Publications Notes de l'Ifri
Christopher SUMMERS

Arctic Solutions: The Frozen (Thawing) Relations of the High North Notes de l'Ifri, February 2011

It’s cold, inhospitable and deadly. The image of the Arctic in years past is one of bewilderment, ignorance and awe. How the image of the Arctic has changed in recent years can be directly linked to our recognition that the Arctic has a great deal to offer in meeting the basic needs of future generations. 

Arctic Solutions: The Frozen (Thawing) Relations of the High North

Although we are still in awe of the Arctic’s cruel beauty, new technologies are making it easier to explore the once unmanageable environment. The Arctic has moved into the mainstream with a host of suitors jockeying for position in the race to possess the Arctic and all that it contains. To highlight this increased interest, Russia’s „National Security Until 2020‟ initiative, has upgraded the High North to one of Russia’s main priorities and identifies the Arctic as liable to produce military conflict in the future linked to competition for the Arctic’s abundant raw materials. Even Canada, a peaceful and respectful country, has stepped outside the box of traditional Canadian rhetoric by giving Canada’s Northern Strategy a tagline: “Our North, our heritage, our future”. The Arctic is increasingly viewed as central to meeting the challenges of an ever changing world where climate change and economic benefit drive international agreements and policies. However, Canada and Russia are not the only actors here. The other Arctic Five states: Denmark, Norway, and the United States of America all lay claims to some area or activity within the Arctic region. The Arctic is a unique part of this world, one that has been left largely untouched by human hands, and one that is on the brink of being changed forever. 


Arctic Solutions: The Frozen (Thawing) Relations of the High North
Natural Resources Arctic Canada Denmark Greenland Norway Russia United States