On September 26 the Valdai Discussion Club held an expert discussion titled “Competitive Space of the Arctic: From Geopolitical Tension to Balance of Interests.” Valdai Paper #75, “The Arctic in an Age of Geopolitical Change: Assessment and Recommendations,” written by Jeffrey Collins, Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Security and Development, Dalhousie University, Canada, was presented during the discussion.
To date, the Arctic remains a remote and underexplored region, which occupies almost one sixth of the world's land area and has a population of only about 4 million people. All of them are citizens of eight states: Russia, USA, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The Arctic is rich in renewable and non-renewable resources. According to experts, up to 20% of the world's mineral resources are concentrated there.
During the Second World War and the Cold War, the Arctic was an area of increased attention from geopolitical opponents. Now, global warming and the development of resource extraction technologies make its territory an important competitive space for the Arctic powers. The activity of such remote states as India and China in the region poses new questions on the establishment of a mutually beneficial balance of interests.
Jeffrey Collins, the author of the Valdai Paper, will present a retrospective of the interaction of the Arctic states and an analysis of the development of interstate institutions after the end of the Cold War. How do the main geopolitical priorities (borders, resources, armed forces) affect the policies of the countries in the Arctic region? What are the goals and objectives of the Arctic strategy of remote states - first of all China and India? What are the ways to remove geopolitical tensions in the region and to establish an atmosphere of stability and cooperation? The expert discussion participants will answer these and other questions.