Polar bears fighting

Not All Is Quiet On the Arctic Front

March 25, 2019
Elizabeth Buchanan

This is a summary of an article originally published by The Moscow Times.

The author writes that while an "Arctic conflict agenda is fanned incessantly ... 2019 will present four clear windows for the region to potentially backslide.” The first is related to the Northern Sea Route, which is attractive for China and lies within Russia's Exclusive Economic Zone. "Largely due to the prolonged stagnation of the global oil price, the new priority for Russia appears to be control over global transportation through the Arctic." A second avenue for increased regional competition is implementing a new U.S. Arctic Strategy. “The third area for competition to potentially spill over into conflict is the overlapping territorial claims to the North Pole—held by Russia, Denmark and Canada. ... Heading into the 2020s, Russia’s Arctic strategy will be geared at bolstering their [sic] international standing and securing Moscow’s economic resource base well into the future." However, due to Western sanctions, "this will be facilitated through continued foreign investment with China, who has demonstrated its ‘near-Arctic’ ambitions.”

Read the full article at The Moscow Times.


Elizabeth Buchanan

Elizabeth Buchanan is a research fellow at The Australian National University.

Photo by Oleg. shared under a CC BY 2.0 license.