Ocean Program shall be aimed at the protection and preservation of the sea environment, maintenance and development of the existing scientific and production base, modernization and renewal of the Russian oceanologic fleet intended to support a considerable amount of research activity on World Ocean problems, and development of the basis for industrial production of instruments and tools for long-term monitoring of sea biological resources, and monitoring of pollution and other effects induced by activity of man.

Implementation of the World Ocean Program shall provide for:

7. Utilization of Biological Resources of the World Ocean

Russia is one of the leading countries in commercial fishery that determines the strategy of the world fisheries. The fish industry of the Russian Federation plays a significant role in the national food complex. In a number of regions (first of all in coastal regions such as Primorski Krai, and Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Kaliningrad and Murmansk regions), the fish industry brings cities to life and is the principal source of jobs for local people.

In the nearest perspective, as is the case now, biological resources of the exclusive economic zone will make up the main part of the Russian sea foodstuff resource. However, overutilization of internal resources may result in sharply reduced national fish reserves. Overextraction is most critical for bioresources that are in demand in the foreign market. This is especially valid for crabs, prawns, cad and pollack. This fact calls for tougher regulations oil fisheries in conventional fishing areas of the Sea of Japan, Sea of Okotsk, Barents Sea and Bering Sea. New regulations shall comply with existing international law.

Immediate tasks of the national fishery within the framework of the World Ocean Program are:

Reduced interest in fishery in foreign zones resulting from insufficient economic benefits, and forced low participation of Russia in international scientific research activities (inventory missions of research ships, and monitoring of fish and sea product reserves) are fraught with further expulsion of Russian fishery from zones belonging to other coastal nations.

Undesirable changes in the world fishery policy have been taking place recently. Following the United States and some other developed nations, many countries of Africa and Latin America have started pursuing policies aimed at complete expulsion of foreign fish fleets from their zones.

In such a situation, it is essential for Russia to consolidate Russian priority in the identification and development of bioresources in the open part of the World Ocean, and retain and develop ties in the field of fishery with other coastal states that have exclusive economic zones rich with fish.

A significant part of conventional fishery areas is under the Jurisdiction of coastal nations, and fishery there is controlled by regional international organizations on fishery. It follows that it is necessary to sign bilateral fishery agreements with the many countries whose coastal zones were conventionally used by Russian fishing ships.

Russian position in international fishery organizations and in multilateral fishery organizations shall be built proceeding from the necessity to settle the issue of the membership of the Russian Federation in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as well as from more active participation of Russia in activities performed by international fishery organizations with the aim of safeguarding the interests of the national fishery.

Under such conditions, the World Ocean Program shall be aimed at:

8. Transport Service Lines of Russia in the World Ocean

Recent years have seen a completely new situation with respect to the transport service lines of Russia. The situation is characterized by the following:

About half of the Russian export/import cargo is transported by sea. Moreover, almost all cargo traffic goes through Baltic and Black Sea ports.

Russia has only two (instead of seven, as in former times) ports at the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg. The port of Kaliningrad is cut from Russia by the territory of Lithuania, and the port of St. Petersburg is frozen in winter seasons.

At the Black Sea, Russia keeps for itself only two of the most important ports, Novorossisk and Tuapse, which have limited capabilities. The ports of Odessa and llijechevsk, as well as other ports that were important for the national sea trade, are now beyond the territory of Russia. The ports of Reni and Ismail that earlier provided Russia with access to tile Danube and, therefore, to Central Europe through the Danube-Main-Rhine canal are also lost. Sea ports left in Russia are capable of handling not more than 60% of the required amount of cargo transfer activities. The situation is aggravated by the intention of Turkey to impose limitations on free passage of vessels through Black Sea straits, especially for large tankers.

As a result, Russia has to use ports of the new Baltic states and Ukraine for transit transportation of cargo. Transit costs and settlement of organizational issues as well as other problems associated with transit depend to a considerable degree on the position of these countries.

Facilities available in the north of Russia cannot compensate for the lost transportation capabilities in the west and south (although they are in need of thorough development).

Thus, the task for Russia now is not to be pushed aside from world transportation ways and not to get a number of its most important transportation lines cut.

Radical geopolitical changes have resulted in setting tough limits on all possible efforts of Russia to use western, southern and northern directions of sea navigation.

Under such conditions, of special importance for Russia is the far east direction and the availability of free access to the Pacific.

As never before, Russia is interested in the more rational utilization of its resources and territories. The area of the Russian Far East exceeds 6 million square kilometers. The Russian coastal line of the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk is more than 4000 km long. The existence of many bays enables Russia to further develop port facilities. Russia's Eastern lands adjacent to the Pacific Ocean are extremely rich in natural resources, and are insufficiently developed and thinly populated.

The fast economic development of the Asian-Pacific region makes it promising for cooperation. Russia is expanding its relations with nations of this region. However, that does not exclude the necessity of thorough activity in the other directions - ill the Baltic, Black Sea, Caspian and Arctic regions.

To remove the threat of transportational (and, thus, economic) isolation of Russia, the Would Ocean Program shall be aimed at:

9. Development and Use of the Arctic and Exploration of the Antarctic

The Arctic is a complicated regional system with the interests of Russia and other nations closely interwoven there.

The interest in the Arctic comes from the opportunities the region offers for the development of transportation routes, the availability of oil, gas and other natural resources already ready for development, the necessity of performing scientific investigation of the region's environment that influences Earth's weather and climate, and aggravation of the ecological balance problem.

The north sea route is an important part of the Extreme North economic complex infrastructure and a link between the Russian Far East and western regions of the country. It involves Siberian river systems in an integrated transportation network. For certain arctic areas (Chukchi region, islands in arctic seas and a number of settlements in the coastal areas of Krasnoyarsk and Tumen regions), sea transport is the sole means of supporting cargo deliveries in large amounts.

Reserves of mineral raw materials in the shelf of the Russian North are considerable. They are concentrated in unique, in scale, deposits. Resources such as hydrocarbons, noble, nonferrous and rare-earth metals, valuable minerals and forest affect the balance of the Russian economy. In the current environment the national economy cannot manage without certain mineral resources of the North and its Arctic zone. Exploration of natural resources and the development of productive forces in the Russian North (including the arctic zone) are important components of the national Iong-term economic strategy.

International interests of Russia in the Arctic consists of the establishment of external conditions favorable for the materialization of internal economic, social and other transformations. It is necessary to stress the importance of international cooperation for the settlement of economic and legal problems within the framework of the Arctic Council that is being established now, the Barents Sea Board and its working group on the Arctic Sea Way, the Arctic Initiative, and the Strategy of Arctic Environment Protection.

Although the Antarctic plays an extremely important role in forming climatic process on the Earth, it is the less explored region. Evaluation of its economic potential and consequences of full-scale development does not exist now. It should be taken into account that the mining of mineral resources on land and in the shelf if forbidden by the Protocol on environment protection of 1991 to the Agreement on the Arctic signed in 1959. Therefore, ways of ecologically safe development of allowable fishing, scientific and tourist activity have to be selected under conditions of unavailability of adequate information and, thus, of uncertainty.

As to the Antarctic, there are national teams of many countries (the ]lumber of which is growing) working there now. However, territorial problems are not settled yet. Territorial claims of nations are frozen for the time being. One cannot exclude that when considerable resources are revealed in the region and economically promising means of their extraction are made available, serious conflicts may arise.

Proceeding from the economic, political, international, ecological and social importance for Russia of the exploration and development of the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as the military importance of the Arctic, the World Ocean Program shall:

a. formulate:

b. specify:
10. Establishment of the Common Nation-wide System of Information about the Situation in the World Ocean

Information on World Ocean issues is the basis for the accomplishment of scientific, technical, economic, political and military tasks. Currently such information is collected and stored by various agencies. Agencies do not jointly analyze results obtained during accomplishment of these tasks and they do not exchange data on a regular basis.

In such a situation, it is appropriate to consider the idea of the establishment, within the framework of the World Ocean Program, of a single nation-wide system of information about the situation in the World Ocean. It must be based on the existing information systems of the Federal Service of Russia on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, Federal Agency of Governmental Communication and Information at the President of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Communication of the Russian Federation, State Committee of the Russian Federation on Fishing, Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Calamities, Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, State Committee on Environment Protection, State Committee of the Russian Federation on Science and Technologies, State Committee of the Russian Federation on Standardization, Metrology and Certification, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Russian Space Agency, with the application of advanced information handling technologies.

The above system is to offer:

The principal functions of the information systems are to be:

The common nation-wide system of information about the situation in the World Ocean shall not substitute for the existing information systems of the entities working on World Ocean problems. The system is to ensure their full-scale and effective utilization and interaction, and access to databanks with the appropriate demarcation of powers/liabilities taken into consideration.

11. Humanitarian Problems

Large scale activities in the north and east entail certain problems associated with labor and every day life accommodations both in the ocean and in coastal areas. Activities in the ocean involve durable sea missions, long-term in-field operations in thinly populated, high-latitude and remote areas, and operations on sea platforms. Thus, people involved in such activities are exposed to environments of isolation from their usual life and to increased occupational risk.

Therefore, the World Ocean Program is to provide for:

Since availability of skilled personnel for all types of sea activities (including scientific research) is the task of the highest priority, the World Ocean Program shall be aimed at:

The Russian North and Pacific coast are vast territories featuring unique flora and fauna with many endemic species. There are many historical and cultural monuments and artifacts of various nationalities that witness the development of these regions.

Preservation and study of historical and cultural heritage, and natural environment of tile coastal regions and islands of the Arctic Ocean, as well as of the Pacific coast are to be an integral part of the World Ocean Program.

To accomplish these tasks, the World Ocean Program is to provide for:

Native and small nationalities living on the Arctic and Pacific coast are in a tough situation resulting from mindless development of land and sea territories, worsened economic situation and impossibility to use resources of the World Ocean.

The World Ocean Program shall specify measures intended to solve problems of the small native nationalities of the North. Main tasks are to:

The World Ocean Program shall provide a measure on the development of tourist activity in the wild nature regions of the North and Far East. The world experience in this field shall be taken into account. To do this, it is necessary to:

V. Ways to Accomplish the Tasks Set

The current situation of the activity of the Russian Federation ill the World Ocean requires that measures be taken to materialize national Interests in this field. The actual state of the economy and economic reforms enables Russia to support only an evolutionary development of processes associated with safeguarding national and geopolitical interests of Russia in the World Ocean.

State support and rational use of scientific and technical potential in the market economy environment, concentration of material and financial resources on high priority sub-programs will make it possible to carry out, within the framework of the World Ocean Program, activities on the exploration and use of the World Ocean at a qualitatively new level.

Currently there are more than 20 federal purpose-oriented programs under development, developed and approved for implementation, that directly or indirectly concern the World Ocean. Besides projects developed within the framework of the World Ocean Program proper sub-programs of the World Ocean Program may also include the most important projects from other federal programs that are already in the implementation stage. In tile initial phase of the World Ocean Program, it is appropriate to identify, on the tender basis, the most promising and short-term projects in the above federal programs that concern sea activity and offer accomplishment of specific tasks in the nearest term.

Each subprogram shall identify goals achievable within the established time period through the realization of special measures.

The World Ocean Program shall harmonize program plans and the plan implementation sequence with available allocations, and ensure a harmonized comprehensive accomplishment of industrial and regional tasks. Program implementation plans and their financial support are to be specified for the nearest one or two years.

VI. Phases of the World Ocean Program

The comprehensive solution of problems related to the exploration, development and use of waters, resources and coastal territories of the World Ocean is an extremely difficult task to accomplish. The task cannot be accomplished within the nearest five years and, thus, it must be planned for a much longer period.

The World Ocean Program is supposed to be implemented in several phases. In the current quickly changing conditions, it is difficult to expect a high degree of accuracy in long-term estimations and plans. It is obvious that each specific phase of the World Ocean Program is to be updated on the results achieved to ensure successive realization of the whole Program.

Taking into account that the Program will be implemented phase by phase, some I Omits of the Program cannot be specified. The principal task of the initial phase (1 997 through 2002) is to stop the uncontrolled decline, and stabilize main parameters characterizing activity of Russia in the World Ocean.

The next phase is designed for a medium-term perspective (2003-2007). It shall provide for opportunities to update the Program on the basis of the results obtained. The tasks of this phase is to establish and develop bases for financial, legal, political, environmental protection, scientific technical and other sea-related activities of Russia with the aim of meeting current needs and ensuring long-term interests and needs.

The final phase shall form a new structure of Russia's activity in the World Ocean in accordance with the strategy of internal development of the nation, the position of Russia ill the world, and prospective needs.

The most effective projects of the Program have to be implemented, as a rule, within three five years.

Implementation of the World Ocean Program will enable Russia to retain a deserved position in the world, effectively solve economic problems and facilitate the safeguarding of national interests in the World Ocean.

VII. Social and Economic Importance of the World Ocean Program

Implementation of the World Ocean Program shall provide improved defense capabilities of the nation on sea borders, strengthened economic and raw material potential, improved supply of the population with foodstuffs, and better protection of the population from natural calamities and emergencies caused by human activity in the World Ocean.

Return to ONREUR Newsletters