ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

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Andrew Chater

Explaining Russia’s Relationship with the Arctic Council

2016. Vol. 11. No. 4. P. 205–223 [issue contents]

Relations between the West and Russia have worsened since Russia annexed Crimea in February 2014. This article explains how this deterioration has affected the Arctic Council. The council is an international institution with eight member states with territory in the Arctic (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) as well as six indigenous peoples’ organizations. The mandate of the institution is to promote environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. There is currently a debate in the media about the impact of Russia’s actions on Arctic governance. Some accounts argue that the Arctic Council’s work continues unabated in the aftermath of Crimea, while others point to worrying signs that the institution is experiencing difficulty. This research helps settle this debate by empirically demonstrating Russia’s behaviour. It concludes that the breakdown in Russian-United States relations has not had an immediate impact on the council. The article employs descriptive statistics to understand Russia’s patterns of activity in the council in three periods (1998–2000, 2007–2009 and 2013–2015). It examines Russia’s participation in meetings and its sponsorship of initiatives. It draws from a variety of council documents. It shows that earlier in the history of the council, Russia’s participation was similar to the Nordic countries. The article empirically demonstrates that Russia’s participation in the Arctic Council has increased over time.

Citation: Chater A. (2016) Explaining Russia’s Relationship with the Arctic Council. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 11, no 4, pp. 205-223 (in Russian and English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2016-04-205.
Article type: Article.
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