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The USA–Russia relationship and the Arctic

Iqaluit, Canada
Coastline of Iqaluit, Canada. Canada held the chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2013–15. Photo: Flickr / U.S. Department of State

SIPRI Researcher Ekaterina Klimenko participated in a panel discussion on the upcoming Finnish Arctic Council chairmanship. The discussion took place on 6 April at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

Finland assumes the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April in an increasingly uncertain political environment. Recent changes in Russia’s foreign policy have caused concern in Europe and have also raised new questions about the direction of Russia’s Arctic policy. An additional layer of uncertainty related to Arctic politics has emerged from the USA, with widespread concern about the future of the US climate policy, the direction of US energy policy and energy cooperation in the Arctic, and the future of Arctic multilateral governance.

What does all this mean for the Arctic region? What kind of Arctic policy will be pursued by the USA or by Russia? How will the USA-Russia relationship develop, particularly with respect to the Arctic? What can be expected in this regard during the Finnish Arctic Council chairmanship?

The discussion was chaired by Juha Käpylä, Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and also featured Heather Conley, Senior Vice President at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.