Polar | Wilson Center

Polar

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.
 
Speakers
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.

Arctic Policies of Nordic States: The Politics of Geographical Definitions

Willy Østreng argues that the Arctic Council should form a more cohesive, comprehensive unit by closing ranks and operating as the Arctic 8, acting in concert, and stand united in order to maintain control of regional developments.

Arctic Policies of Japan, South Korea, and Singapore

Aki Tonami argues that Asian states, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, are mainly interested in the economic aspects of the Arctic, but will utilize their willingness to promote scientific cooperation for sustainable development in the region. The Arctic Council and other Arctic states should encourage intra-Asian cooperation on the Arctic and should attempt to settle historical and territorial grievances.

China's Undeclared Arctic Foreign Policy

Anne-Marie Brady argues that partnering with China in the Arctic, where possible, and developing an in-depth knowledge of China's Arctic interests and objectives will strengthen the United States' ability to give meaning to the development of a "new type of great power relationship." Furthermore, China should be encouraged to make a formal statement on its Arctic policy and interests, embracing transparency.

Pages