Arctic // Events
29 april 2015
It would be difficult to say there was a breakthrough at the Arctic Council biennial session of the eight member-states’ foreign ministers, which took place on 24-25 April 2015. But the successes and failures of the Arctic Council should be assessed primarily on the basis of the expectations that its members associated with the action plans that were agreed two years ago. The Arctic Council states have succeeded, if not fully then to a significant degree, in shielding the council from the impact of the worsening relations between Russia and the West. This may be just half a step forwards, not a whole step. But it is certainly not a step backwards.
28 april 2015
The Norwegian demarche over Rogozin's visit must have been at least a three-pronged trial to test the strength of Russia's approach to Spitsbergen, to show determination in defending its sovereignty to the electorate, and to confirm its commitment to Russia sanctions imposed by the EU and NATO partners. The Western appeal seems most interesting – should they express solidarity with Norway on its dissatisfaction about Rogozin's stopover, they would automatically support the Norwegian broad interpretation of the 1920 Treaty.
27 april 2015
On April 24-25, 2015, the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council took place in Iqaluit, Nunavut in the north of Canada. The meeting marked the end of Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship and the start of the US Chairmanship. Russian delegations at such events have been traditionally led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. However, amidst certain logistical problems and a significant change in the bilateral relations between Moscow and Ottawa, Russia at this meeting was represented by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy. Does this indicate that the events in Ukraine have affected the development of cooperation in the Arctic, and what should Russia expect from the US Chairmanship in the context of the ongoing sanctions pressure?
23 april 2015
At a meeting in Canada on April 23, 2015 the United States will assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council for 2015-2017. These are difficult times for the Arctic, and for the Arctic Council in particular. After the previous five years of dynamic growth of cooperation, the Arctic region is faced with the problems of geopolitical rivalry between Russia and the West. The key issue over the next two years will remain the same: will the United States be able to overcome these problems and set the dialogue within the Arctic Council on a constructive path, especially considering the internal divisions in the country over Arctic policy.
03 april 2015
The aggravated tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine have markedly affecte political dynamics in the Arctic. Most of the international media1 insist that the region is in for another wave of militarization, altering the perception of the Arctic dispute which predominantly deal with national jurisdiction and borders. The most heated row seems to be over the delimitation of the continental shelf in the central part of the Arctic Ocean.
12 march 2015
The Arctic region remains a frozen treasure that everybody wants to lay hands on. In Russia, when we speak about the Arctic region, we mean oil exploitation. The scope of the discussion should be broader and more focused on painful issues like climate change, preserving natural habitats and keeping indigenous people safe and sound. How long will we be blind to these problems? Professor Vincent F.Gallucci, director for the Centre for Canadian Arctic studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, Fishery’s science and policy expert shares his views with RIAC.
04 march 2015
It is in the fundamental interests of the countries and peoples of Northern Europe to maintain and consolidate the zone of peace and stability in the region. This is not to say that those countries do not include political forces that are ready to support the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO and to help these states become deeply integrated into the military and political structures of the North Atlantic treaty, or, on the other hand, very influential political and social circles that are firmly against such a turn of events.
02 february 2015
On January 20-21, the Norwegian city of Tromsø once again was the venue for the international conference "Arctic Frontiers 2015" devoted to development issues in the Arctic region. With relations between Russia and the West at a low point due to the Ukraine crisis, questions arise if their future cooperation in the Arctic can be made possible in a full-fledged format. We met with RIAC Member Andrey Zagorsky, Director of IMEMO Department of Disarmament and Resolution, to get his insights about the emerging pattern in the handling of Arctic affairs.
10 — 11 december 2014
On December 10-11, 2014 St. Petersburg hosted the 4th International Forum "The Arctic: the Present and the Future" sponsored by the Polar Association. The event attracted a wide range of specialists, government officials and explorers engaged in the Arctic research and development, with the total attendance of plenary and working sessions reaching almost 700 delegates from 20 Russian regions.
01 — 04 december 2014
On December 1-4, 2014 RIAC Program Manager Lyudmila Fililppova went to Finland as a member of press tour "Arctic Issues and Arctic Policy" sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Finnfacts Agency. Among participants were media people and representatives of Karelia Republic, Murmansk Region, Pskov Region, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
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