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Can Cooperative Arctic Policies Survive the Current Crisis in Russian–Western Relations?

The Arctic has long been characterized by international cooperation. When relations between Russia and the West worsened dramatically in the aftermath of the 2014 annexation of Crimea, many observers believed that constructive cooperation in the Arctic could continue largely as before. This thematic series takes stock of Russia’s Arctic policy and the state of Russian–Western Arctic cooperation some five years after the onset of the conflict in Ukraine.

What are Russia’s current domestic priorities in the Arctic? Can Russia realize its agenda without close cooperation with the other Arctic states? Can this cooperation be shielded from the general deterioration in Russian–Western relations, or are we headed for a period of protracted political cooling in the North?

Helge Blakkisrud served as guest editor of the thematic series; the articles were published between December 2018 and April 2020.

Research for this article series was made possible through a grant from the Research Council of Norway for the project “Can co-operative Russian and Western Arctic policies survive the current crisis in Russian–Western relations?” (CANARCT) (project no. 257638).

(Foto: Kristian Verlo Vikestad / Forsvaret).

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