Arctic // Events
09 december 2015
On December 7-8, 2015 St. Petersburg hosted the 5th International Forum “The Arctic: the Present and the Future” held under the auspices of the Association of Polar Explorers. Session “Development of International Cooperation in the Arctic”, organized within the framework of the Forum was moderated by RIAC Director General Andrei Kortunov.
24 november 2015
The continental shelf plays an important role in sustaining global oil and gas production. Over the past ten years, more than two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves have been discovered on the continental shelf. All the Arctic states have passed legislation securing the strategic importance of the area, primarily in terms of hydrocarbon reserves. That being said, the Arctic states have barely even begun to explore and develop these resources. Shifting international tensions to the Arctic, and refusing to lift the sanctions, may force the Russian Federation to look at attracting other states to cooperate in the region, primarily those from Asia.
16 october 2015
On October 15-16, 2015, Helsinki was the venue for international conference “Deep Freeze? East-West Relations and the Arctic” sponsored by the East Office of Finnish Industries Ltd., Centre for European Reform and American International Group insurers. RIAC Director General Andrey Kortunov presented RIAC’s current and future Arctic projects and plans and discussed bilateral cooperation of Russian and Finnish think tanks in drawing up the agenda for the approaching Finland’s presidency in the Arctic Council.
08 october 2015
The growing interest of states in developing and exploitation of the Arctic Ocean spaces and resources raises the question of the extent to which Arctic countries are ready to take steps to introduce uniform standards of navigation in Arctic waters for commercial as well as government vessels.
04 august 2015
With Alaska and adjacent seas increasingly attracting everybody's attention because of their vast resources, many wonder how Washington will combine their development with preserving Alaska's unique social and ecological system – two priorities that have little in common.
27 july 2015
The report continues work held in line with the “Roadmap for International Cooperation in the Arctic” project organized by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). The report looks into the network of circumpolar territories including new industrial regions on the Arctic continental shelf, analyses key goals of educational cooperation and identifies opportunities for international collaboration among small and medium-sized businesses in the Arctic. Authors present their vision for strategic governance in the Russian Arctic and inter-municipal cooperation in the coastal zone of the Russian Federation.
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.
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