Polar | Wilson Center


U.S., Russia Must Keep Talking, Cooperating in Arctic

September 25, 2015

GOVERNING THE ARCTIC: Finding Consensus in a Region of Increasing Interest

This interview originally appeared in the Yale Journal of International Affairs (online, September 15, 2015).

An Interview with


Diplomacy at the Top of the World

WASHINGTON, DC – Geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West have been high in recent years, but there remain areas where constructive cooperation and dialogue remain possible. These include not only acute questions like Iran’s nuclear program, but also long-term issues critical to the Arctic region, such as maritime safety, energy development, responses to oil spills, and fisheries management.

Alaska Is Our Arctic

Rumors that President Obama would visit Alaska have floated for six months. In mid-July we learned why: the U.S. Department of State hastily announced that the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER) would take place on August 31, and the president planned to attend.

Will Tensions Between Russia and the West Lead to Conflict in the Arctic?

With melting polar ice caps and increasing oil and gas exploitation, the relationships among Arctic nations is becoming more complicated. And with tensions between Russia and much of the rest of the world over Ukraine continuing, will Arctic cooperation give way to conflict? That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.
Irvin Studin, Founder, Global Brief Magazine and President, Institute for 21st Century Questions
Kenneth S. Yalowitz, Former U.S. Ambassador, Republic of Belarus (1994 – 1997), Georgia (1998 – 2001)

Internships with the Polar Institute

Program Focuses

As the Arctic gains importance socially, politically, economically, and environmentally, the Polar Initiative will address, among others, these topical issues:

Continuing Cooperation Patterns with Russia in the Arctic Region

Marlene Laruelle argues that the United States should engage more in the Arctic as a means of establishing cooperation patterns with Russia after the Ukraine crisis. Furthermore, priority should be given to join projects and information sharing, and Russia should be supported in its efforts to open and securitize the Northern Sea Route.

America's New Foreign Policy Frontier

Heather Conley argues that the United States should use its chairmanship of the Arctic Council to strengthen its internal and external relations on issues including: Arctic shipping, reducing carbon short-lived climate forcers, and increasing awareness and focus on the well-being of indigenous communities.