Can Arctic Cooperation Ease East-West Tensions?

Presentation at the RACS-CERBA 15th International Conference “Russian-Canadian Relations: From Economics to Culture” at ISKRAN, Moscow, Russian Federation, October 11-12, 2018

Plenary Session II: Russia and Canada: Politics, Economics, Business

Abstract

This presentation comprises the progress of a project that explores relations between Canada and Russia in the Arctic within the context of the broader regional and global strategic competition between great powers. It considers opportunities and challenges for cooperation on bi- and multi- lateral initiatives that have great potential to ease tensions between Russia and Canada. The Arctic provides opportunities for agreement and cooperation on mutual interests such as the status of sea routes, proposals for nuclear weapon-free zones, and collaboration on incident response. These areas overlap with the Arctic interests of the other Circumpolar states – the United States, Norway, and Denmark (Greenland). Canada’s unique middle power status allows it to pursue a role in fostering dialogue and cooperation on Arctic initiatives that may address both national interests and mutual benefits for the Arctic powers.

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