Presenter's Name(s)

Anya E. GorodentsevFollow

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Kevin McKenna

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Russian

Second Program (optional)

Political Science

Primary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Presentation Title

The Not-So Frozen Conflict: Russia’s Ambitions in the Arctic and their Implications for NATO in the Far North

Time

2:40 PM

Location

Jost Foundation Room

Abstract

The Arctic Circle is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and with the shrinking polar caps, there exists an abundance of undiscovered oil, other natural resources, fish, and the prospect of fast and efficient sea routes. Unlike Antarctica on the opposite pole, the Arctic is a frozen ocean surrounded by continents with United States, Denmark, Russia, Canada, and Norway all laying claim to the area of exploitable territory. Russia in particular has the most vested interest in the area, covering half the coastline and inhabiting three-fourths of the Arctic population. Composing 11% of Russia’s national income and an estimated 30% of the world’s undiscovered oil, the Arctic has “been deemed vital to its [Russia’s’] national security and economic revival” (Loure 152). On August 2nd, 2007, Russian explorer Artur Chilingarov planted a Russian flag on the seabed of the North Pole in order to assert sovereignty and extend claims of exploitable Russian territory within the Arctic, previously rejected by the United Nations. A few years later, Chilingarov bluntly asserted that “‘we will not give the Arctic to anyone’” (Laurelle 10). My research project will demonstrate the importance of the Arctic Circle for Russian identity and national pride as well as the vitality of the region for its economy, particularly the oil industry. It will also seek to express the threat Russia poses to NATO and other members of the Arctic Council given Russia’s high interests at stake, lack of involvement from international organizations and other countries, and Russia’s increased military presence in the Arctic.

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The Not-So Frozen Conflict: Russia’s Ambitions in the Arctic and their Implications for NATO in the Far North

The Arctic Circle is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world and with the shrinking polar caps, there exists an abundance of undiscovered oil, other natural resources, fish, and the prospect of fast and efficient sea routes. Unlike Antarctica on the opposite pole, the Arctic is a frozen ocean surrounded by continents with United States, Denmark, Russia, Canada, and Norway all laying claim to the area of exploitable territory. Russia in particular has the most vested interest in the area, covering half the coastline and inhabiting three-fourths of the Arctic population. Composing 11% of Russia’s national income and an estimated 30% of the world’s undiscovered oil, the Arctic has “been deemed vital to its [Russia’s’] national security and economic revival” (Loure 152). On August 2nd, 2007, Russian explorer Artur Chilingarov planted a Russian flag on the seabed of the North Pole in order to assert sovereignty and extend claims of exploitable Russian territory within the Arctic, previously rejected by the United Nations. A few years later, Chilingarov bluntly asserted that “‘we will not give the Arctic to anyone’” (Laurelle 10). My research project will demonstrate the importance of the Arctic Circle for Russian identity and national pride as well as the vitality of the region for its economy, particularly the oil industry. It will also seek to express the threat Russia poses to NATO and other members of the Arctic Council given Russia’s high interests at stake, lack of involvement from international organizations and other countries, and Russia’s increased military presence in the Arctic.