Arctic Geopolitics Reconsidered: Pathways to Conflict and Cooperation
Eastern European Studies
International and Area Studies
Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies
The Arctic region is widely considered to be one of the planet’s last frontiers. As the world’s countries competed for Earth’s resources, few areas of the world were left unscathed; the Arctic was one of those regions. However, as climate change accelerates the melting of sea ice in the Arctic, previously inaccessible areas, believed to contain an abundance of natural resources such as minerals, natural gas, and oil, will soon become available for extraction. This race for resources has created tension among the actors in the Arctic. As such, this paper asks: what conditions would be necessary for the current tense relations between the key actors - United States, Russia and the European Union (EU) - to result in cooperation that could render the Arctic a region of détente in the twenty-first century?