​​Russia is an important factor in both global and European security, and its significance for Norwegian security is direct and extensive.

The centre’s research on Russia stresses the broader historical context, and emphasises in particular Russo–Norwegian relations; Russian security and defence policy; and Russian Arctic policy and energy policy.​

Research projects

Russia's Naval Posture – Priorities and strategic aims after the Ukrainian crisis
This project examines Russian naval priorities after the Ukrainian crisis and operations in Syria. The Russian navy has been subject of increased political attention over the last few years, underscoring its central position to Russia's self-image as a military superpower. However, at the same time as recent Russian doctrines and official statements put a high priority on all the Russian fleets, development is hampered by pragmatic realities such as the economic situation and shipbuilding capacities. 

Are the broad naval priorities that Russia is signalling through official doctrines and statements possible under the current geopolitical and economic circumstances, and what strategic aims and intentions underpin the current naval priorities? What are the consequences of this development for NATO and Norway?
Contact: Liv Parnemo

The Russian Patriot Recast: Militarist Identity Formation in Russian State Policy under Putin

«The Russian Patriot Recast» runs over three years (2016-19) and examines Russian official patriotism with particular stress on the State Program of Patriotic Education. The research considers elements of militarism in official identity policy, and discusses its driving forces and possible security implications. Key research questions include:

  • What processes can explain the resurgence of militarism in Russian identity policy?
  • What role have military actors played in these processes and what have been their motivations?
  • How do militaristic policy initiatives resonate with the Russian public opinion?

The project involves document studies, field research and a planned survey for 2018. It is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.
Contact: Havard Bakken

Russian Nuclear Strategy – created in a vacuum? Civilian control over Russian nuclear weapons strategy 1993–2010
The project examines civilian control over Russian nuclear strategy in the post-Cold War period. Bruusgaard considers bureaucratic and organisational interests, the public debate on nuclear strategy, and the degree of formal and informal civilian control over the military establishment. How do these factors relate to Russian nuclear strategy?
Contact: Kristin Ven Bruusgaard

Energy and Russian foreign policy in the CIS 2000–2012
The topic of this PhD is how Russian energy companies relate to Russian foreign policy in the CIS. This includes acquiring a broad understanding of state-business ties in Russia, and how they affect operations of the energy companies and the Russian government in relations with CIS states.

The project contains case studies of five companies from different sectors: Inter RAO in electricity, Rosatom (with subsidiaries) in nuclear, Transneft in oil and oil product pipeline transport, Lukoil in oil and Gazprom in gas. How do the companies’ relations with the Russian government inside Russia (including ownership relations) affect their operations outside Russia? Do they drive foreign policy, or are they instruments of government aims? How has this changed over time?

The ultimate aim is to develop our understanding of Russian foreign policy, state-business ties in Russia and Russia’s political economy.
Contact: Ingerid M. Opdahl

Maritime Preparedness and International Partnership in the High North (MARPART)
IFS participates in the MARPART project, which is led by the University of Nordland. The MARPART project aims to improve our understanding of joint tasks in the High North and to shed light on the potential for international cooperation in different preparedness areas in the region.

MARPART is organised into three work packages:

  1. Future maritime activity level and risk patterns in the High North.
  2. Institutional framework, governance, resources and institutional strategies within different sea regions.
  3. Organisations and operational management structures linking cooperating institutions in joint maritime operations.

The MARPART project had a 3-year time frame (20142016) and is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the ‘Barents 2020’ programme, Nordland County and the University of Nordland.

IFS contributes with a study on Russian maritime preparedness in the High North and implications for international cooperation. The study will be finalised in April 2018.

Contact: Kristine Offerdal and Ingvill Moe Elgsaas

Published 30 October 2014 14:52.. Last updated 31 May 2017 13:33.