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Arctic Yearbook 2021 Heininen, L., H. Exner-Pirot, & J. Barnes (eds.). (2021). Arctic Yearbook 2021: Defining and Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions. Akureyri, Iceland: Arctic Portal. Available from https://www.arcticyearbook.com ISSN 2298–2418 This is an open access volume distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY NC-4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. Cover Image Credit Elena Ivanova Editor Lassi Heininen| lassi.heininen@ulapland.fi Managing Editor Heather Exner-Pirot | exnerpirot@gmail.com Assistant Editor Justin Barnes | justinbarnes@trentu.ca Editorial Board Chair Dr. Alexander Pelyasov (Russian Academy of Sciences; Director of the Center of Northern and Arctic Economics; Ministry of Economic Development & Trade, Russian Federation) Dr. Daria Burnasheva (Senior Lecture at Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts, Sakha Republic) Dr. Miya Christensen (Professor at University of Stockholm, Sweden) Halldór Johannsson (Executive Director, Arctic Portal, Iceland) Dr. Kirsi Latola (Research Coordinator, UArctic Vice-President Networks, Finland) Dr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (Former President of the Republic of Iceland, Chair of the Arctic Circle Assembly) James Ross, (Gwich’in leader, Northwest Territories, Canada) Dr. Lawson Brigham (Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks)


Arctic Yearbook 2021

About Arctic Yearbook The Arctic Yearbook is the outcome of the Northern Research Forum (NRF) and UArctic joint Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security. The TN also organizes the annual Calotte Academy. The Arctic Yearbook seeks to be the preeminent repository of critical analysis on the Arctic region, with a mandate to inform observers about the state of Arctic politics, governance and security. It is an international and interdisciplinary peer-reviewed publication, published online at [https://arcticyearbook.com] to ensure wide distribution and accessibility to a variety of stakeholders and observers. Arctic Yearbook material is obtained through a combination of invited contributions and an open call for papers. For more information on contributing to the Arctic Yearbook, or participating in the TN on Geopolitics and Security, contact the Editor, Lassi Heininen.

Acknowledgments The Arctic Yearbook would like to acknowledge the Arctic Portal [https://arcticportal.org] for their generous technical and design support, especially Ævar Karl Karlsson; our colleagues who provided peer review for the scholarly articles in this volume; as well as the organizers of the Calotte Academy for hosting our launch.

Defining and Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions


Arctic Yearbook 2021

Table of Contents Introduction – Defining & Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies & Perceptions......................1 By Lassi Heininen, Heather Exner-Pirot & Justin Barnes

Section I: Arctic Security and Sovereignty The Arctic Ocean: Boundaries and disputes..............................................................................................5 By Andreas Østhagen & Clive H. Schofield

FONOP in vain: The legal logics of a US Navy FONOP in the Canadian or Russian Arctic............23 By Cornell Overfield

The Arctic, Russia and Coercion of Navigation......................................................................................41 By Viktoriya Nikitina

A decolonial approach to Arctic security and sovereignty......................................................................62 By Gabriella Gricius

Beyond the nation-state paradigm: Inuit self-determination and international law in the Northwest Passage..........................................................................................................................................................83 By Juliana Wilczynski

At the front lines of increased shipping and climate change: Inuit perspectives on Canadian Arctic sovereignty and security............................................................................................................................108 By Nicolien van Luijk, Jackie Dawson, Natalie A. Carter, Gloria Song, Colleen Parker, Kayla Grey & Jennifer Provencher

Section II: Geopolitics on the Map Measuring and mapping the Arctic: Cartography and the legacies of nineteenth-century Arctic science.........................................................................................................................................................126 By John Woitkowitz

The Faroese sub-state unit’s response to Arctic political development..............................................140 By Hallbera West

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Arctic interests and policy of Turkey: Dilemmas, approaches, and initiatives...................................158 By Onur Limon

Responsible international citizenship and China’s participation in Arctic regionalization..............173 By Liisa Kauppila & Sanna Kopra

The role of technology in China’s Arctic Engagement: A means as well as an end in itself.............................................................................................................................................................188 By Camilla T.N. Sørensen & Christopher Weidacher Hsiung

Section III: Mapping Russian Arctic Development Strategy, competition, and legitimization: Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation...................................................................................................................................................207 By Sergey Sukhankin, Troy Bouffard & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

The Development of Arctic offshore oil and gas resources in Russia: Energy policy updates and new activities by companies.....................................................................................................................234 By Luiza Brodt

How Russia’s new vision of territorial development in the Arctic can boost China-Russia economic collaboration..............................................................................................................................................249 By Gao Tianming & Vasilii Erokhin

Section IV: The Economics of Geography A geopolitical outlook on Arctification in Northern Europe: Insights from tourism, regional branding and higher education and research institutions.....................................................................279 By Dorothee Bohn & Alix Varnajot

A picture is worth [more than] a thousand words: Visualizing local and tourist perceptions of Greenland through social media photo mapping..................................................................................293 By Tracy Michaud, Colleen Metcalf & Matthew Bampton

Defining the limitations and opportunities in the consultation with the Sámi: The cases of the Arctic Railway and the Davvi Vindpark .................................................................................................315 By Inker-Anni Sara, Torkel Rasmussen & Roy Krøvel

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Building a high-performing collaborative innovation ecosystem in the Arctic.................................328 By Ekaterina Sofroneeva, Catharina von Koskull & Hannu Makkonen

Geopolitical and geoeconomic articulations of the Arctic: Towards multidimensional spatiality?.....................................................................................................................................................346 By Vesa Väätänen & Kaj Zimmerbauer

Scenarios for Sustainable Development in the Arctic until 2050........................................................362 By Alexandra Middleton, Anastasia Lazariva, Frode Nilssen, Alexey Kalinin & Anastasia Belostotskaya

Section V: Identity & Geography ‘Three hundred years hence’: Colonialism, Indigeneity, Modernism and Nationalism in the interpretive repertoires of the Greenland Hans Egede statue debate.................................................379 By Robert C. Thomsen

The continuing effects of colonisation in Avanersuaq.........................................................................399 By Martin Binachon

Sense of place through human-animal interactions in the Russian Arctic: Internalisation of the landscape by non-Indigenous migrants..................................................................................................418 By Nadia French

Perceptions of wildfire risk and responsibility in management: A comparative analysis of Fairbanks, Alaska and Los Angeles, California.........................................................................................................438 By Jacob Graham & Charlene Burns

Arcticness and the urbanism of the North.............................................................................................437 By Peter Hemmersam

Indigenizing education: Historical perspectives and present challenges in Sámi education..........452 By Pigga Keskitalo & Torjer Olsen

The power of maps in shaping visions about the Arctic.....................................................................479 By Helena Gonzales Lindberg

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Section VI: Art & Culture in Identity Introduction by Special Guest Editor Robert P. Wheelersburg..........................................................493 Mapping New Genre Arctic Art..............................................................................................................497 By Timo Jokela, Maria Huhmarniemi, Ruth Beer & Anna Soloviova

Through an Applied Visual Art Lens: Mapping the Arctic through art and design-based actions of place mapping and a multisensory approach..........................................................................................513 By Katri Sofia Konttinen

Making space for Indigenous Perspectives: Reflections on Cultural Sovereignty in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) ..........................................................................................................................................531 By Dzhuliiana Semenova

Izvatas cultural identification and self-determination: The study of the “Lud” tradition................548 By Karolina Sikora & Maria Fedina

Complex Yoiks – a time traveller: Aboriginal oral traditions among the Sámi in Sweden............563 By Krister Stoor

City as home: Sense of security and emotional places in the drawings of schoolchildren from the Nordic countries and Russia....................................................................................................................590 By Tatiana Zhigaltsova

Briefing Notes Finding Marguerite and Tookoolito: “Mapping Women of the Arctic”..........................................592 By Carol Devine, Tahnee Prior & Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek

Subsistence: A critical overview of the concept....................................................................................599 By Susanna Gartler

Swedish Sámi reindeer herders seek Indigenous rights........................................................................ 604 By Robert P. Wheelersburg

Arctic Indigenous peoples and the state: Toward a universal convergence of Arctic reconciliation..............................................................................................................................................610 By Barry Scott Zellen Defining and Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions


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Plans, problems and perspectives for Greenland’s project independence........................................618 By Michael Paul

Gateway Maine: Following Old Arctic Routes to a Sustainable Future for the United States.........625 By Susana Hancock

Opening-up the Arctic through International Science: The Case of Svalbard, Norway..................632 By Mayline Strouk

Defining and Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions


Introduction

Arctic Yearbook 2021

Defining and Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions Lassi Heininen, Justin Barnes & Heather Exner-Pirot

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to consider globalization’s dark side by bringing up new premises of security related to environmental degradation, climate change and pandemics as nonmilitary threats that should be applied comprehensively. It also demonstrates the importance of scientific research and its applications, digitalization, distance learning and working, and open access material for knowledge-building, particularly when new and accurate information is created and distributed to advance better understandings of the global challenges and wicked problems we face. We could hardly consider a better platform for these issues in the Arctic context than the online and open access Arctic Yearbook for this kind of situation, when almost everything has been online, and while there is an excess of mis/disinformation being spread. The Arctic Yearbook is an international and peer-reviewed volume and an online publication that is open access, focusing on issues of local and regional governance and development, environmental politics, globalism, circumpolar relations, and Arctic geopolitics and security - all broadly defined. This is the 10th anniversary edition of the Yearbook.

Arctic Yearbook 2021 The theme of 2021, Defining and Mapping the Arctic: Sovereignties, Policies and Perceptions contains relevant topics that are much discussed, examined, reported and speculated in policy circles, academia, and the media. Perhaps because it is distant from major political, business and media centres, the Arctic seems especially prone to external interpretations of its essential character. How the Arctic is defined and perceived, or redefined, as well as how non-Arctic actors remap their geographical position and (re)identify their relationship with the Arctic region, as the 2020 IIASA analysis on Arctic policies reveals. Yet dominant narratives about the region are often based on superficial, ideological or arbitrary understandings. There is a need for better-informed discussions about the essential nature of the Arctic, and its people, its economy, its geography and its environment, as well as an examination of dominant perceptions. This 10th edition of the Arctic Yearbook has provided such a space for this endeavour. This volume contains 33 scholarly articles that explore, analyze, critique, and further discuss how the Lassi Heininen, Heather Exner-Pirot, & Justin Barnes are the editors of the Arctic Yearbook


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globalized Arctic is (re)defined and (re)mapped. The diverse collection of articles in this volume engage with a variety of unique but also overlapping topics that include 'traditional' Arctic security and sovereignty issues; geographical factors that are influencing regional geopolitics; Russian development interests and activities; economic considerations related to Arctic geography; and the diverse roles of identity, art, and culture in articulating alternative notions of sovereignty in the region. As is always the case with interdisciplinary work, it is difficult to narrowly categorize the articles in this volume. Although the volume has been divided into sections with dominant themes, readers will without a doubt identify the interrelated nature of the articles in this volume. In the “Arctic Security and Sovereignty” section, the authors explore current understandings of Arctic sovereignty, including what it means in practice, who exercises it and how, and whether traditional, state-centred conceptions of sovereignty can or should change. From how UNCLOS is being exercised to delineate boundaries among states, to how Indigenous and decolonial interpretations of sovereignty are highlighting challenges related to state-centric governance structures, the articles in this section highlight the tensions that exist within how traditional sovereignty is practiced in the Arctic along with how these state-centric practices have implications for Indigenous self-determination. The “Geopolitics on the Map” section explores the geographical, environmental and climatic, social, economic, political and geopolitical differences in the Arctic along political and physical lines, including to what extent there are common geographic realities that makes collaboration logical or beneficial. These considerations are examined from the perspectives of Arctic sub-state and non-Arctic state perspectives, including how the Faroe Islands, Turkey, and China view their involvement in the region in relation to their geographical and historical ties to the Arctic. “Mapping Russian Arctic Development” examines definitions and delineations of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation from domestic and international perspectives, including the nature of shipping passages, claims to the extended continental shelf, state borders, transportation routes and systems, and Russia's growing collaboration with China to meet shared economic goals. “The Economics of Geography” further explores the environmental and physical definitions of the Arctic in relation to economic realities and desires in the region. From tourism, fisheries, and higher education, to building a “high performing IT innovation ecosystem” in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia - Far East Russia), these articles explore the changing realities of doing business in the Arctic as well as the growing involvement of Indigenous perspectives in the Arctic economy. “Identity & Geography” highlights the ways in which these two factors influence how “place” is articulated in various contexts across the Arctic. Authors in this section discuss ways in which colonialism, nationalism, Indigeneity, urbanization, and education have shaped perceptions of the Arctic, and importantly, experiences within the Arctic. As these authors note in different ways, how the Arctic is perceived, experienced, and discussed has implications for how emerging and historical issues in the Arctic are addressed, as well as what kind of expectations and goals exist for policy action. “Art & Culture in Identity” articulate emerging perspectives regarding local, traditional and Indigenous sovereignty that explore self-determination and self-government, the implications of post-colonial interpretations of Indigeneity, and how education, music, poetry, and art are Heininen, Barnes, & Exner-Pirot


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solidifying notions of “cultural sovereignty.” Another finding of the 2020 IIASA analysis is that Arctic Indigenous peoples lean on international agreements concerning their Indigenous rights, such as UNDRIP, and are actively connecting those rights to manage their own territories and waters, as well as how to use and develop their resources. This interpretation of sovereignty differs from that of states. Authors in this volume discuss these interpretations of Indigenous sovereignty in the context of international law, but also how the sovereignty of states cannot necessarily account for the multiple identities, affiliations, and cultural connections across borders and within domestic governance structures. Instead, articles in this section demonstrate how cultural traditions and practices are promoting forms of Indigenous sovereignty that can operate independently both within and across state structures. Special guest editor Robert Wheelersburg provides a focused introduction for this section, highlighting the tensions which exist in historical and modern misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples in the Arctic, noting the importance of understanding the diversity which exists across the entire Circumpolar Arctic.

The Arctic Yearbook over 10 years The Arctic Yearbook has consistently provided high quality, peer-reviewed articles from diverse researchers of Arctic social sciences and the humanities. Plenty of our readers - early-career scientists, senior researchers, students, policy-makers - appreciate the rich variety of themes of the Yearbook, and its style, nature, fast double-blind peer-review process, as well as visibility on social media. Here, the Arctic Yearbook has the capacity, expertise and structure of network, as well as the immaterial capital - i.e. a digital online library of rich collection of almost 230 scholarly articles and more than 130 briefing notes and commentaries across ten volumes (since 2012) that have had a diversity of relevant themes (from human capital and innovations to governance, geopolitics and climate change) – with open access. This makes the Yearbook a leading international Arctic peerreviewed journal in a few fields, such as IR, Arctic shipping, state policies, and the Arctic Council. Due to its openness, these articles share Arctic social science research far beyond the halls of academia, receiving tens of thousands of reads. An active social media presence - more than 4000 followers - has allowed the Yearbook to further disseminate Arctic research to new audiences. The Yearbook’s application is built on several strengths as prerequisites for success – a kind of philosophy based on expertise, networking based on individuals, willingness and capabilities, and encouragement. Published by UArctic TN on Geopolitics and Security, it has run on volunteer efforts since its initiation, and is thankful to Arctic Portal’s invaluable role in hosting the website. All this has allowed the Yearbook to remain independent, quick and flexible, and focused on publishing new research findings rather than being occupied with seeking funding. All in all, as an international, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed online journal with open access, the Arctic Yearbook provides accessible and reliable information in a sea of pay-walled articles and internet myths. It’s an asset at the local – global interface for the current state of the world that deserves to be used by Arctic – academic and expert - communities, as well as by a global audience. From the pan-Arctic perspective, as this most recent edition of the Arctic Yearbook demonstrates, there is a need for better informed and holistic discussions about the essential nature of the Arctic - its people, its societies, its economy, its geography, its environment - as well as what perceptions, and by whom, are there. These considerations can have impacts within the globalized Arctic, but also worldwide implications. The 10th edition of the Arctic Yearbook has aimed to provide such a space. Introduction


Section I: Arctic Security and Sovereignty


The Arctic Ocean: Boundaries and Disputes Andreas Østhagen & Clive H. Schofield

The Arctic region is sometimes described as an area of geopolitical competition and boundary disputes. However, in terms of maritime claims, such portrayals are misleading. Our examination of maritime boundaries in the Arctic, maritime claims and extended continental shelf submissions in the central Arctic Ocean, shows that the Arctic is a space where states have settled disputes before real conflict could emerge. In that sense the Arctic is arguably an ocean apart and the case of the Arctic can be of broader relevance regarding maritime disputes in other regional contexts.

Introduction1 “Unresolved maritime boundaries can be among the most difficult disputes for states to resolve” (Lavrov & Støre, 2010). This remark came in 2010 as the Norwegian and Russian foreign ministers had successfully resolved a maritime boundary dispute in the Arctic that had been a thorn in the side since the 1970s. The benefits of agreeing on and delimiting maritime boundaries clarifying the limits of jurisdiction and sovereign rights of all states might seem to outweigh the costs of concessions made through negotiations. Still, however, almost 40 percent of all maritime boundaries remain unsettled and frequently disputed, across all continents (Østhagen, 2021: 1). In this paper we examine how the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) has set the parameters for the maritime claims and boundary agreements in the Arctic (United Nations, 1982) [hereinafter, LOSC or the Convention]. In turn, we examine each of the maritime claims in the Arctic, and the factors that have enabled agreement on these (when that is the case). Our work leans on a legal analysis and an evaluation of political factors, building on the range of scholarly work that has emerged over the last decade examining the various legal aspects of maritime boundary claims in the north.2 We add to this literature by comparing and contrasting different practices and outcomes, while also adding a ‘global’ outlook to the Arctic’s recent developments. Locating the Arctic in the international legal context (the law of the sea in particular), we find that the maritime claims of the Arctic coastal states are predominantly in keeping with international legal norms, and that these states have made substantial progress in resolving overlapping maritime Andreas Østhagen is a Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway (ao@fni.no); High North Center for Business and Governance, Norway; Wilson Center, USA; and Clive H. Schofield is Head of Research at the World Maritime University, Sweden; Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security, Australia.


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claims through maritime boundary agreements between themselves. Greater uncertainty exists concerning ‘outer’ or ‘extended’ continental shelf rights seawards of 200 nautical miles (M) from baselines along the coast. Nonetheless, despite broad areas of overlapping assertions to continental shelf rights in the central Arctic Ocean, the region has been characterized by substantial scientific and legal cooperation – not conflict.

The Law of the Sea and the Arctic Ocean The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) provides the generally accepted legal framework governing maritime jurisdictional claims and the delimitation of maritime boundaries between national maritime zones (United Nations, 1982). The LOSC has gained widespread international recognition: at the time of writing, 167 states (plus the European Union) had become parties to it (United Nations, 2021). A key achievement of the LOSC was agreement on the spatial limits to national claims to maritime jurisdiction, predominantly defined as extending to a set distance from baselines along the coast. Thus, the territorial sea, contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are not to exceed 12, 24 and 200 M respectively from baselines along the coast (LOSC Articles 3 and 4, 33 and 57). The delineation of the outer limits of each of these zones of maritime jurisdiction requires an understanding of the location of baselines along the coast (see Figure 1). Defining the outer limits of the continental shelf is more complex, involving a range of geophysical criteria as well as distance measurements, as explored below in relation to the central Arctic Ocean. Of the five Arctic Ocean coastal states – Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and USA – four are parties to the LOSC. Although not a party to the LOSC, the USA generally regards the core principles of UNCLOS as being reflective of customary international law and thus binding on all states.4 Figure 1: Schematic of maritime jurisdiction claims of a coastal State measured seawards from baselines along the coast.5

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Arctic Maritime Boundary Agreements All the Arctic coastal states have advanced broad maritime claims, in keeping with both international law and their own national interests (R. R. Churchill, 2001). These maritime claims include 12 M-broad territorial seas (except in respect of Greenland, where a 3 M territorial sea is claimed). Canada, Norway, Russia and the USA also claim contiguous zone rights out to 24 M, although Norway’s claim here does not apply to Jan Mayen Island or Svalbard. Additionally, all the Arctic coastal states claim EEZs out to 200 M (see Figure 2), although Norway has only claimed a Fisheries Protection Zone around Svalbard. Figure 2: Arctic Maritime Claims and Boundaries.

Source: Prepared for the authors by I Made Andi Arsana

Focusing on the Arctic Ocean-area specifically, there are five bilateral maritime boundary situations on the Arctic Ocean: Russia–USA, USA–Canada, Canada–Denmark (Greenland), Denmark (Greenland)–Norway (Svalbard), and Norway–Russia (see Figure 1).6 Considerable progress has been achieved in the resolution of overlapping maritime claims between adjacent Arctic States, at least within 200 M of the coast. We commence by looking at each agreement chronologically. In 1973, Canada and Denmark, on behalf of Greenland, agreed on an almost 1,500 M long continental shelf boundary (Canada– Denmark, 1973). The boundary stretches from near the intersection of their 200 M limit at the mouth of the Davis Strait, to the Lincoln Sea by way of Baffin Bay, Nares Strait and Robeson

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Channel (Alexander, 1993: 371–72). The agreement is innovative in two ways. First, the boundary includes a short gap in the Nares Strait within which the disputed Hans Island lies. Measuring just over 1km2, this islet is the sole disputed land territory in the Arctic region. Entirely ignoring this disputed feature was a creative way to circumvent this sovereignty dispute (see Figure 3). Moreover, while the boundary is based on equidistance between opposite shores, at the time of its negotiation there was uncertainty over the location of certain basepoints in the high Arctic, so the treaty made provision for later adjustment of the line, in light of new surveys, on the basis of the same principles (Canada–Denmark, 1973: para. 4). Accordingly, a slight adjustment to the boundary line was made in 2004 (Canada–Denmark, 2004). Figure 3: Maritime Delimitation between Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark (Greenland).

Source: Prepared for the authors by I Made Andi Arsana

A further long maritime boundary was delimited between the USA and the then-USSR in 1990 (United States–Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1990; Verville, 1993). This agreement stretches Østhagen & Schofield


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through the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, and extends into the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Bering Sea to the south. The agreement is based on the line defining the western limit of the area covered by the 1867 Convention whereby the USA purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire (Russia–United States, 1867). The boundary line relevant to the Arctic Ocean is a straight line heading due north from a specified point in the Bering Straits ‘as far as permitted under international law’ and thus to their 200 M limits and potentially further seaward in the central Arctic Ocean depending on the delineation of outer continental shelf limits beyond their EEZ limits. The agreement provides for four ‘Special Areas’, one of which is located in the Arctic Ocean (the other three being in the Bering Sea) and comprises an area on the US side of the boundary line which lies within 200 M of the baselines of the USSR but beyond 200 M from the baselines of the USA (United States–Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1990: para. 3 (1)). These special areas ensured that all maritime spaces within 200 M of either or both of their coasts are delimited between these two states. Although this boundary treaty is not in force (Russia has not formally ratified it), both sides have respected its terms, consistent with an exchange of notes between them (see Figure 4) (Verville, 1993: 454; Smith, 1994; Schofield, 2015). Figure 4: Maritime Delimitation between the USA and USSR/Russian Federation.

Source: Prepared for the authors by I Made Andi Arsana

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Further progress was made in maritime delimitation in the Arctic Ocean, when in February 2006 Denmark and Norway reached agreement on an approximately 430 M-long equidistance-based continental shelf and fisheries zone boundary between the coasts of Greenland and Svalbard (Denmark–Norway, 2006; Oude Elferink, 2007). In concluding that treaty, Denmark implicitly recognised that Svalbard generates both fishing and continental shelf rights. For Norway, this was an important consideration, as it underpins the Norwegian view that Svalbard can generate offshore zones and thus its relevance for maritime boundary delimitation in the Arctic (see Figure 1). This point is at times disputed by other states on the wording of the Svalbard Treaty.6 Then the perhaps most significant recent progress in resolving Arctic Ocean maritime disputes involves Norway and Russia and the 2010-maritime boundary agreement. First, in 2007, the two countries reached an agreement essentially replacing the 1957 Varangerfjord treaty, extending the delimitation line to 39.41 M (Russia–Norway, 2007). However, further north, in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean, overlapping claims to continental shelf and encompassing an area of approximately 175,000 km2 persisted from the 1970s (Moe, Fjærtoft, & Øverland, 2011). At the core of the dispute was Norway’s preference for a median line solution and Russia’s preference for a sector line. Access to fisheries resources, especially commercially valuable cod and haddock stocks supported by the highly productive and diverse ecosystem of the Barents Sea, also caused friction, although ultimately this led to cooperative management measures being adopted before the boundary agreement (R. Churchill & Ulfstein, 1992; Stabrun, 2009; Hønneland, 2012). The breakthrough on the remaining boundary issues came in 2010, when the two countries committed to an all-purpose boundary to be drawn “on the basis of international law in order to achieve an equitable solution”, recognizing “relevant factors ... including the effect of major disparities in respective coastal lengths” while dividing “the overall disputed area in two parts of approximately the same size” (Norwegian Government, 2010). The four-decade-long dispute was resolved through a landmark agreement whereby the disputed area, within and beyond 200 M limits, was delimited for continental shelf and EEZ rights between the two states (Norway–Russian Federation, 2010), as well as the Fisheries Protection Zone around Svalbard. The agreement contains provisions aimed at continued cooperation over fisheries (Henriksen & Ulfstein, 2011: 1); there are also provisions on co-management of any hydrocarbons that straddle the boundary (Byers, 2013: 43–44; Fjærtoft et al., 2018). An innovative feature of the agreement is that, analogous to the Special Areas defined between the USA and USSR, an area of EEZ located on the Russian side of the boundary line is actually beyond 200 M from Russian baselines but is within 200 M of the Norwegian coast (Norway–Russian Federation, 2010: para. 3). This arrangement enabled the two states to divide the entirety of the EEZ area within 200 M of their coasts, albeit not necessarily within 200 M of the baselines of the state on whose side of the line a particular area of EEZ is located (see Figure 5).

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Figure 5: Maritime Delimitation between Norway and the Russian Federation.

Source: Prepared for the authors by I Made Andi Arsana

Finally, in 2012, Canada and Denmark (Greenland) announced an agreement in principle on a maritime boundary out to 200 M in the Lincoln Sea (Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, 2012): equidistance would be applied, with further technical adjustments to be made to the 1973 Agreement (see Figure 1).

Arctic Disputes and Overlaps The main dispute remaining in regards to Arctic maritime zones concerns delineation in the Beaufort Sea between Canada and the USA. The dispute centres on the wording of a treaty The Arctic Ocean: Boundaries and Disputes


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concluded between Russia and Great Britain in 1825 (the USA assumed Russia’s Treaty rights when it purchased Alaska in 1867; Canada acquired Britain’s rights in 1880). This treaty set the eastern border of Alaska at the “meridian line of the 141st degree, in its prolongation as far as the frozen ocean” (Great Britain-Russia, 1825: para. 3). Canada asserts that this treaty provision established both the land border and the maritime boundary, and that both must follow a straight northern line. In contrast, the USA holds that the delimitation applies only to land and therefore does not extend beyond the terminus of the land boundary on the coast. For delimitation in the Beaufort Sea, the USA considers an equidistance line to be the legally and geographically appropriate solution (see Figure 6) (US Department of State, 1995). Figure 6: Overlapping Maritime Claims in the Beaufort Sea.

Source: Prepared for the authors by I Made Andi Arsana

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Canada and the USA sought to resolve the Beaufort Sea dispute in the late 1970s, but without success. Collaborative mapping beyond 200 M with a Canadian and a US icebreaker (2008–2011) arguably opened the way to resolution of this, by showing that the continental shelf in the Beaufort Sea might stretch 350 M or more offshore (Baker & Byers, 2012; Byers & Østhagen, 2017). The extended continental shelf adds a twist to the Beaufort Sea boundary dispute as seawards of 200 M, an equidistance line is diverted to the northwest because of the influence of Canadian Arctic islands (Baker & Byers, 2012). In spatial terms, therefore, both Canada and the USA would benefit from adopting the other’s position (see Figure 6). In March 2010, the Canadian government signalled its desire to “work with other northern countries to settle boundary disagreements” (Government of Canada, 2010). Discussions were, however, suspended in 2011, after the two countries decided they would need more scientific information on the existence and location of hydrocarbon reserves before negotiating a boundary. The other dispute that remains concerning maritime zones is between Canada and Denmark in the Lincoln Sea. In 2004, the scope of the dispute was reduced when Denmark modified its straight baselines, replacing the 40.9 M baseline east of Beaumont Island with a series of shorter baselines, including one connecting Beaumont Island to John Murray Island, the next island in the chain (Kingdom of Denmark, 2004). These Danish changes reduced the size of the northernmost disputed area almost to the point of eliminating it, and likely contributed to the announcement made by the Canadian and Danish foreign ministers in 2012 that negotiators “have reached a tentative agreement on where to establish the maritime boundary in the Lincoln Sea” (Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, 2012; Mackrael, 2012). The only issue left for negotiation was a joint management regime for any straddling hydrocarbon deposits. This point could not be dealt with solely by the Danish and Canadian negotiators, because, although Denmark retains control over Greenland’s foreign policy, the Greenland government has since 2008 exercised control over natural resources, including on the continental shelf (Erdal, 2013). In 2018, Denmark and Canada established a ‘Joint Task Force on Boundary Issues’ in order to settle the outstanding issues regarding this maritime,7 which has yet to lead to a final agreement as per October 2021. Outer continental shelf areas and the Central Arctic Ocean

On 2 August 2007, a Russian expedition used a submersible to drop a rustproof titanium casket containing a Russian flag on the Arctic seabed at around 4,200 m depth beneath the North Pole (BBC News, 2007). This action generated considerable media coverage, much of which was decidedly alarmist in nature. This tone extended to the diplomatic arena when the Canadian Foreign Minister, Peter MacKay, appeared to dismiss the flag-dropping incident as a stunt, stating “This isn’t the 15th century. You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say ‘We’re claiming this territory’” (Parfitt, 2007). In response, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, observed that “no one is throwing flags around”; analogies were drawn between Russia’s action and Hillary and Tenzing planting the Union Jack on the summit of Everest in 1953 (Parfitt, 2007). Indeed, Lavrov was at pains to emphasize that Russia was not acting unilaterally: its actions were “in strict compliance with international law” (Novosti, 2007). Concerning continental shelf areas seawards of 200 M, LOSC Article 76 lays down complex criteria whereby the outer limits of the continental shelf may be determined with assistance from a

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scientific and technical body established through the Convention – the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). This complexity arises because continental shelf entitlements seawards of 200 M limits are delineated not solely by reference to a distance formula. These areas of continental shelf seawards of 200 M limits are often referred to as ‘outer’ or ‘extended’ continental shelf, although legally there is only one continental shelf. Two maximum constraint or cut-off lines are then applied: a limit of 100 M from the 2500-metre depth isobath or depth contour, or 350 M from the coastal state’s baselines (Article 76(5)). It has been suggested that delineating the outer limits of the continental shelf seawards of 200 M limits is challenging because of numerous ‘complexities and ambiguities’ associated with Article 76 (Macnab, 2004b; 2004a; Cook & Carleton, 2000), as well as issues concerning the way in which the Commission works (McDorman, 2002). Preparing a submission for the CLCS requires a coastal state to gather information related to the morphology of its continental margin and its geological characteristics as well as bathymetric information relating to water depth, and also to determine distance measurements, for example, the location of 200 M and 350 M limit lines. Although this is necessarily an expensive and time-consuming task, this process does have the significant virtue of providing for a definable outer limit to the continental shelf – which McDorman has termed “the real achievement” of Article 76 of LOSC (McDorman, 2002: 307). All the Arctic coastal states have been active in gathering the data required to formulate submissions. Some – like the USA and Canada – have cooperated amongst themselves, for example, in order to facilitate joint surveys. All the Arctic littoral states except the USA (as a nonLOSC party) have made submissions to the CLCS. It appears from these submissions that, should the Commission be in agreement, the vast majority of the seabed of the Arctic Ocean will form part of the outer or extended continental shelf of the coastal states. The major uncertainty here relates to the CLCS’s view of how the major Arctic Ocean ridge systems are to be treated. These include the Lomonosov and Gakkel Ridges, where the submissions of Canada, Denmark (Greenland) and Russia overlap; and the Alpha Rise, where the submissions of Canada, Russia and the USA intersect (see Figures 1 and 7). Here it is important to note that the provisions of Article 76 of the LOSC are without prejudice to delimitation of continental shelf boundaries (LOSC, Article 76(10)). If a submission involves an area of continental shelf subject to overlapping claims and a protest arises, the Commission lacks the mandate to consider the submission unless all the states concerned agree that the CLCS can proceed.8 Ultimately, therefore, these overlapping assertions of continental shelf rights will need to be resolved by the submitting states themselves through diplomacy and negotiations. Indeed, the three Arctic littoral states most likely to have to enter bilateral or trilateral negotiations over delimitation of their extended continental shelves – Canada, Denmark (Greenland) and Russia – have all declared their intention to work within the framework of LOSC and international diplomacy (Byers, 2017; Østhagen, 2018; Bykova, 2019). A significant caveat here is that it is as yet less than clear whether maritime delimitation for outer continental shelf areas will follow the same approach as that for delimitation within 200 M limits. An assessment of existing practice concerning delimitation of the outer continental shelf suggests that the vast majority of agreements either only marginally stray beyond 200 M limits or continue the methodology applied within 200 M of the coast and indicate a line continuing seawards of EEZ limits (Schofield & Leonardo, 2020: 181). This suggests that there may be only a “a limited role” for geophysical factors in delimitation of Østhagen & Schofield


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outer continental shelf areas (Van Pay, 2012: 56), but the practice thus far is limited and there are exceptions to the rule.9 Figure 7: Arctic Ocean 200 M Limits and Undersea Features.

Source: Prepared for the authors by I Made Andi Arsana

The Arctic Ocean Experience We have outlined how the Arctic littoral states, in their efforts to delineate the outer limits of their maritime zones and delimit maritime boundaries where such claims overlap with those of neighbouring states, have largely abided by the international legal regime for the oceans (LOSC). The counterpoint to this general compliance with the international law of the sea provisions is the practice of the Arctic States concerning some of the baselines from which maritime claims are predominantly measured. That said, excessive straight baselines claims are by no means confined to the Arctic Ocean (Lathrop, Roach, & Rothwell, 2019: 126–53). Fundamentally, affirming LOSC and agreeing on maritime boundaries in the Arctic region have not only been steps taken in order to provide frameworks for ocean-based resource development: they have involved efforts to ensure the primacy of the Arctic states as other actors are increasingly engaged in regional affairs ranging from science to fisheries. Further, they have shown considerable innovation in their ocean boundary-making practice – as illustrated by the provisions in Canada and Denmark’s treatment of Hans Island as well as provisions allowing for the boundary line to change in response to more accurate surveys of

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formerly ice-covered coastlines. Similarly, innovation is evident in the USA–USSR/Russia and Norway–Russia’s boundary arrangements concerning the creation of Special Areas. Such creative practice may well be necessary in the future, especially in the context of a changing climate and coastline. This necessarily has implications for Arctic baselines, maritime zones and undelimited maritime boundaries. That said, efforts and experiences across the Arctic region are not uniform. In other words, the different boundary agreements and processes leading to those agreements across the Arctic do not seem to reflect any ‘special Arctic circumstances’ or one distinct approach to these issues. Rather, the resolution of each maritime delimitation dispute depends on a unique suite of inter-related issues specific to each distinct case.10 However, in a broad sense, it can be observed that the heightened attention given to the Arctic by the littoral states at the start of the new millennium appear to have prompted renewed efforts in settling the boundaries still in dispute at that time. Between 2006 and 2012, four agreements or tentative agreements were signed, while Canada and the USA embarked on an attempt to solve their maritime boundary delimitation issues in the Beaufort Sea even if a resolution remains out of sight for the present (Byers & Østhagen, 2017). What seems clear from these Arctic cases is how the entitlements that LOSC has delivered to the littoral states has prompted cooperation, ranging from managing shared fish stocks (relevant across all cases examined here) to joint development projects regarding petroleum resources. While the 2010 maritime boundary treaty between Norway and the Russian Federation appears to have taken four decades to realise, it was arguably built on longstanding and substantive maritime cooperation. This is especially true with respect to fisheries in that part of the Barents Sea subject to competing maritime claims and, crucially, this fisheries-related cooperation continues to the present day. Similarly, despite concerns being raised over access to and control over the central Arctic Ocean, this area has featured a series of submissions to the relevant scientific and technical body established under the LOSC, the CLCS, as well as cooperative management of pressing issues through regional ‘soft law’ instruments, especially under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The Arctic ‘experience’ in practice not only counters the reoccurring alarmist claims of territorial grabs, but it also showcases how the international legal framework that allows for maritime jurisdictional expansion underpins a situation devoid of outright conflict over who owns what, and where. What makes the Arctic Ocean exceptional with respect to maritime boundaries is that so many are settled, in contrast to the general trend across the world (e.g., Østhagen 2021). Moreover, relevant fisheries agreements and, perhaps more importantly, hydrocarbon resource-sharing arrangements have lowered the domestic costs for the Arctic states in regards to settling with neighbours. Increased use of oceans as a resource base, for everything from seabed minerals to fisheries, has further heightened the importance of maritime space for states. However, as seen with the Arctic region, settling disputes before they escalate into outright conflict and/or stalemates can remove some of the impetus for friction. That is a lesson relevant not only to the Arctic, but to maritime regions across the globe.

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Notes 1. This article builds on the chapter by the authors from 2020: “A Divided Arctic: Maritime Boundary Agreements and Disputes in the Arctic Ocean.” in Handbook on Geopolitics and Security in the Arctic, edited by Joachim Weber. This is, however, an updated and adapted version. For an extended version of this article, see also Andreas Østhagen & Clive H. Schofield (2021) “An ocean apart? Maritime boundary agreements and disputes in the Arctic Ocean”, The Polar Journal, DOI: 10.1080/2154896X.2021.1978234. 2. Amongst others (D. R. Rothwell 2012; Hoel 2009; D. Rothwell 1996; Byers 2013; Henriksen and Ulfstein 2011; Jensen 2016; Byers and Østhagen 2017; Schofield and Sas 2015; Townsend-Gault 2007; Fabri et al. 2021) 3. From time to time the issue of ratification is brought forward by US administrations from both parties, but the issue gets stranded in Congress (Roach and Smith, n.d., 10). 4. Source: (International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) 2014) Material from IHO-IAG publication C-51, A Manual on Technical Aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – 1982 (TALOS), Edition 5.0.0 dated June 2014 is reproduced with the permission of Professor Clive Schofield and Dr I Made Andi Arsana, authors of the animated graphics, and the Secretariat of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Executive Council of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG) (Permission N° 8/2020 ) acting for the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), which do not accept responsibility for the correctness of the material as reproduced: in case of doubt, the IHO-IAG’s authentic text shall prevail. The incorporation of material sourced from IHO-IAG shall not be construed as constituting an endorsement by IHO or IAG of this product. 5. We have opted not to include the near-Arctic maritime boundary agreements between Iceland and Norway (Jan Mayen), and Iceland and Denmark (Faroe Islands), as these are just on the border of the Arctic Circle and do not extend into the Arctic Ocean proper. 6. (Svalbard Treaty 1920). For more on this dispute, see for example (Østhagen, Jørgensen, and Moe 2020; Tiller and Nyman 2015). 7. According to the Canadian government, ‘[t]he task force will explore options and provide recommendations on how to resolve outstanding boundary issues between the two nations. This includes the sovereignty of Hans Island, the maritime boundary line in Lincoln Sea and the Labrador Sea continental shelf overlap beyond 200 nautical miles.’ (Global Affairs Canada 2018). 8. Rules of Procedure of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, CLCS/40/Rev.1, 17 April 2008, Annex I, Article 5(a). 9. For example, geophysical factors were influential in respect of parts of the boundary seawards of 200 M limits agreed between Australia and New Zealand in 2004 (Schofield and Leonardo 2020, 175). 10. For a similar conclusion albeit with a country-specific focus, see (Byers and Østhagen 2017).

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References Alexander, Lewis M. 1993. “Canada–Denmark (Greenland).” In International Maritime Boundaries Vol. 1-2, edited by Jonathan I. Charney and Lewis M. Alexander, 371–78. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff. Baker, James S., and Michael Byers. 2012. “Crossed Lines: The Curious Case of the Beaufort Sea Maritime Boundary Dispute.” Ocean Development & International Law 43 (March 2010): 70– 95. BBC News. 2007. “Russia Plants Flag under N Pole.” World, August 2, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6927395.stm. Byers, Michael. 2013. International Law and the Arctic. New York: Cambridge University Press. ———. 2017. “Crises and International Cooperation: An Arctic Case Study.” International Relations 31 (4): 375–402. Byers, Michael, and Andreas Østhagen. 2017. “Why Does Canada Have So Many Unresolved Maritime Boundary Disputes?” Canadian Yearbook of International Law 54 (October): 1–62. Bykova, Alina. 2019. “Canada Makes Substantial Step in Arctic Territory Delimitation, Submits Claim Which Includes North Pole.” High North News, May 27, 2019. Canada–Denmark. 1973. Agreement Relating to the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Greenland and Canada (with Annexes). Signed at Ottawa on 17 December 1973. https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume 950/volume-950-I-13550English.pdf. ———. 2004. “Exchange of Notes Constituting an Agreement to Amend the 1973 Canada– Denmark Continental Shelf Agreement.” 5 and 20 April, 2004. Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. 2012. “Canada and Kingdom of Denmark Reach Tentative Agreement on Lincoln Sea Boundary.” http://news.gc.ca/web/articleen.do?nid=709479. Churchill, Robin R. 2001. “Claims to Maritime Zones in the Arctic - Law of the Sea Normality or Polar Peculiarity?” In The Law of the Sea and Polar Maritime Delimitation and Jurisdiction, 105– 24. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Churchill, Robin, and Geir Ulfstein. 1992. Marine Management in Disputed Areas: The Case of the Barents Sea. London: Routledge. Cook, P. J., and C. M. Carleton, eds. 2000. Continental Shelf Limits: The Scientific and Legal Interface. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Denmark–Norway. 2006. Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Norway on the One Hand, and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark Together with the Home Rule Government of Greenland on the Other Hand, Concerning the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf and the Fis. Erdal, Linnea. 2013. “Independence on the Horizon A Study of the Interplay Between Sovereignty and Natural Resources in Greenland.” Lysaker, Norway. https://www.fni.no/publications/independence-on-the-horizon-a-study-of-the-interplaybetween-sovereignty-and-natural-resources-in-greenland-article866-290.html. Østhagen & Schofield


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Fabri, Helene Ruiz, Erik Franckx, Marco Benatar, and Tamar Meshel, eds. 2021. A Bridge over Troubled Waters: Dispute Resolution in the Law of International Watercourses and the Law of the Sea. Leiden: Brill Nijhoff. Fjærtoft, Daniel, Moe Arild, Natalia Smirnova, and Alexey Cherepovitsyn. 2018. “Unitization of Petroleum Fields in the Barents Sea: Towards a Common Understanding?” Arctic Review on Law and Politics 9: 72–96. https://doi.org/10.23865/arctic.v9.1083. Global Affairs Canada. 2018. “Canada and the Kingdom of Denmark (with Greenland) Announce the Establishment of a Joint Task Force on Boundary Issues.” Government of Canada. 2018. Government of Canada. 2010. “Speech from the Throne,” March 3, 2010. http://www.speech.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1388. Great Britain-Russia. 1825. “Great Britain-Russia: Limits of Their Respective Possessions on the North-West Coast of America and the Navigation of the Pacific Ocean.” 75 CTS 95: 16 February 1825. Henriksen, Tore, and Geir Ulfstein. 2011. “Maritime Delimitation in the Arctic: The Barents Sea Treaty.” Ocean Development & International Law 42 (1–2): 1–21. Hoel, Alf Håkon. 2009. “Do We Need a New Legal Regime for the Arctic Ocean?” The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 24 (2): 443–56. Hønneland, Geir. 2012. Making Fishery Agreements Work: Post-Agreement Bargaining in the Barents Sea. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). 2014. “A Manual on Technical Aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea - 1982 (TALOS).” Special Publication No.51, 5th edition. Jensen, Øystein. 2016. “The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters: Finalization, Adoption and Law of the Sea Implications.” Arctic Review on Law and Politics 7 (1): 60–82. https://doi.org/10.17585/arctic.v7.236. Kingdom of Denmark. 2004. “Royal Decree on Amendment of Royal Decree on Delimitation of the Territorial Waters of Greenland, 15 October 2004.” http://www.un.org/Depts/los/doalos_publications/LOSBulletins/bulletinpdf/bulletin5 6e.pdf. Lathrop, Coalter G., J. Ashley Roach, and Donald R. Rothwell, eds. 2019. Baselines under the International Law of the Sea: Reports of the International Law Association Committee on Baselines under the International Law of the Sea. Leiden: Brill Nijhoff. Lavrov, Sergei, and Jonas Gahr Støre. 2010. “Canada, Take Note: Here’s How to Resolve Maritime Disputes.” The Globe and Mail, September 21, 2010. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/canada-take-note-heres-how-to-resolvemaritime-disputes/article4326372/. Mackrael, Kim. 2012. “Canada, Denmark Closer to Settling Border Dispute.” Globe and Mail, November 29, 2012.

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Macnab, Ron. 2004a. “The Case for Transparency in the Delimitation of the Outer Continental Shelf in Accordance with LOSC Article 76.” Ocean Development & International Law 35: 1– 17. ———. 2004b. “The Outer Limit of the Continental Shelf in the Arctic Ocean.” In Legal and Scientific Aspects of Continental Shelf Limits, edited by M. H. Nordquist, J. N. Moore, and T. H. Heidar. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. McDorman, Ted L. 2002. “The Role of the Commision on the Limits of Continental Shelf: A Technical Body in a Political World.” International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 17: 301. Moe, Arild, Daniel Fjærtoft, and Indra Øverland. 2011. “Space and Timing: Why Was the Barents Sea Delimitation Dispute Resolved in 2010?” Polar Geography 34 (3): 145–62. Norway–Russian Federation. 2010. “Treaty between Norway and the Russian Federation Concerning Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean, 15 September 2010.” Norwegian Government. 2010. “Joint Statement on Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean.” Press Release, 2010. Novosti, RIA. 2007. “Russia Guided By International Law In Its Polar Shelf Probe.” RIA Novosti, August 3, 2007. Østhagen, Andreas. 2018. “Geopolitics and Security in the Arctic.” In Routledge Handbook of the Polar Regions, edited by Mark Nuttall, Torben R. Christensen, and Martin Siegert, 348–56. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ———. 2021. “Troubled Seas? The Changing Politics of Maritime Boundary Disputes.” Ocean & Coastal Management 205 (May 2021): 105535. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105535. Østhagen, Andreas, Anne-Kristin Jørgensen, and Arild Moe. 2020. “Рыбоохранная Зона Шпицбергена: Как Россия и Норвегия Разрешают Арктические Разногласия ('The Svalbard Fisheries Protection Zone: How Russia and Norway Manage an Arctic Dispute’).” Арктика и Север (Arctic and North) 40: 183–205. http://www.arcticandnorth.ru/article_index_years.php?ELEMENT_ID=348131. Oude Elferink, Alex G. 2007. “Maritime Delimitation between Denmark/Greenland and Norway.” Ocean Development & International Law 38 (4): 375–80. Parfitt, Tom. 2007. “Russia Plants Flag on North Pole Seabed.” The Guardian, August 2, 2007. Pay, Brian J. Van. 2012. “Disputed Areas Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: How Many and Will Geophysical Characteristics Matter in Their Resolution?” In Maritime Border Diplomacy, edited by Myron H. Nordquist and John Norton Moore. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Roach, J. Ashley, and Robert W. Smith. n.d. Excessive Maritime Claims. 3rd ed. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Rothwell, Donald. 1996. The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law. Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law CN - KZ4110.P65 R68 1996. Østhagen & Schofield


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Rothwell, Donald R. 2012. “International Straits and Trans-Arctic Navigation.” Ocean Development and International Law 43 (3): 267–82. Russia–Norway. 2007. “Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Norway on the Maritime Delimitation in the Varangerfjord Area (2007).” UN Law of the Sea Bulletin 42, 2007. Russia–United States. 1867. “Convention Ceding Alaska between Russia and the United States, 30 March 1867.” Article I, reprinted in C. Parry, ed. Consolidated Treaty Series, Vol. 134 (pp. 331–335). Schofield, Clive H. 2015. “Dividing and Managing Increasingly International Waters: Delimiting the Bering Sea, Strait and Beyond.” In Science, Technology and New Challenges to Ocean Law, edited by James Kraska and H. Scheiberg, 313–344. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Schofield, Clive H., and Bernard Leonardo. 2020. “Disputes Concerning the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 M.” In New Knowledge and Changing Circumstances in the Law of the Sea, edited by Tomas Heidar, 157–82. Leiden/Boston: Brill. Schofield, Clive H., and Blanche Sas. 2015. “Uncovered and Unstable Coasts: Climate Change and Territorial Sea Baselines in the Arctic.” In The Arctic Ocean: Essays in Honour of Donat Pharand, edited by Suzanne Lalonde and Ted L. McDorman, 291–334. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Smith, Robert W. 1994. “United States–Russia Maritime Boundary.” In World Boundaries, Vol.5, edited by Gerald H. Blake, 91–99. London: Routledge. Stabrun, Kristoffer. 2009. “The Grey Zone Agreement of 1978: Fishery Concerns, Security Challenges and Territorial Interests.” FNI Report 13: 1–43. Svalbard Treaty. 1920. “Treaty between Norway, The United States of America, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland and the British Overseas Dominions and Sweden Concerning Spitsbergen Signed in Paris 9th February 1920.” Longyearbyen: The Governor of Svalbard. http://www.sysselmannen.no/Documents/Sysselmannen_dok/English/Legacy/The_Sv albard_Treaty_9ssFy.pdf. Tiller, Rachel, and Elizabeth Nyman. 2015. “Having the Cake and Eating It Too: To Manage or Own the Svalbard Fisheries Protection Zone.” Marine Policy 60: 141–48. Townsend-Gault, Ian. 2007. “Not a Carve-up: Canada, Sovereignty and the Arctic Ocean.” International Zeitschrift 1 (3). United Nations. 1982. “United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC).” 1833 U.N.T.S. 397 (in Force 16 November 1994), Publication No. E97.V10. Montego Bay. ———. 2021. “Status: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.” Treaty Collection. New York. 2021. https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetailsIII.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXI6&chapter=21&Temp=mtdsg3&clang=_en. United States–Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 1990. “Agreement between the United States The Arctic Ocean: Boundaries and Disputes


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of America and The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics on the Maritime Boundary.” 1 June 1990, provisionally in force 15 June 1990. US Department of State. 1995. Public Notice 2237: Exclusive Economic Zone and Maritime Boundaries. Verville, Elizabeth G. 1993. “United States–Soviet Union.” In International Maritime Boundaries, Vol. 1, edited by Jonathan I. Charney and Lewis M. Alexander, 447–460. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

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FONOP in Vain: The Legal Logics of a U.S. Navy FONOP in the Canadian or Russian Arctic Cornell Overfield

This article examines the legal utility of a U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation in the Arctic against Russian and Canadian maritime claims. It reiterates that a FONOP can only be conducted against coastal state claims that affect warships or foreign government vessels. It concludes that Russia’s Northern Sea Route is not a viable FONOP target, and United States action would be limited to where Russia claims internal waters in its Arctic straits. Canada offers a better target, as its internal-waters claim entirely covers useful navigation routes in the Northwest Passage and some of its environmental regulations in its EEZ may apply to foreign government vessels.1

Introduction The Arctic’s growing maritime significance may lead the United States to consider conducting a Freedom of Navigation operation (FONOP) in the Arctic straits. In 2018, then-Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer called for FONOPs in the Arctic (Schreiber, 2019). In 2021, as the Trump administration ended, then-Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite likewise pushed for FONOPs in the Arctic against Russian claims, both in the Barents Sea near the Kola Peninsula and, eventually, along the Russian Arctic straits (McCleary, 2021). Despite these developments, FONOPs would be ineffective challenges against Russian claims and of partial use against Canadian claims. This is because U.S. FONOPs are conducted by government vessels, which are exempt from many navigation restrictions in the Arctic. First, this article discusses the U.S. government’s Freedom of Navigation program’s legal effects. It then explores what current Canadian and Russian claims and laws mean for commercial and government vessels navigating in Arctic passages. The article concludes by scrutinizing these restrictions to determine the viable legal targets for a U.S. Arctic FONOP.

Cornell G. Overfield is an Associate Research Analyst at CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Arlington, VA. Views expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent those of his employer.


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Freedom of Navigation operations To defend its interpretation of the law of the sea, the United States has coupled diplomatic protest with operational assertions of rights constrained by coastal states since the 1970s. The Freedom of Navigation (FON) program combines diplomatic and military actions to “preserve and enhance navigational freedoms” necessary for U.S. maritime mobility, as well as to reinforce recognition of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’s (UNCLOS) navigational components (Roach & Smith, 1994: 3–4). In conjunction with diplomatic protest and consultations, the United States conducts Freedom of Navigation operations (FONOPs)—operational assertions of various maritime rights in defiance of coastal state claims deemed excessive by the United States, whether made by allied, neutral, or adversary states (U.S. Department of Defense Freedom of Navigation (FON) Program, 2016). Although some legal scholars have questioned the practice, FONOPs have legal utility. Some scholars assert that diplomatic protest is sufficient, and operational assertions are legally unnecessary, diplomatically unhelpful, and potentially even an unlawful abuse of rights (Aceves, 1995). In their definitive statement, however, Roach and Smith argue that the FON program simply hedges effectively against the possibility that U.S. protests on paper might be invalidated by sustained U.S. behavior on the seas. They note, “These assertions of rights and freedoms tangibly exhibit U.S. determination not to acquiesce in excessive claims to maritime jurisdiction by other states” (Roach & Smith, 1994: 6). Dale Stephens has offered a similar argument for the utility of such operations (Stephens, 2012). The U.S. cannot target every excessive claim impinging on navigational rights through the Freedom of Navigation program’s operational dimension. In a strictly legal sense, the logic of a FONOP is that a vessel is doing something that the coastal state prohibits that vessel from doing, but that the flag state believes is within the rights of the vessel. A vessel’s actions can only protest a restriction that applies to it. For example, government-owned and -operated vessels, including warships, enjoy immunity from environmental regulations under Article 236 UNCLOS (McDorman, 2015). They thus cannot be used to protest excessive environmental regulations on behalf of all vessels—at most they can protest that environmental rules are applied to sovereign immune vessels. The Department of Defense (DoD)’s annual reports summarizing the claims operationally protested in each fiscal year demonstrate that the program targets restrictions that apply to U.S. naval vessels.2 Figure 1 illustrates the count of claim types targeted in the U.S. FONOP program from 1991 to 2020. 34 percent of targeted claims were restrictions on innocent passage and 27 percent involved excessive internal water claims. Next came FONOPs against restrictions on military activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (12.1 percent), security zone claims (9.8 percent), and excessive territorial sea claims (9.3 percent).3 Restrictions on aircraft and transit passage made up between 7 percent and 6 percent of targeted claims, respectively. The “Other” category (4 percent) mostly involves archipelagic baselines and sea lanes. There was one repeated example of FONOPs targeting a coastal state’s requirement that vessels obtain permission before entering the EEZ—the Maldives. However, the Maldives’ claim is a universal requirement, that “No foreign vessel shall enter the EEZ of Maldives except with prior authorization…” (Maritime Zones of Maldives Act No. 6/96, 1996, sec. 14).

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Figure 1. Graphic by author. Data compiled with help from Marian Overfield. This historical record of U.S. FONOP targets confirms that the U.S. program of operational assertions targets restrictions that apply to warships, whether specifically or as part of a larger class (all government vessels or all foreign vessels). Thus, the U.S. Navy’s legal experts appear aware that government vessels may only challenge restrictions that apply to government vessels, while restrictions on commercial vessels alone cannot be targeted in the FONOP program.

Law of the Sea and the Arctic In general, UNCLOS divides the sea into zones with distinct rules for navigational rights and restrictions. Rights grow and restrictions diminish as one gets farther from shore. In internal waters, the coastal state generally has absolute control over entry and navigation; in territorial seas, foreign vessels enjoy innocent passage rights.4 On the high seas, navigational rights are unconstrained. In between, rights are based on the high seas regime, but with some constraints for commercial vessels. In addition to these zone-based rulesets, two special regimes may also have bearing on foreign vessel rights in the Arctic: straits used for international navigation and ice-covered areas. First, UNCLOS recognizes straits “used for international navigation,” in which all vessels enjoy the right of transit passage. These straits have both geographical and functional criteria. Geographically, the strait must connect two areas of EEZs or high seas through a channel of territorial seas or internal waters. Functionally, these straits must be “used for international navigation,” although scholars debate whether this requires merely possible use or past use, and, if the latter, the threshold. If the waters are considered a strait, the zone remains unchanged – only foreign vessel rights are altered. Vessels enjoy the slightly more expansive rights of transit passage, which permit operation in normal mode (i.e., submarines may remain submerged), while coastal states face more constrained rights, since transit passage may not be suspended (UNCLOS, 1982, Art. 39 and 44). Second, Article 234, UNCLOS’ “ice-covered areas” provision, clearly has bearing in the Arctic. Under Article 234, the coastal state may introduce and enforce more stringent environmental rules applied to their internal waters, territorial sea, and EEZ “where particularly severe climactic conditions and the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year create obstructions or exceptional hazards to navigation, and pollution of the marine environment could cause major

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harm to or irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance” (Solski, 2021; UNCLOS, 1982, Art. 234). These rules “shall have due regard to navigation” and may not discriminate among countries. Furthermore, these regulations do not extend sovereignty to the EEZ and do not affect the high seas. Article 234-based provisions cannot apply to sovereign immune vessels. Article 236 clearly stipulates that “The provisions of this convention regarding the protection and preservation of the marine environment do not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary, other vessels or aircraft owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service”(UNCLOS, 1982, Art. 236). Not only is Article 234 situated in Part XII, “Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment,” but the text of Article 234 reiterates that the purpose of any regulations adopted under the article is “the prevention, reduction, and control of marine pollution from vessels.” Furthermore, Article 236 reflects the customary international law of sovereign immunity, such as the principle par in parem non habet imperium (Proelss et al., 2017: 1591– 1595).

Current Canadian claims

Figure 2: Canadian restrictions on navigation Canada’s claim to control navigation in the Northwest Passage rests on two bases: (1) an internal water claim and (2) two Article 234-based regulations: the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act

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and the Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations. Canada’s internal waters claim is the greatest impediment to navigational rights, as it implies total control over all vessels. Canada’s internal waters claim Canada’s internal water claim entails a major restriction on navigational rights of all foreign vessels. As illustrated in Figure 2, this claim encompasses the entire Arctic Archipelago. To avoid Canada’s claimed internal waters entirely, a vessel would need to route between Ellesmere Island and Greenland and then remain north of Canada’s islands on a southwest bearing toward the Beaufort Sea. Current conditions make this a perilous route, even in an age of thinning and melting sea ice. Canadian officials first began publicly describing the Northwest Passage as Canadian internal waters in 1973 (Lajeunesse, 2016: 180). In 1985, responding to media furor over the USCGC Polar Sea’s transit of the Northwest Passage, Canada drew straight baselines around its Arctic islands, but formally characterized this as merely delimiting its historic title. Introducing the straight baselines, the Order in Council prefaced the action by noting that “Canada has long maintained and exercised sovereignty over the waters of the Canadian Arctic” (Territorial Sea Geographical Coordinates (Area 7) Order, 1985). Joe Clark, Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs, described the order as defining “the outer limit of Canada’s historic internal waters” (Lajeunesse, 2016: 263; Lalonde, 2018). Per Ottawa, the 1985 straight baselines mark the limits of Canada’s purported historic title to internal waters (Lajeunesse, 2016: 263–265). Canada’s claim to internal waters by historic title has been criticized, including by a leading Canadian scholar (Kraska, 2015; Pharand, 1987). Canada’s claim certainly struggles to meet the three criteria for historic title (International Law Commission, 1962, para. 80). First, the U.S. clearly operated in the waters of the Northwest Passage from the 1940s to the 1980s from the position that each Canadian island had its own 3 or 12 nautical mile (n.m.) territorial sea, with pockets of high seas throughout the Northwest Passage beyond Canada’s territorial sea (Lajeunesse, 2016: 92– 95). Second, Canada only first made a public internal water claim in the 1970s, and through the mid-1970s continued to articulate positions contradictory to an internal water claim, including its 12 n.m. territorial sea claim of 1970 (Pharand, 2007: 10). This late notice, combined with a lack of evidence that any British or Canadian explorer staked claim to waters around Canada’s archipelagos, significantly undermines a credible historic title claim, which must be consistent and long-standing (Pharand, 2007). Currently, Professor Lalonde offers the best, if untested, defense of Canada’s official historic title position as justified exclusively by Inuit title transferred to Canada, particularly in the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (The Nunavut Agreement, 1993, 2.7.1 and 15.1.1; Lalonde, 2020: 120– 121). Inuit title, by this theory, is a result of their longstanding use of ice-covered waters, which was then transferred to Canada at some point no later than 1993. Still, to prevail, this novel argument would need to overcome longstanding Western state practice that sea ice is not susceptible to occupation and sovereignty claims (Joyner, 2001: 30). Even if Lalonde’s last defense failed, absent a court case (and Canada has a reservation against compulsory jurisdiction on matters of historic waters), Ottawa would surely continue to consider the Northwest Passage internal waters based on historic title. The implications for commercial and government traffic must be assessed on this assumption. Since historic title leaves no loopholes, Canada would claim total control over foreign traffic. Ottawa would expect all vessels, whether

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government or commercial, to request and receive Canadian authorization to enter their waters and comply with any Canadian requirements. The U.S. has protested this Canadian claim, creating fertile grounds for a FONOP. Through the 1970s, the U.S. maintained that high seas existed among the islands of Canada’s Arctic Archipelago wherever waters were more than 3 n.m. from the nearest land. After Canada extended its territorial sea in 1970, and began elaborating its internal waters claim from 1973, the U.S. shifted its language as well. In a 1985 note, the U.S. announced that it “does not share” Canada’s view that the Northwest Passage was internal waters (Cumulative Digest, 1981-88, 1993: 2047). More concretely, a 2010 U.S. protest held “the Northwest Passage constitutes a strait used for international navigation” (Wilcox, 2011: 517). This latter claim would confer transit passage rights to foreign vessels. This U.S. note, however, was silent on the underlying nature of the Northwest Passage’s waters. Canada’s Article 234-based restrictions Canada has also enacted a separate suite of functional controls on navigation rooted in Article 234 that restrict commercial navigational freedoms, as well as some forms of government vessels. The Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (AWPPA) is an Article 234-based control that could theoretically extend to government vessels, but in practice does not. Today, it covers all of Canada’s Arctic waters, including EEZ, territorial sea, and internal waters. The AWPPA permits the establishment of Shipping Safety Control Zones, from which the minister may prohibit certain types of vessels based, inter alia, on the vessel’s hull construction, manning, or cargoes. The AWPPA permits regulations that prohibit the operation of certain types of vessels within Shipping Safety Control Zones and notes that the Governor in Council “may exempt from the application of any regulations…any ship or class of ship that is owned or operated by a sovereign power, other than Canada…” (AWPPA, 1985, sec. 12). This would appear to apply to any class-based prohibitions to foreign government vessels by default, requiring a regulation to specifically exempt such vessels. In fact, the most important regulation restricting navigation under the AWPPA explicitly exempts government vessels. The Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASSPPR) governs when vessels of different ice classes may navigate in the various safety zones. However, the regulation includes a non-application clause for “government vessels and vessels owned or operated by a foreign state” (ASSPPR, 2017, sec. 3). Thus, its restrictions on navigation in Arctic waters apply solely to civilian traffic. The Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Regulations (AWPPR) includes no such clause, but simply covers waste dumping and required liability coverage, rather than navigation itself (AWPPR, 1978). The AWPPA and its attendant regulations apply almost exclusively to commercial vessels. The AWPPA does by default apply regulations prohibiting vessels of certain construction or manning characteristics from navigating in Canada’s EEZ, territorial sea, and internal waters. However, the regulation implementing this provision includes an explicit exception for all government-owned or -operated vessels. No such exemption exists in regulations against pollution in Arctic safety zones. Since 2010, the Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations (NORDREG), another Article 234-based regulation, has required mandatory reporting of certain vessels’ locations at various prescribed situations and times to Canadian authorities whenever a vessel is in Canada’s EEZ (Kraska, 2015: 232; NORDREG, 2010). This effectively requires foreign vessels subject to

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the regulation to request and receive Canadian authorization before entering Canada’s Arctic EEZ. Vessels that must comply with NORDREG are: (1) those with gross tonnage of over 300 tons, (2) vessels towing or pushing another vessel where the combined tonnage is over 500 tons, and (3) vessels carrying or towing pollutants or dangerous goods (NORDREG, 2010, Art. 3). As a regulation implemented under the Canada Shipping Act of 2001, that Act informs which vessels Canada claims must comply with NORDREG. Paragraph 7(1) of the 2001 Shipping Act provides that the Act’s provisions generally do “not apply in respect of a vessel, facility, or aircraft that belongs to…a foreign military force or in respect of any other vessel, facility, or aircraft that is under the command, control or direction of the Canadian forces” (Canada Shipping Act, 2001). While vessels under the command or control of Canadian forces are exempt, the same exemption is not explicitly extended to vessels in temporary service of foreign militaries. Likewise, the exemption speaks only of “foreign militaries,” implying that vessels operated by a government but not a military service are also subject to regulations established under the 2001 Act. In sum, NORDREG applies primarily to commercial vessels, but may also apply to non-military sovereign immune vessels that should be entitled to exemption under Article 236. Vessels subject to the act must file a sailing plan before entering Canada’s EEZ in the Arctic and obtain clearance from Canadian authorities, as well as provide daily reports on their position. Several states have protested the mandatory NORDREG system with arguments that it unlawfully constrains navigation for both government vessels and all vessels. The U.S. objected to the regulations in 2010, while acknowledging the need for action to protect the Arctic. First, the U.S. called the prior permission requirement “a sweeping infringement of freedom of navigation…and the right of innocent passage” that violates Article 234’s proviso that any such regulations must have “due regard” for navigation. (Wilcox, 2011: 516) Furthermore, the U.S. objects to the apparent application of NORDREG to both vessels in temporary foreign military service and in non-military government service as a contravention of Article 236 (Wilcox, 2011: 516–517). The U.S. was joined by Singapore, Germany, and other entities in voicing these protests at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), although that body ultimately remained split on whether to act (Kraska, 2015: 245–246). We can now assess the impact of the most important Canadian laws and regulations governing navigation on foreign commercial and government traffic in the Arctic. The following analysis is summarized in Table 1. Article 234-based regulations provide modest navigational restrictions, primarily on commercial navigation. Canada’s internal waters claim is the greatest impediment to all forms of navigation. Because Canada claims internal waters by historic title, its position recognizes no right of innocent or transit passage within Canada’s Arctic straight baselines. Both commercial and government traffic must then, according to Ottawa, request and obtain Canadian permission to enter and navigate through these claimed internal waters.

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TABLE 1. Canadian Maritime Claims in the Arctic and U.S. Position Canadian Arctic internal waters

Canadian Arctic internal waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone

Northern Canada Vessel baselines Arctic Waters Pollution Traffic Services Zone Prevention Act Regulations

Canadian Claim

Straight (1985)

Basis

Historical Title

UNCLOS Article 234

UNCLOS Article 234

Effect on Vessels Commercial Vessels

Prior permission Prohibition on pollution, Prior permission required required potential restriction of for some vessels navigation

Warships

Prior permission None required

None

Other Government Prior permission Prohibition on pollution Prior permission required Vessels required for some vessels U.S. Claim Navigational Claim Basis

Transit rights

passage All sovereign immune vessels exempt Prior permission requirement violation of Art. 234 “due regard” Strait used for international navigation

Current Russian claims The Northeast Passage (NEP) runs along Eurasia’s northern coast, connecting the Barents Sea with the Bering Strait. The adjacent coast is mostly Russian, except a small section north of Norway. The Russian components of the NEP vary in ice coverage. The Barents Sea has historically been fairly ice-free, while the Kara, Dmitry Laptev, and East Siberian Seas have all had thicker coverage. Ice melt and thinning in these three seas has been more pronounced than that in the Northwest Passage. Russia’s Northern Sea Route (NSR), discussed below, is a sub-area of the NEP, and its restrictions apply only to part of the NEP. Like Canada and the NWP, Russia’s claims to control navigation in the NEP are based on both internal water claims and Article 234-based regulations. In contrast to Canada, Russia’s Article 234based restrictions are the major impediment to navigation, but Russia currently applies them only to non-government vessels.

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Figure 3: Russian maritime claims in the Arctic Russia’s internal water claims Russia has claimed internal waters based on straight baselines along parts of the NEP, but its claims are less extensive than Canada’s. Unlike Canada, Russia’s coastline is not dominated by the islands necessary to justify straight baselines. In 1985, the Soviet Union enclosed Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, and the New Siberian Islands, and thus the Kara Gate, Dmitri Laptev, Vilkitskii, and Sannikov straits, with straight baselines. Other indentations in the coast were also enclosed (Decree 4450, 1985). Soviet and Russian practice has not made entirely clear whether these are historic or non-historic title claims, although most are inclined to interpret the claim as one to historic title. Before 1985, Russia made some claims to historic title in the Dmitry Laptev and Sannikov Straits, which the United States protested (Cumulative Digest, 1981-88, 1993: 1818–1819). The 1985 declaration drawing straight baselines noted that other waters, particularly the White Sea, were historic internal waters, but made no such claim to the various Arctic straits (Decree 4450, 1985). The influential Russian legal scholar A.V. Vylegzhanin argues that these waters are historic based on Russian and Soviet actions dating from the 17th century (Vylegzhanin et al., 2020). Per Vylegzhanin’s account, the 1985 straight baselines merely delineated Russia’s historic waters, much like the Canadian argument that their 1985 straight baselines did the same. His is a popular argument with other Russian authors (Morgunov et al., 2021; Todorov, 2017).

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Russia’s current law makes no distinction between internal waters by historic title and internal waters by straight baseline, and thus expects all foreign navigation in these waters to occur with Russian consent. The 1998 Act on Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, and Contiguous Zone, which also governs innocent passage, recognizes foreign vessels’ (both commercial and government) right to innocent passage only in the territorial sea (О Внутрених Морских Водах..., 1998, sec. 12.1). Thus, Russian law includes no explicit right to innocent passage even in internal waters where the right might exist subject to Article 8(2) of UNCLOS. Russia’s internal waters claims are a moderate impediment to navigational rights of all vessels. Although Russia is not clear whether its internal waters claim is based on historic title or mere straight baselines, Russian law does not admit the possibility of innocent passage in any internal waters. Thus, Russia appears not to recognize any right to innocent passage in the Kara Gate, Vilkitskii, Dmitry Laptev, or Sannikov Straits. It likewise rejects any transit passage right there, arguing they do not meet the use criteria of a strait used for international navigation. Recognizing neither innocent nor transit passage in its internal waters, Russia implicitly requires all vessels, both commercial and government, to request and obtain Russian permission before entering the Russian Arctic straits. Russia’s Article 234-based claims Russia, like Canada, also claims control over navigation within certain parts of its Arctic internal waters, territorial sea, and EEZ with regulations rooted in Article 234 UNCLOS. Russian law defines the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as a special area, subject to certain rules “with the goal of ensuring the security of navigation, as well as the prevention, reduction and prevention of pollution to the marine environment from ships…” (McDorman, 2020; L. Zou, 2019; Кодекс Торгового Мореплавания Российской Федерации, 1999, sec. 5.1.2) This, independent of the older Russian and Soviet claim that the NSR is a national transportation route, is a clear invocation of Article 234 of UNCLOS. The NSR’s area encompasses Russia’s “internal sea waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, and exclusive economic zone,” bounded in the east by the 1990 U.S.-Soviet maritime boundary, and in the west by a meridian running north from Novaya Zemlya (Закон о Северном Морском Пути, 2012; Кодекс Торгового Мореплавания Российской Федерации, 1999, sec. 5.1.1). The current Russian definition of the NSR area addresses two American concerns about navigational rights. First, the United States and some scholars worried that a previous definition might entail a Russian claim to regulate navigation on the high seas adjacent to the NSR (Brubaker, 1999). That language is no longer present in the current law. Second, Russia’s current definition of the NSR is clearly incompatible with the occasional American scholarly claims that Russia has made “an implicit ‘historic waters’ claim to all the waters” of the NSR (Bouffard, 2021: 2; Fahey, 2018: 172). The Russian legislation covers a clearly identified EEZ that stretches from Russia’s coast or well-defined straight baselines, and an EEZ cannot be internal waters. Furthermore, if Russia did consider the entire NSR area internal waters, it would have every incentive to enclose this area with straight baselines and stake a territorial sea and EEZ claim to what is currently high seas and contested outer continental shelf. As we shall see, NSR regulations are also not functionally equivalent to an internal-waters claim. The NSR regulations apply to non-government traffic. The principal controls are found in the Maritime Shipping Act. Based on that Act, commercial shipping vessels seeking to enter the NSR The Legal Logics of a U.S. Navy FONOP in the Canadian or Russian Arctic


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area must apply in advance for permission to navigate within the NSR area. Furthermore, such vessels must utilize and pay for Russian icebreaking services and carry adequate insurance (Todorov, 2021: 4, 8; Кодекс Торгового Мореплавания Российской Федерации, 1999, sec. 5.1). Article 14 of the 1998 Act on Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, and Contiguous Zone describes the Northern Sea Route, and lays out similar requirements for foreign pleasure and tourist craft in the NSR area (О Внутрених Морских Водах..., 1998). This de facto requires foreign commercial and pleasure vessels to request permission to enter some parts of the Russian EEZ. The NSR regime currently has no effect on warships. The Maritime Shipping Act makes no claim to affect foreign sovereign immune vessels. First, the Act generally governs merchant shipping, encompassing carriage of goods and passengers, icebreaking, marine scientific research, and other economic activities (Кодекс Торгового Мореплавания Российской Федерации, 1999, sec. 2). Second, the Act’s section on the NSR area’s icebreaker rules extends those requirements only to “warships, military auxiliary vessels, and other government vessels belonging to the Russian Federation…” (Emphasis added. Кодекс Торгового Мореплавания Российской Федерации, 1999, sec. 5.1.5) The Act does not contain an explicit exemption for sovereign immune vessels, but the icebreaker provision reinforces the presumption that all sovereign immune vessels are by default exempt from the Act given Section 2’s interpretative guidance. Otherwise, it would be unnecessary to explicitly extend the icebreaker requirements to Russian government vessels. The logical consequence of this provision and the Act’s general focus are that foreign government vessels are exempt from all provisions under this law, unless otherwise explicitly stipulated. Recent developments have not changed the NSR’s non-application to government ships. In 2018, the French Navy’s BSAH Rhône sailed along the Northeast Passage from the Barents Sea to the Bering Strait. In response, Russian officials announced their intention to introduce new regulations that would require foreign sovereign immune vessels to comply with NSR rules (Todorov, 2019). This would be a concerning development that flies in the face of international law. But, despite assertions by both scholars and media that these rules are in force, they remain mere proposals (Bouffard, 2021; Buchanan & Strating, 2020; Conley & Melino, 2020: 11; Schreiber, 2019). In 2019, a draft bill was introduced to amend the decree No. 1102 of 1999, “On the Rules for the Navigation and Stay of Foreign Warships and Other Government Vessels.” The draft amendment would require foreign sovereign immune vessels to employ icebreakers in the NSR area, as well as oblige sovereign immune vessels to request and obtain prior permission from the NSR Administration to enter the NSR area (Solski, 2019). However, the draft legislation remains, as of November 2021, in consultation and does not appear in consolidated versions of decree No. 1102 of 1999. (Нормативные Правовые Акты, 2019; Decree No. 1102 of 2 Oct. 1999, 1999) The necessity of the rule change, evidenced by both Russian officials’ comments and the draft legislation, however, further underscores that current rules do not apply to foreign sovereign immune vessels, including warships. In a 2015 diplomatic protest, the United States reiterated its view that the NSR is “inconsistent with important law of the sea principles related to navigational rights and freedoms” and laid out several critiques. First, the U.S. note held that straits used for international navigation exist along the NSR and that this is incompatible with Russia’s internal water claims (“2015 Digest of US Practice,” 2016: 526). This position would imply a non-suspendable transit passage right for all foreign vessels in any straits considered international straits, although the U.S. note does not specify

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those straits.6 Second, the U.S. noted that requiring prior permission to enter the EEZ was incompatible with Article 234’s “due regard for navigation” clause. This objection implicitly takes the position that commercial vessels navigating in the NSR need not obtain prior notification from Russian authorities. Third, the U.S. noted that the law was ambiguous on whether the NSR rules applied to warships and requested confirmation that this was not the case. Although Russian law still lacks an explicit exception, it appears that foreign sovereign immune vessels are exempt from the prior notification and mandatory icebreaker requirements (2015 Digest of US Practice, 2016: 526–527). Having laid out Russian legislation, we can summarize the effect of Russian claims on navigation along the Northeast Passage. The following analysis is summarized in Table 2. Where Russia claims internal waters in the Russian Arctic straits, Moscow’s position requires all foreign vessels, both government and commercial, to request and obtain permission to enter and navigate. In contrast, Northern Sea Route rules apply exclusively to commercial vessels. Commercial vessels must request and obtain permission from the NSR Administration before entering the NSR area. Overwhelming evidence indicates that, as of November 2021, the NSR’s various restrictions and requirements do not apply to foreign government vessels, including warships. TABLE 2. Russian Maritime Claims in the Arctic and U.S. Position Russian Arctic internal waters

Russian Arctic internal waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone within Northern Sea Route

Russian Claim

Straight Baselines (1985)

Northern Sea Route legislation

Basis

Internal waters

UNCLOS Article 234

Effect on Vessels Commercial Vessels Prior permission required

Prior permission required

Warships

Prior permission required

None

Other Government Prior permission required Vessels

None

U.S. Claim Navigational Claim

Transit passage rights

All sovereign immune vessels exempt

Basis

Strait used for international Prior permission requirement violation of navigation Art. 234 “due regard”

Freedom of Navigation targets in the Arctic The Freedom of Navigation program’s reliance on U.S. government vessels imposes constraints on FONOP targets. To be a valid legal target of a FONOP, a coastal state’s maritime law must (a) be excessive to the United States’ understanding of international maritime law, and (b) apply to foreign government vessels. Based on these criteria, Canadian internal water and NORDREG claims are susceptible to a FONOP, although a FONOP against the latter would likely have no implications for commercial traffic. In contrast, only Russia’s internal water position is a valid target for a U.S. FONOP. NSR regulations do not currently apply to U.S. Navy or other sovereign immune vessels.

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FONOP targets in the Canadian Arctic Canada’s internal waters claim is the most viable and substantial FONOP target. Canada’s historic internal waters claim permits both commercial and government traffic by foreign vessels only with Canadian permission. Because these restrictions apply to the government vessels, they are susceptible to challenge by government vessels. To exercise the United States’ claimed transit right in the NWP in a FONOP, the U.S. Navy would have to pass through Canada’s claimed internal waters to and from Canada’s EEZ. The United States, however, may not be able to use Coast Guard icebreakers in light of the 1988 U.S.-Canada agreement. To reinforce that this action is an assertion of transit, rather than innocent, passage rights, the vessel would ideally behave in ways permitted under the former rather than the latter. This might be best achieved with a U.S. Navy submarine, since the normal mode provision of transit passage would permit it to navigate submerged, while an exercise of innocent passage would require it to navigate at the surface throughout the NWP. Several Canadian scholars have argued that clandestine submarine navigation cannot affect Canada’s claim (Lajeunesse, 2016: 238–241; Lalonde & Lasserre, 2013; Pharand, 2007). The United States could circumvent this hurdle by simply announcing publicly the activity before and after the transit, thereby making it notorious. More challenging could be any U.S.-Canada agreement on the approval process for submarine navigation in the Northwest Passage, to which Canadian officials have alluded in the past (Byers, 2015: 168–169; Lajeunesse, 2016: 295). NORDREG is a narrower FONOP target. The mandatory reporting requirements exempt vessels owned by foreign militaries but appear to apply to other government-owned or -operated vessels that meet the weight or pollutant criteria. Such vessels should, by the U.S. interpretation of Article 236 of UNCLOS, be exempt from all environmental regulations. This includes NORDREG, which is based on Article 234 of UNCLOS. Thus, to challenge this specific gap in Canadian law, the United States could use a government-owned or -leased vessel for some non-commercial purpose that would require passing through the NORDREG area. While doing so, the vessel would not obtain prior clearance from Canadian authorities and fail to comply with mandatory reporting requirements. This would assert government-owned vessels’ exemption from NORDREG, but such a FONOP would have to emphasize “due regard” to have even a tenuous effect in defense of commercial navigational freedoms. The AWPPA theoretically opens Canadian claims to a FONOP, but in practice, the AWWPA’s implementing regulations do not offer an appealing target. Only the provisions on waste dumping fail to exempt government-owned vessels. To operationally demonstrate the illegality of this measure, a non-warship U.S. government vessel would have to willfully pollute the Canadian Arctic. Not only would this undercut the U.S. government’s commitment to marine stewardship, but it would also surely poison U.S.-Canada relations. FONOP targets in the Russian Arctic Russia’s Arctic claims meet the necessary conditions for FONOPs in a more limited fashion. Only Russia’s internal water claim is a viable target for the U.S. Freedom of Navigation program. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard can sail in the Northern Sea Route area, but it would not be a FONOP. Russia’s internal water claim is not explicitly based on historic title across all the major Arctic straits. Nevertheless, Russian law does not recognize a right to innocent passage in areas enclosed by

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straight baselines but previously territorial or high seas. Since this deprives all vessels, including government ones, of possible innocent passage or transit passage rights, it can be challenged by a U.S. government vessel. The official U.S. claim is that the Russian Arctic straits are straits used for international navigation where transit passage applies. To operationally assert the United States’ claimed right to transit passage, the U.S. Navy would have to pass through Russia’s internal waters to and from the Russian EEZ. As in the Canadian case, the challenge would be in distinguishing this action from innocent passage. Again, a notorious transit by a submerged submarine might offer the best avenue, but it would be operationally challenging. The NSR, as currently codified, offers no opening for a U.S. FONOP. The measures apply only to commercial vessels—foreign sovereign immune vessels are exempt from the NSR provisions codified in various Russian laws and decrees. Overwhelming evidence indicates that warships, military auxiliaries, and other government vessels in non-commercial service are not subject to NSR regulations. Russian officials, judging by their statements and legislative proposals, share this position. The only conceivable approach would be for a U.S. government-owned vessel to engage in commercial activity, pass through the NSR area, and defy the regulations. Such defiance could include refusing to obtain prior notice, not engaging Russian icebreakers, or not carrying insurance.

Conclusion Based on the analysis here, the U.S. Navy will find precious little in the Arctic to target in a FONOP. Because Russia’s Northern Sea Route regime applies to commercial vessels, a U.S. FONOP by a government ship against the NSR regime would have no legal effect. The U.S. Navy or Coast Guard could sail there—but it would not be a FONOP. The United States could target only Russia’s internal waters policy in the Russian Arctic straits, although this would secure rights for both government and commercial traffic. If the United States or Asian states, for that matter, are concerned about Russian restrictions on commercial navigation, they would need to rely purely on diplomatic protests, or conceive of new ways to protest with commercial, rather than government, vessels. Since Canada’s Arctic maritime claims impose significant constraints on both government and commercial vessels, any U.S. Arctic FONOP would be of greatest utility against Canada. Canada’s internal water claim is expansive, and the United States’ counter-position affords significant rights to both government and commercial users. Canadian restrictions covering the EEZ, however, only partially apply to government vessels, and only government vessels would benefit from the FONOP. A Canadian FONOP would have significant diplomatic costs. Such an action would rip open the dispute that Ottawa and Washington have successfully managed since 1988. Finally, journalists and legal scholars need to press policymakers and analysts calling for an Arctic FONOP to explicitly identify what precisely such an action would target. FONOPs are a common policy prescription, but they can happen only where the operation resists an actual legal claim applying to a warship. In the Arctic, this drives the United States toward a FONOP against Canada and offers little purchase against Russian claims.

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Notes 1. The author would like to thank Devon Colmer, Samuel Byers, Andrei Todorov, and the two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. A further thanks to Devon Colmer for his table-making expertise. 2. These reports note which claims were protested multiple times in a single fiscal year, but do not provide specific counts of how many times certain claims were challenged. Thus, DoD statistics somewhat underplay how common challenges are to internal water claims, and restrictions on innocent passage and military activities are in the DoD FONOP repertoire. Still, these data corroborate the point that the FONOP program targets excessive claims that affect naval vessels. 3. Before 2005, most of these claims were claims to territorial seas wider than 12 nautical miles. Since 2005, these claims revolve more around territorial sea claims from features not entitled to such. 4. Innocent passage rights permit free and expeditious movement by vessels through any state’s territorial sea, provided the vessel refrains from certain behaviors. The coastal state may temporarily suspend innocent passage for security reasons. 5. It is not clear why the United States views international strait and internal water status as mutually exclusive in light of Article 35(a) of UNCLOS. Furthermore, the right to transit passage may not apply to some of the Russian Arctic straits due to the exception in Article 38 (1) UNCLOS for straits between an island and the mainland where a navigationally equivalent route exists seaward of the island.

References Aceves, W. J. (1995). The Freedom of Navigation Program: A Study of the Relationship between Law and Politics. Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, 19(2), 259–326. AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN: The Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area as represented by the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut AND: Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada, (1993). https://nlca.tunngavik.com/ Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations, SOR/2017-286 (2017). https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2017-286/FullText.html Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. A-12 (1985). https://lawslois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/A-12/page-2.html#h-5791 Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Regulations, C.R.C., c. 354 (1978). https://lawslois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._354/FullText.html Bouffard, T. J. (2021). A Developing Maritime Operational Environment: Forward Presence and Freedom of Navigation in the Arctic (p. 22). North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network. Brubaker, R. D. (1999). The Legal Status of the Russian Baselines in the Arctic. Ocean Development & International Law, 30(3), 191–233. https://doi.org/10.1080/009083299276168

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Buchanan, E., & Strating, B. (2020, November 5). Why the Arctic is Not the ‘Next’ South China Sea. War on the Rocks. http://warontherocks.com/2020/11/why-the-arctic-is-not-the-nextsouth-china-sea/ Byers, M. (2015). International law and the responsibility to protect. In C. Chinkin & F. Baetens (Eds.), Sovereignty, Statehood and State Responsibility (pp. 23–50). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107360075.006 Canada Shipping Act, 2001, S.C. 2001, c. 26 (2001). Chapter 12: Territorial Regimes and Related Issues. (2016). In Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 2015. https://2009-2017.state.gov/s/l/2015/index.htm Conley, H., & Melino, M. (2020). America’s Arctic Moment: Great Power Competition in the Arctic to 2050. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Cumulative digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1981-1988 (Vol. 2). (1993). Office of the Legal Adviser, Dept. of State. Fahey, S. (2018). Access Control: Freedom of the Seas in the Arctic and the Russian Northern Sea Route Regime. Harvard National Security Journal, 9, 154–200. International Law Commission. (1962). Juridical régime of historic waters, including historic bays. In International Law Commission, Yearbook of the International Law Commission 1962, Vol. II (pp. 1–26). UN. https://doi.org/10.18356/2d2e2f23-en Joyner, C. (2001). The Status of Ice in International Law. In A. G. O. Elferink & D. R. Rothwell (Eds.), The Law of the Sea and Polar Maritime Delimitation and Jurisdiction (pp. 23–48). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Kraska, J. (2015). The Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations (Nordreg) and the Law of the Sea. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, 30(2), 225–254. https://doi.org/10.1163/15718085-12341349 Lajeunesse, A. (2016). Lock, Stock, and Icebergs: A History of Canada’s Arctic Maritime Sovereignty. UBC Press. Lalonde, S. (2018). The Debate Over the Legal Status of the Northwest Passage. Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the House of Commons. https://sencanada.ca/content/sen/committee/421/ARCT/Briefs Lalonde, S. (2020). The Northwest Passage. In Canada and the Maritime Arctic: Boundaries, Shelves, and Waters (pp. 107–162). North American and Arctic Defense and Security Network. Lalonde, S., & Lasserre, F. (2013). The Position of the United States on the Northwest Passage: Is the Fear of Creating a Precedent Warranted? Ocean Development & International Law, 44(1), 28–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/00908320.2012.726832 Maritime Zones of Maldives Act No. 6/96, (1996). McCleary, P. (2021, January 5). Navy Secretary: US Plans Patrols Near Russian Arctic Bases. Breaking Defense. https://breakingdefense.com/2021/01/navy-secretary-us-patrols-nearrussian-arctic-bases/ McDorman, T. (2015). Sovereign Immune Vessels: Immunities, Responsibilities and Exceptions. In H. Ringbom (Ed.), Jurisdiction over ships: Post-UNCLOS developments in the law of the sea (pp. 82–104). Brill | Nijhoff. McDorman, T. (2020). Old Issues and New Developments Respecting International Navigational Rights and Obligations in Arctic Waters. In K. Zou (Ed.), The Belt and Road Initiative and the Law of the Sea (pp. 41–55). Brill | Nijhoff. The Legal Logics of a U.S. Navy FONOP in the Canadian or Russian Arctic


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Morgunov, B., Zhuravleva, I., & Melnikov, B. (2021). The Prospects of Evolution of the Baseline Systems in the Arctic. Water, 13(8), 1082. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081082 Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations, Pub. L. No. P.C. 2010-732 2010-0610 (2010). https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2010-127/FullText.html Pharand, D. (1987). Canada’s Sovereignty over the Newly Enclosed Arctic Waters. Canadian Yearbook of International Law/Annuaire Canadien de Droit International, 25, 325–344. Pharand, D. (2007). The Arctic Waters and the Northwest Passage: A Final Revisit. Ocean Development & International Law, 38(1–2), 3–69. https://doi.org/10.1080/00908320601071314 Proelss, A., Maggio, A. R., Blitza, E., & Daum, O. (Eds.). (2017). United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A commentary. C.H. Beck ; Hart ; Nomos. Roach, J. A., & Smith, R. W. (1994). Maintaining Freedom of the Seas. International Law Studies, 66, 3–9. Schreiber, M. (2019, July 24). How geopolitics complicate the U.S. Navy’s plans for major Arctic operations. ArcticToday. https://www.arctictoday.com/how-geopolitics-make-u-s-navy-plans-formajor-arctic-operations-so-complicated/ Solski, J. J. (2019, May 31). Navigational rights of warships through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) – all bark and no bite? The NCLOS Blog. https://site.uit.no/nclos/2019/05/31/navigational-rights-of-warships-through-thenorthern-sea-route-nsr-all-bark-and-no-bite/ Solski, J. J. (2021). The Genesis of Article 234 of the UNCLOS. Ocean Development & International Law, 52(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/00908320.2020.1835026 Stephens, D. (2012). The Legal Efficacy of Freedom of Navigation Assertions. International Law Studies, 80, 235–256. Territorial Sea Geographical Coordinates (Area 7) Order, P.C. 1985-2739 (1985). https://lawslois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-85-872/page-1.html Todorov, A. (2017). The Russia-USA legal dispute over the straits of the Northern Sea Route and similar case of the Northwest Passage. Arctic and North, 29, 74–89. https://doi.org/10.17238/issn2221-2698.2017.29.74 Todorov, A. (2019, March 18). Where does the Northern Sea Route Lead To? Russian International Affairs Council. https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-and-comments/analytics/wheredoes-the-northern-sea-route-lead-to/ Todorov, A. (2021). Russia’s implementation of the Polar Code on the Northern Sea Route. The Polar Journal, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/2154896X.2021.1911044 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, (1982). U.S. Department of Defense Freedom of Navigation (FON) Program. (2016). https://policy.defense.gov/Portals/11/DoD%20FON%20Program%20Summary%2016 .pdf?ver=2017-03-03-141350-380 Decree 4450, on Straight Baselines, (1985). https://www.un.org/Depts/los/LEGISLATIONANDTREATIES/PDFFILES/RUS_1 985_Declaration.pdf Vylegzhanin, A., Nazarov, V. P., & Bunik. (2020). Северный морской путь: К решению полтико-правовых проблем. Наука и Общество, 90(12), 1105–1118.

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Wilcox, E. (Ed.). (2011). Digest of United States practice in international law: 2010 (Vol. 2010). Oxford Univ. Press [u.a.]. Zou, L. (2019). Russia’s legislative development pertaining to the Northern Sea Route and its interactions with Sino-Russian Arctic cooperation. In A. Shibata, L. Zou, N. Sellheim, & M. Scopelliti (Eds.), Emerging Legal Orders in the Arctic: The Role of Non-Arctic Actors (pp. 188–204). Routledge. Закон о Северном морском пути, Pub. L. No. Russian Federal Law No. 132 (2012). http://www.nsra.ru/ru/ofitsialnaya_informatsiya/zakon_o_smp.html Кодекс торгового мореплавания российской федерации, N. 81-FZ (1999). Нормативные правовые акты. (2019). https://regulation.gov.ru/projects#npa=89000 О внутрених морских водах, территориальном море, и прилежащей зоне Российской Федерации, (1998). О правилах плавания и пребывания иностранных военных кораблей и других государственных судов, эксплуатируемых в некоммерческих целях, в территориальном море, во внутренних морских водах, на военно—Морских базах, в пунктах базирования военных кораблей и морских портах российской федерации, (1999).

The Legal Logics of a U.S. Navy FONOP in the Canadian or Russian Arctic


The Arctic, Russia and Coercion of Navigation

Viktoriya Nikitina

This paper considers the geographical changes enabled by sea ice melting in the Arctic Ocean, which provide higher accessibility to energy resources and shipping routes, and seeks to understand how Russia benefits from the uncertainties in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and in the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) as a coercion mechanism to limit freedom of navigation in the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The Arctic is a region of strategic and geopolitical importance for Russia, therefore all the possibilities enabled by climate change should be enjoyed. However, with increased accessibility to the Arctic Ocean, Russia seeks to control navigation in the NSR and ensure the protection of its national interest, through coercion of navigation. This paper discusses the uncertainties that enable Russia to consider the UNCLOS as a coercion mechanism, namely the ambiguity of Article 234, the uncertainty of international straits criteria, and the limitations in the Polar Code. It argues that the uncertainties and different interpretations in the law of the sea can influence the Russian legislation over the NSR by limiting freedom of navigation and implementing prejudicial measures toward foreign-flagged vessels. Nonetheless, through the Russian naval power, the Border Guard Service (BGS) and the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation (Northern Fleet), and its effect of dissuasion based on sea control and sea denial activities, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation (Ministry of Transport) can effectively ensure compliance with the Russian legal regime in the NSR and avoid infringements to the law.

Introduction Sea ice melt marked a renewed geopolitical and strategic importance of the Arctic Region in the 21st Century. Although global warming brings environmental challenges and security threats, it also brings opportunities for resource exploitation and the gradual opening of shipping routes: the Northwest Passage (NWP) and the NSR. The Arctic states seek to enjoy the consequences of global warming as much as possible. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that approximately 84% of total Arctic gas and oil are in the Arctic continental shelf (Bird et al., 2008:4) as Figures 1 and 2 show. Thus, with less sea ice it becomes possible to exploit these resources. ___________________________________________________________________________ Viktoriya Nikitina is a Master’s Student in Strategy at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lisbon.


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Figure 1. Undiscovered gas

Source: Bird et al., 2008:3.

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Figure 2. Undiscovered oil

Source: Bird et al., 2008:4.

The Arctic Ocean’s littoral states (Arctic Five) are seeking to extend their continental shelves to enjoy potential energy resource exploitation through submissions at the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) (Koivurova, 2011), with the exception of the USA which has not ratified the UNCLOS. There are different views on this topic, and for instance, Balão considers that “The accessibility of previously frozen lands is triggering disputes over their sovereignty” (2012: 182, our translation) with overlapping submissions and boundary tensions (Figure 3), and Koivurova thinks that “The current consensus … is that orderly, peaceful development will continue with respect to the continental shelf and the coastal states drawing the outer limits of their continental shelves” (2011: 221). Figure 3. Arctic Ocean continental shelf claims

Source: The Arctic Institute, 2017.

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Russia’s interests in the NSR can be viewed from strategic and geopolitical perspectives. The Arctic was seen as a barrier region, inaccessible through marine transportation with great natural defense capabilities (Mackinder, 1919: 54). Nonetheless, in the 21st Century, the Arctic Ocean is opening to transportation, practically year-round in some parts (Balão, 2016: 133). Indeed, the interest in commercial shipping through the NSR is increasing, which will, according to Bai, “…result in the proliferation of shipping activity in the region” (2015: 698). In light of increased navigation in the NSR, Russia seeks to ensure marine and safety of navigation (Todorov, 2017: 69). From a geopolitical point of view, climate change enables more accessibility and, consequently, it is important to ensure coastal and water sovereignty. The “Rules of Navigation in the Water Area of the NSR” (henceforth Rules) is a Russian document that answers the question of by whom and how the NSR is managed. According to the Rules, to navigate in the NSR, a vessel, whether foreign or Russian, must submit an application form (Russian Government, 2020, Art.9) to be approved or refused by the Rosatom’s Marine Operation Headquarters (henceforth Headquarters) (Rosatom, 2020, Art.1). Much of the Russian legislation is based on Article 234 of the UNCLOS, which gives extended powers to states to engage in further activities to protect the frozen waters: Coastal States have the right to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from vessels in ice-covered areas within the limits of the exclusive economic zone, where particularly severe climatic conditions and the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year create obstructions or exceptional hazards to navigation, and pollution of the marine environment could cause major harm to or irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance. Such laws and regulations shall have due regard to navigation and the protection and preservation of the marine environment based on the best available scientific evidence (UN, 1982, Art.234, emphasis added).1 For some academics, such as Lamson, Article 234 is viewed as an ambiguous clause (Lamson, 1987: 4). Regardless, this clause exists and may be used by states to protect the most vulnerable waters, such as in the Arctic Ocean. I argue that the uncertainty level of the UNCLOS and the Polar Code is benefiting Russia by allowing it to consider them as a coercion mechanism to be used by the Ministry of Transport to limit freedom of navigation in the NSR, bearing in mind the Russian naval power. A coercion mechanism, from the concept of Strategy from Ribeiro (Ribeiro, 2010), means that the uncertainties in the UNCLOS and in the Polar Code function as a mechanism that triggers coercion, in this case, coercion of navigation. Indeed, the most important means in Strategy are those that enable the coercion mechanism, since Strategy is about “…edifying, disposing, and employing means of coercion in a given space and time, to materialize goals fixed by politics, overcoming problems and exploring possibilities in a disagreement environment” (Ribeiro, 2010: 22, our translation). We emphasize the concept of Strategy because, in light of climate change, it is important for Russia to create and follow a strategy that defends its goals and interests when there are overlapping interests such as the extensions of continental shelves, or even different interpretations and Nikitina


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opinions on the legal status of the NSR. To pursue a strategy, Russia needs to know what means of coercion are available and how to use them. Thus, it is important to discuss the limitations of navigation, in the scope of a higher goal which is the maintenance of sovereignty. Freedom of navigation is one of the most important principles of UNCLOS. UNCLOS contains different maritime domains that apply different navigational and overflight rights such as innocent passage through territorial seas, transit passage through international straits, archipelagic sea lanes passage through archipelagic waters, and freedom of navigation through the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (UN, 1982). For the purposes of this paper, we will be referring to freedom of navigation whenever we are addressing freedom in a general way.

Russian priorities in the Northern Sea Route The NSR is a route located along the Northeast Passage that practically connects the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Russia defines the NSR as a: water area adjoining the northern coast of the Russian Federation, including internal sea waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation, and is limited in the East by the line delimitating the sea areas with the United States of America and by the parallel of the Dezhnev Cape in the Bering Strait; in the West, by the meridian of the Cape Zhelanie to the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, by the east coastal line of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and the western limits of the Matochkin Shar, Kara Gates, Yugorski Shar Straits (Duma, 2012, Art.5.1, No 1). An international voyage through the NSR can be reduced by up to 40% when compared to the Suez Canal (Figure 4) (Todorov, 2017: 62). For instance, an international transit through the NSR between the ports of Hamburg (Germany) and Shanghai (China) will save a week of voyage, be risk-free from piracy, and save more than half a million dollars in fuel (Gavrilov, 2015: 256). Figure 4. The NSR and the Suez Canal

Source: Yep, 2013: n/p.

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Global warming has increased the strategic importance of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (henceforth AZRF) as the recent official Russian documents show: (i) “Foundations of the Russian Federation’s State Policy in the Arctic for the Period to 2035” (Putin, 2020a) (henceforth Arctic Policy); and (ii) “Strategy of Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and the Provision of National Security for the Period to 2035” (Putin, 2020b) (henceforth Arctic Strategy). These documents describe Russian interests in defense, mineral resources, and maritime transportation, as well as environmental, social, and sustainable development issues (Putin, 2020a). The main interests identified in the Arctic Policy for the AZRF are to ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia; preserve the Arctic as a territory of peace and cooperation; ensure the well-being of people and the Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic; develop the Arctic as a strategic resource base and accelerate its contribution for economic growth; develop the NSR as a globally competitive market of transportation; and environmental protection of the Arctic (Putin, 2020a, Art.5). The Arctic Policy has also identified threats to national security, and contrary to what we may think, they are not related to external threats. Most threats come from the internal dimension, such as population decline; insufficient level of social, transportation, information, and infrastructural development; lack of geological surveys; failure to meet deadlines concerning the construction of icebreakers and Search and Rescue (SAR) equipment, and other monitoring systems in the AZRF (Putin, 2020a, Art.7). The threats to national security that Russia has identified were to be expected as external threats from NATO, especially after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, however, they were simply categorized as challenges to overcome (Buchanan, 2020: paragraph 30). These are the lack of international legal demarcation of marine spaces in the Arctic, here referring to territorial disputes; mistrust in the Russian actions and decisions in the Arctic; Arctic militarization and potential increase of conflict in the region; prevention of Russia from carrying out economic or other activities; and attempt of countries to revise the international treaties that regulate the Arctic, consequently, to establish new ones without considering current regional treaties (Putin, 2020a, Art.8). Many of these domestic challenges came from the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the Eastern Ukrainian civil war. Due to these events, Russia is now seen by the West as “untrustworthy and domineering in its foreign policy” (Heininen, 2019: 215) and an assertive power willing to “use military-coercive instruments to protect its national interests, including those in the Arctic” (Sergunin & Konyshev, 2018: 143). The Russian plan for the NSR is simple: marine safety, environmental protection, infrastructure development, and economic growth. As Putin has stated, one of the goals for the NSR is to “boost the traffic and bring it up to 80 million tons by 2025 on the Northern Sea Route” (Putin, 2019: paragraph 9), and up to 130 million tons by 2035 as the Arctic Strategy expects (Putin, 2020b). In fact, the cargo volume has been slowly increasing since 2013 and it has reached up to 32 million tons in 2020 as Figure 5 shows.

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Figure 5. Cargo volume between 2013 and 2020 35 31.53

32

2019

2020

Cargo Volume (million tons)

30 25 20.18

20 15 10.535 10 5

7.479 3.93

3.982

2013

2014

5.392

0 2015

2016

2017

2018

Source: Created by author. Data from: https://arctic-lio.com/main-results-of-nsr-navigation-2019/ and Staalesen, 2020.

However, Russia is aware that to compete at a global level, it must develop efficient monitoring systems and SAR equipment to ensure not only the safety of navigation but also environmental protection because the Arctic climate is extremely harsh and unpredictable. The Arctic Strategy forecasts the development of seaports; more tag boats and rescue vessels, and icebreakers; the creation and development of a satellite constellation in highly elliptical orbits based on domestic equipment, providing satellite communications for users in the NSR and territories north of 70 degrees north latitude; and the development of a unified system to prevent accidents, such as oil spills (Putin, 2020b, Art.13 and 15). In fact, Russia is interested in cooperating in the scope of potential emergencies as Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov has stated: Given the rapid development of maritime activities and navigation, including cruise ship tourism in the Arctic, it is important to continue strengthening our capability for rapid response to possible emergencies. We favour expanding coast guard cooperation within the Arctic Forum framework (Lavrov, 2019: paragraph 10). Russia believes that providing all the conditions to navigate safely in the NSR will be extremely beneficial to the economic growth, as navigation itself is associated with transport fees, whether from the icebreaker’s assistance or shuttle transportation (Sevastyanov & Kravchuk, 2020).

Northern Sea Route legal status and Russian legislation The US, along with Singapore (Hartmann, 2018: 291), is the main country that contests the Russian legal status of the NSR and Russia’s sovereignty over it. The US does not agree with the Russian baseline drawing as they claim the baselines were drawn to enclose straits considered international

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in internal waters (Brubaker, 2001: 265) (Figure 6). Consequently, “The United States…contests Russia’s claim to internal waters status of the Vil’kitskii, Shokal’skii, Dmitrii Laptev, and Sannikov Straits and the drawing of straight baselines around associated island groups” (Scott & Vanderzwaag, 2015: 734) and, therefore, they should be subject to a transit passage navigational regime. Figure 6. Russian Arctic baseline

Source: Todorov, 2017: 70.

Transit passage only applies to straits “used for international navigation between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone” (UN, 1982, Art.37) and it means “the exercise in accordance with this Part of the freedom of navigation and overflight solely for the purpose of continuous and expeditious transit of the strait between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone” (UN, 1982, Art.38, No 2). According to US claims, Russia has no right to impose limitations on freedom of navigation by requesting a permit to navigate in the NSR (Todorov, 2017: 64). Additionally, the US claims that the Russian straits should be considered as international straits since there is a potential for future international shipping, while Russia considers that they cannot be international because what counts is the functional/current use perspective (Gudev, 2018: paragraph 30). It is clear that behind these claims lies the American interest in “deterrence and surveillance measures” (Brubaker & Østreng, 1999: 323-324). Furthermore, Russia is engaging in prejudicial measures that do not allow the maritime transportation of oil, natural gas, gas condensate, and coal extracted in the AZRF by foreignflagged vessels, prioritizing ships carrying Russian flags and built in Russia (Duma, 2017, Art.4), although the UNCLOS explicitly mentions that “The coastal State shall not… discriminate in form or in fact against the ships of any State or against ships carrying cargoes to, from or on behalf of any State” (UN, 1982, Art.24, No 1b).

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Russia considers the NSR as a “historically established national transport communication” route (Duma, 2012, Art.14, our translation), and navigation in its water area is “carried out with the generally recognized principles and norms in international law, international treaties and other legal acts” (Duma, 2012, Art.14, our translation). The historic waters have the same legal navigational regime as internal waters (Fahey, 2018: 171) which means that, according to the Russian perspective, the NSR shouldn’t be subject to any navigational or overflight rights as internal waters are “all the waters that fall landward of the baseline, such as lakes, rivers, and tidewaters. States have the same sovereign jurisdiction over internal waters as they do over other territory” (Burgess et al., 2017: 12). At the same time, Gudev argues that, due to harsh and unpredictable weather conditions, it is not possible to navigate through the NSR without entering in the internal waters (2020: 132). Consequently, it is not possible to divide the NSR into different legal navigational regimes as it is crucial to ensure the integrity of the route (Gavrilov, 2020: 4). In practice, this means that only one legal navigational regime applies to the NSR. As we have mentioned, the current Russian legislation that applies to the entrance of the NSR, the Rules, defines that to navigate in the water area of the NSR, foreign or Russian flagged vessel must submit an application where it identifies all the characteristics of the ship annexing different certificates (Russian Government, 2020, Art.4 and 5). Then, this certificate shall be approved or refused by the Headquarters.

UNCLOS and the Polar Code as a coercion mechanism Due to its complexity and heterogeneity, UNCLOS can easily be misunderstood. The uncertainties, limitations, and confusing terminologies can lead to different interpretations and even cause legal tensions between states (Nadarajah, 2020). In fact, in law there is a great difference between theory and practice, what it should be and what it is, and this cleavage starts to widen even more “when it involves interests that, one way or another, translate into power and the ability to exercise it” (Balão, 2012: 184, author’s translation). Therefore, in cases of high uncertainty and flexibility, law “can be used to serve various constituencies and interests” (Koivurova, 2011: 222). There are two main uncertainties in UNCLOS that raise doubts and can be used as a mechanism to limit freedom of navigation. These are Article 234 and the uncertainty over international straits. Bartenstein has identified two major uncertainties in Article 234. The meaning of the word “where” is ambiguous since it can be viewed from a territorial approach or even temporal one (Bartenstein, 2011: 28). Also, it is not clear to which maritime domain it applies or at which time (Bartenstein, 2011: 28). In relation to this, Dremliuga notes that Article 234 must be interpreted as an ordinary meaning and not a literal one (2017: 130). While a literal meaning implies that Article 234 is limited to sea ice-covered areas, the ordinary meaning “of ‘ice-covered area’ held during the UNCLOS negotiations, and for a long period afterward, was that it is synonymous with the Arctic Ocean area” (Dremliuga, 2017: 130). Furthermore, the phrase “most of the year” is not totally clear, whether it applies all year or just ice time periods (Bartenstein, 2011: 31). Another case of uncertainty is the international straits criteria. Although the International Court of Justice has defined the criteria for international straits in the Corfu Chanel Case2, the discussion about potential use versus functional/current use remains. There has not been a defined and specific number of passages for considering a strait as one used for international navigation, “it is The Arctic, Russia and Coercion of Navigation


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unclear what level of international navigation is required for a strait to be appropriately classified as an international strait” (Rothwell, 2012: 270). However, the Harvard Law Review argued that Article 37 of the UNCLOS should be subject to the potential use test considering its ordinary meaning, its context in the UNCLOS, the goals and the purpose of the UNCLOS itself, and the Vienna Convention dispositions (Harvard Law Review, 2020). Indeed, “[t]here is hardly better evidence for the potential of something to occur than the fact that it is currently occurring” (Harvard Law Review, 2020: 2599). Regardless, according to the criteria defined in the Corfu Chanel Case, Russia does not meet the criteria of a functional approach to international navigation since it remains a route for national shipping (Gunnarsson, 2021: 3) rather than international shipping. Thus, even if the international straits are not recognized as internal waters, the argument of potential use cannot be applied to the NSR since it is mostly a national route for now (Gavrilov, 2015: 260). The Polar Code also has limitations that reinforce the use of Article 234 of the UNCLOS. In fact, Russia considers that the Polar Code is insufficient in providing safety of navigation and marine environment protection as it only applies to ships under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) (IMO, 2014). This way, the Polar Code only applies to “ships engaged on international voyages” (IMO, 1974, Regulation 1a), that is, ships navigating “from a country…to a port outside such country, or conversely” (IMO, 1974, Regulation 2d). In this context, Article 234 remains important as it provides extra measures for the Russian action. The fact that the Polar Code does not cover all the vessels navigating through the NSR, the Rules apply to all vessels and contain all requirements that ships must present to obtain a navigation permit (Todorov, 2021: 7). Russian legislation presents some limitations to freedom of navigation in the NSR. They claim that it is necessary to oversee navigation in the NSR to ensure safety of navigation and environmental protection, by triggering Article 234. Indeed, the increased traffic in the NSR will inevitably increase the risks of threats to the Arctic’s ecosystem. For instance, an accident with an oil tanker hitting an iceberg or other ice formation at sea could be catastrophic as it would endanger not only the environment but also the coastal population since the fishery is an important income and the main diet of those populations (Dremliuga, 2017: 133). Therefore, safety of navigation and environmental protection, as well as other soft security issues such as illegal migration, smuggling, and poaching, seem to be genuine reasons for limiting freedom of navigation, especially where SAR capabilities are still being developed (Fahey, 2018: 174). Regardless of these reasons, Fahey considers that the reasons “must be balanced against the threat of ‘creeping jurisdiction’, attempts by coastal States to extend their sovereignty and jurisdictional reach over the maritime domain in a manner inconsistent with the law of the sea, unlawfully impeding freedom of the seas” (2018: 159). Although Russia aims to ensure safety of navigation and environmental protection through control of navigation in the NSR, “Russian practice does not always seem to support this goal” (Hartmann, 2018: 286). What is really happening in the NSR is that no state, even the US, has exercised freedom of navigation activities, as the US does in the South China Sea with Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) (Casarini, 2016: 2). Some academics believe that this failure to ensure freedom of navigation could lead to a tacit acceptance of the NSR’s legal regime and Russian Nikitina


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control over it, which “may impact the formation of customary international law” (Fahey, 2018: 197). We must not forget that Russia is not the only country that triggers Article 234 to ensure safety of navigation and environmental protection by asking for a permit to navigate in the NSR (Hartmann, 2018: 283-284). Canada acts similarly in the NWP. Canadians claim that they have sovereign rights in the NWP while the US considers this route must be subject to transit passage, just like the NSR (Todorov, 2017: 73). Also, under the Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations (NORDREG), every nongovernmental vessel is subject to a notification and authorization system (Hartmann, 2018: 284). The uncertainties that we have discussed above are indeed being used to establish a legal regime based on Article 234 that is causing limitations on freedom of navigation and prejudicial measures. These uncertainties and different interpretations occur when a legal issue is not properly regulated “either because the content of the law is incomplete because it does not cover certain areas of a particular matter, or because the same law, covering those areas, is not sufficiently detailed…” (North Central Administrative Court, 2019: 27, our translation), thus, they can be bypassed to serve someone’s interests. The goal here is not to stress who is right and who is wrong but to show that the UNCLOS has uncertainties that can lead to different interpretations. In this way, Article 234 provides some basis to the ones that legislate in its name. According to Russia, the Polar Code is not sufficient to protect the marine environment, so, Article 234 can give extended powers to regulate ice-covered seas. Thus, “…to control the navigation and provide vessels with hydrographical, icebreaking and other support, the coastal state should obtain all necessary information about the passing vessel” (Todorov, 2017: 69). To sum up this section, Russia is benefiting from the uncertainties found in the UNCLOS and the limitations of the Polar Code to coerce navigation in the NSR by limiting freedom of navigation, considering that the act of coercion is the main mechanism of influence in International Relations through which “states and institutions influence the behavior of other states by escalating the benefits of conformity or the costs of nonconformity through material rewards and punishments” (Goodman & Jinks, 2004: 633).

Sea denial and sea control in the Northern Sea Route There are two major perspectives to Arctic issues when analyzing its military reality: the competitive approach and the cooperative approach.3 Authors like Balão believe that the increased accessibility to shipping routes and energy resources of the Arctic could potentially lead to sovereignty disputes and, consequently, to an escalation of an arms race and even confrontation (Balão, 2016). Other authors such as Exner-Pirot & Murray or Heininen, believe that the Arctic is a region of great geopolitical stability, where regional order has been intentionally negotiated by the Arctic states (littoral and non-littoral) seeking to improve cooperative relations (Exner-Pirot & Murray, 2017). Furthermore, they believe that the potential for a conflict in the Arctic is unlikely due to its history and geography: “the relative sparsity of the Arctic population, and the late settlement by ethnic Europeans, means that there isn’t a recent history of territorial loss and boundary change across the region” (Exner-Pirot & Murray, 2017: 58). However, they do note that “…great powers such as the United States and Russia, will attempt to maximize their strategic and economic advantages

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when the opportunity presents itself, but will not make decisions that significantly increase the risk of conflict unless their survival is threatened” (Exner-Pirot & Murray, 2017: 53-54). Heininen states that “[c]urrent Arctic geopolitics is often misunderstood, particularly by the media and policymakers…” (2019: 219). In fact, several factors contribute to this stability, which is the existence of common interests like the decreasing of military tensions, environmental cooperation, sustainable economic development, and international scientific research cooperation (Heininen, 2019). Contrary to this view of the Arctic’s ‘exceptionalism’, Huebert believes that the Arctic is becoming more alike with other regions, and therefore, “more common means of cooperation and competition” (Huebert, 2017: 5). Nevertheless, he mentions that the Arctic cannot simply be labeled as a region of cooperation or conflict because “…states are not preparing to go to war over resources, either real or potential, in the Arctic. However, they are also not prepared to declare the region a zone of peace nor to reduce or eliminate their military capabilities as they did in the 1990’s” (Huebert, 2013: 201). One thing is sure, the Arctic is not going through an arms race like the one portrayed by social media. For now, “what we are seeing is a limited modernization and expansion of military installations and forces in the Arctic” (Hilde, 2013: 145). The Russian defense policy is balanced by the International Relations schools of neorealism and neoliberalism (Sergunin & Godzimirski, 2020). Russian neorealists look at the Arctic concerns from a security perspective and express great worries over Russian sovereignty and territorial integrity and, at the same time, they view International Law as an “instrument for resisting foreign encroachments on Russia’s sovereign rights and maintaining control over its Arctic spaces/resources/transport/communications” (Sergunin & Godzimirski, 2020: 28). In contrast, Russian neoliberals argue that the Arctic has lost its military importance after the end of the Cold War and look at this region from a common mankind heritage perspective that should be preserved and developed within a cooperative framework (Sergunin & Godzimirski, 2020). It is true that the Arctic lost its military importance regarding concerns about a potential confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries and the Soviet Union. However, climate change not only brings opportunities but also new challenges and threats to every country’s national security. The hard security dimension is still important for the Arctic military balance. Indeed, the Russian agenda is concerned with “responding NATO countries’ increased military preparations and activities as well as ascertaining Russia’s national sovereignty over its Arctic sector” (Sergunin & Konyshev, 2018: 32). But there are also soft security issues that neoliberalism is concerned about. Marine pollution by greywater and ballast water discharges, potential oil spills, poaching, illegal fishing and overfishing, illegal migration, smuggling, as well as “violation of the Polar Code requirements and potential attacks on critical industrial objects (oil and gas rigs, pipelines, cables, floating nuclear plants, etc.)” (Sergunin & Gjørv, 2020: 268) are many of the soft security threats in the Arctic (Sergunin & Godzimirski, 2020: 35). Now, the military is not exclusively engaged with hard security issues, but soft security issues as well. The Russian Armed Forces are now performing “SAR operations, monitoring air and maritime spaces, providing navigation safety, mitigating natural and man-made catastrophes (such as responses to oil spills) …” (Sergunin & Konyshev, 2019: 186). The protection of the AZRF’s coastline and waters, and Russia’s economic interests, is mainly done by the Northern Fleet and the Border Guard Service (BGS) and the Coast Guard (Sergunin & Nikitina


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Konyshev, 2017: 173). Although the Northern Fleet does not operate directly in the NSR, it is important because one of the entries to the NSR is through the Barents Sea, which is where the Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command is located (Figure 7, in orange). The strategic importance of this region is determined by the fact that it is home to strategic submarines and Ballistic Nuclear-Powered Submarines (SSBNs), (Baev, 2018: 410); it is of great utility in “in denying American sea power free access through North Atlantic…” (Gray, 1977: 42); and it is an important part of the Bastion Concept (Boulègue, 2019: 7). Therefore, this strategic zone is extremely important for projection of the Russian naval power and the demonstration of sovereign rights in the AZRF (Sergunin & Godzimirski, 2020: 33). Figure 7. Military districts of the Russian Federation

Source: https://structure.mil.ru/structure/okruga/north/news.htm. Edited by author.

Naval power can be defined as a country’s capacity in surface, subsurface, and air naval units, which aims to defend a country’s maritime interests (Carvalho, 1982: 126) whether they are “the navies, coast guards, the marine or civil” (Till, 2009: 21). In fact, the main mission of naval power is naval presence, and the greater it is, the greater the power of dissuasion (Carvalho, 1982: 127). Dissuasion can be defined as an “effort…to convince a country or a coalition to refrain from courses of action that would menace… [a country’s] interests and goals” (Kugler, 2002: 1). Occasionally, dissuasion is confused with deterrence, however, as dissuasion “arises in a different, less confrontational place” than deterrence (Kugler, 2002: 1). Deterrence is “the logic of direct military coercion applied against a hostile, well-armed enemy” in a context of a war horizon (Kugler, 2002: 1). Russia is seeking to increase its naval power through the modernization of conventional forces (surface and conventional submarines), as well as strategic nuclear forces of the Northern Fleet (SSBNs) (Sergunin & Konyshev, 2017: 2017). The strategic forces “remain not only a key element of the Russian military strategy, but also as a symbol and guarantee of Russia’s great power status” (Sergunin & Konyshev, 2018: 144). However, the Russian military agenda is viewed from a pejorative perspective that the militarization concept emphasizes. It is relevant to say that pure militarization occurs from the moment a country decides to develop its military units, whether “physical military equipment or events, such as new military bases or training exercises” (Choi, 2020: 2). Needless to say, all Arctic littoral states value their sovereignty and national interests and, consequently, have their own military agendas to protect them (Konyshev & Sergunin, 2019). The Arctic, Russia and Coercion of Navigation


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The Bastion Concept, a soviet strategy, is still important for Russia’s national security as it seeks to ensure the protection of the Kola Peninsula and access of Northern Fleet’s SSBNs into the Atlantic Ocean, and further through sea control and sea denial activities (Boulègue, 2019: 7) (Figure 8). Figure 8. Bastion concept and the Greenland – Iceland – United Kingdom (GIUK) gap

Source: Nilsen, 2019: n/p and Mikkola, 2019: n/p. Edited by author.

Indeed, sea control and sea denial activities are very important for demonstrating a nation’s naval power. However, for this to be perceived, a nation’s naval power should be visible to others, otherwise, it loses its mission: …in order to function, naval power must be perceived. Invisible warships whose existence is kept in secret do not encourage friends, deter enemies, or stimulate neutrals…These imaginary warships may be perfect weapons of war, but their political utility is zero (Luttwak, 1973: 38). Sea control aims at “acquiring and securing the privilege to utilize the maritime space in the period of time as expected” (Chang, 2018: paragraph 3) and, usually, it is obtained by naval presence. Once obtained, a country can start to develop actions without foreign intervention to project its naval power and imply that it could “pose a threat of, and carry out, amphibious assault on the enemy shore” (Vego, 2008: 15). The goal of sea control activities is “not to use the sea oneself, but to prevent the enemy from doing so” (Till, 2009: 153). Therefore, sea control should be focused on shipping routes and communication lines as underwater cables since the sea is mainly used for these purposes (Chang, 2018: paragraph 10). In contrast, sea denial activities can be an alternative to sea control with the goal to exclude or “prevent an enemy from using the sea to do them harm” (Till, 2009: 154) or they can be a complement to sea control (Till, 2009: 154). Therefore, through sea control and sea denial activities, Russia can be present at sea and project “power to command or influence events ashore” (Till, 2009: 155). As Till says, “Sea control is therefore the fundamental capability of the navy…Sea control is absolutely necessary, the thing Nikitina


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without which all other naval missions, and most national missions, precariously risk catastrophic failures” (Till, 2009: 155). Indeed, “The real reward for having command, or control, of the sea is the capacity to use it for your strategic purposes and to deny its use to any adversary” (Till, 2009: 184). And, in sum, according to Till, there are two types of strategic uses: “the capacity to project military power ashore and to use the sea as a means of transportation” (2009: 184). Evidently, the Russian naval power is not only about the Northern Fleet. As Till said, seapower can be composed by navies, coast guards, or even civil authorities (2009: 21). The BGS contributes to Russian naval power as an important government agency for Arctic shipping because it is “responsible for border controls, economic security and prevention of various illegal activities in the Russian EEZ” (Sergunin & Gjørv, 2020: 263). Due to the high role of the BGS in protecting internal and external threats in the NSR, one of Russia’s top priorities is to strengthen the BGS with “plans to build 20 border guard stations along the Arctic Ocean’s coastline” (Konyshev & Sergunin, 2019: 185). Both the Northern Fleet and the BGS can create a general disposition to inaction (Sala, 2015: 522) which will necessarily reduce the intention of others to violate Russian law. That is, the higher level of naval power, the higher power of dissuasion. Sea control and sea denial activities are very important for any Navy because due to them, a country gains the capability to influence others.

Conclusion As we know, Russian control and the legal status of the NSR has been criticized, especially, by the US who claims that some parts should not be regulated by Russian law. The interest in understanding the balance between freedom of navigation and what is disposed in the UNCLOS and the Polar Code has led to the conclusion that the uncertainties of the UNCLOS and the limitations of the Polar Code are benefiting the Russian legislation in the NSR, and that naval power goes hand in hand with these uncertainties. However, one thing must be mentioned here: the Rules are also mandatory for Russian-flagged vessels, and not exclusively for foreign-flagged vessels. That is, with the argument to ensure environmental protection and safety of navigation it is necessary to control the traffic in the NSR, including both foreign and Russian vessels. Thus, as data shows, not only foreign-flagged vessels receive refusals but Russian-flagged do as well (Table 1). Table 1. Total vessel refusals

Year

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020 TOTAL

Foreign vessels refusals

18

16

6

2

2

5

1

4

54

National vessels refusals

65

14

9

1

0

11

1

15

116

Total Vessels Refusals

83

30

15

3

2

16

2

19

170

Source: Data retrieved from http://www.nsra.ru/en/rassmotrenie_zayavleniy/otkazu.html.

Between 2013 and 2020, out of a total of 170 refusals, only 54 were from foreign-flagged vessels. Most refusals are based on lack of documentation or wrong application form filling. The only case The Arctic, Russia and Coercion of Navigation


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of violation of the Russian rules was made by the Dutch-flagged vessel “Arctic Sunrise” belonging to Greenpeace, which entered the waters of the NSR without a navigation permit after its 3rd refusal in 2013 (Northern Sea Route Administration, 2013). The truth is that Russia cannot completely control the NSR. The goal of boosting navigation and promoting a globally competitive route would be choked by an excessive legal regime. Regardless, the uncertainties of the UNCLOS and the limitations of the Polar Code benefit the protection of the Russian interests in the NSR by shaping its own legislation: The Russian policy-makers and specialists in international law pay a great attention to the use of law to protect Russia’s national interests in the Arctic and shape a legal order in the region to the benefit of Moscow that is interested to promote usage of the NSR for international shipping, but within its own jurisdiction (Sevastyanov & Kravchuk, 2020: 231). The fact is that freedom of navigation in the NSR is being restricted by default from the moment that the Ministry of Transport asks for a form to navigate in the NSR and for refusal or approval by the Headquarters. As Fahey mentions “If foreign-flagged vessels must request express permission from the NSRA [Northern Sea Route Administration] to even enter the water area of the Northern Sea Route as the default, then that requirement of the NSRA Navigation Rules appears to resemble a de facto prohibition against navigation…” (2018: 181). From a geopolitical point of view, in light of the increased accessibility to the Russian Arctic coast, Russia seeks to maintain sovereign rights, however, at the same time, Russia wants to boost Arctic shipping in a sustainable environment where it needs to verify if vessels are complying with the Rules to protect the fragile Arctic environment and safety of navigation. Although UNCLOS presents uncertainties and different interpretations, it is an extremely important binding instrument that “cement[s] the relationship of states” (Nadarajah, 2020: 1). Without it, it “could have led to a pastiche of national rules and regulations that would foster ineffective management of resources, undermine maritime safety, and open the way for disputes and conflict over boundaries and access to seas and waterways” (Antrim, 2016: 44-45). When we state that the uncertainties in the UNCLOS and the limitations in the Polar Code enable the coercion mechanism, we are not addressing material rewards or punishments. The coercion mechanism must be triggered by something, which in this case are the military modernization programs and, consequently, Russian naval power. The Russian military modernization programs seek to increase its naval power, whether we are talking about the navies or the coast guard. Constructing and modernizing naval assets enable greater presence at sea, acquired by sea control and sea denial activities, which in turn, increases the power of dissuasion. Dissuasion is extremely important since it has the power to influence others. Therefore, Russian military modernization programs go hand in hand with Russian legislation. In other words, the materialization of the UNCLOS and the Polar Code as a coercion mechanism depends strongly on the power of dissuasion, which discreetly can convince others to refrain from violating activities in the NSR.

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Acknowledgments The author acknowledges the support provided by Professor Sandra Balão with helpful resources and orientation. This article is a result of a Master’s dissertation in Strategy at the University of Lisbon, which is being developed under the orientation of Professor Sandra Balão.

Notes 1. “Where” and “most of the year” outlined by us. 2. See page 28 in the International Court of Justice. (1949). The Corfu Chanel Case (Merits). Retrieved from: https://www.icj-cij.org/public/files/case-related/1/001-19490409-JUD01-00-EN.pdf. 3. Competitive approach and cooperative approach suggested by us.

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https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%201184/volume-1184-I18961-English.pdf. Accessed on May 25, 2021. Koivurova, T. (2011). The Actions of the Arctic States Respecting the Continental Shelf: A Reflective Essay. Ocean Development & International Law, 42 (3), 211-226. Konyshev, V & Sergunin, A. (2019). The Changing Role of Military Power in the Arctic [E-book], in Finger, M. & Heininen, L., The Global Arctic Handbook. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. Kugler, R. (2002). Dissuasion as a Strategic Concept. Institute for National Strategic Studies, No 196, 1-8. Lamson, C. (1987). Arctic shipping, marine safety and environmental protection. Marine Policy, 11 (1), 3-15. Lavrov, S. (2019). Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, Rovaniemi, May 7, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/minister_speeches//asset_publisher/7OvQR5KJWVmR/content/id/3637699. Accessed on April 8, 2021. Luttwak, E. (1973). The Political Application of Naval Force. Naval War College Review, 26 (5), Article 6, 38-40. Mackinder, H. (1919). Democratic Ideals and Reality: A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction by the Right Honourable Sir Halford J. Mackinder. National Defense University Press Publications (1996), USA. Mikkola, H. (2019, April 11). The Geostrategic Arctic: Hard security in the High North. Briefing Paper, No 259. Ulkopoliittinen Instituutii. Retrieved from: https://www.fiia.fi/sv/publikation/the-geostrategic-arctic?read. Accessed on June 2, 2021. Nadarajah, H. (2020). Fewer Treaties, More Soft Law: What Does it Mean for the Arctic and Climate Change?. Arctic Yearbook 2020, 1-14. Nilsen, T. (2019, April 11). Russia claims to have demonstrated complex exercise outsider Norway. The Barents Observer. Retrieved from: https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2019/04/russia-demonstrated-complexbastion-defense-exercise-outside-norway. Accessed on April 10, 2021. North Central Administrative Court. (2019). Acórdão de 1 de fevereiro de 2019, 00662/18.2BEBRG. Frederico Macedo Branco, Relator. Retrieved from: http://www.dgsi.pt/jtcn.nsf/89d1c0288c2dd49c802575c8003279c7/18d94539c41e63b18 02583fd002c11ea?OpenDocument. Accessed on April 29, 2021. Northern Sea Route Administration. (2013). Notification No 77 on Refusal of Issuing Permit of Navigation in the water area of the NSR. Retrieved from: http://www.nsra.ru/files/zayavka/20130920143952ref%20A%20S.pdf. Accessed on May 26, 2021. Putin, V. (2020b, October 26). Decree of the Russian Federation President, No 645 on “Strategy of Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and the Provision of Nikitina


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National Security for the Period to 2035”. Moscow, Russian Federation. Retrieved from: http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202010260033?index=2&rangeSi ze=1. Accessed on May 17, 2021. Putin, V. (2020a, March 5). Decree of the Russian Federation President, No 164 on “Foundations of the Russian Federation’s State Policy in the Arctic for the Period to 2035”. Moscow, Russian Federation. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.spb.ru/gov/otrasl/arkt/documents/. Accessed on September 24, 2020. Putin, V. (2019, April 9). Plenary session of the International Arctic Forum. Retrieved from: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60250. Accessed on April 8, 2021. Ribeiro, A. (2010). Teoria Geral da Estratégia – O essencial ao processo estratégico [General Strategy Theory - Essential to the strategic process]. Almedina Editions. Rosatom. (2020, October 28). State Corporation Rosatom Order, No 1/11-NPA, on Determination of the federal state unitary enterprise, in respect of which the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom exercises on behalf of the Russian Federation the powers of the owner of the property, authorized to agree on permits for navigation of ships in the water area of the Northern Sea Route, and the creation of a headquarters for marine operations. Moscow, Russian Federation. Retrieved from: https://docs.cntd.ru/document/566483719?section=text. Accessed on May 19, 2021. Rothwell, D. (2012). International Straits and Trans-Arctic Navigation. Ocean Development & International Law, 43 (3), 267-282. Russian Government. (2020, September 18). Resolution of the Government of the Russia Federation, No 1498 on “Rules of Navigation in the Water Area of the Northern Sea Route”. Moscow, Russian Federation. Retrieved from: https://docs.cntd.ru/document/565820314?marker=64U0IK. Accessed on May 19, 2021. Sala, A. (2015). Exploring Dissuasion as a (Geo)Political Instrument in Irregular Migration Control at the Southern Spanish Maritime Border. Geopolitics, 20 (3), 513-534. Scott, K. & Vanderzwaag, D. (2015). Polar Oceans and Law of the Sea, in Rothwell, D.; Elfernik, A.; Scott, K. & Stephens, T., The Oxford Handbook of the Law of the Sea. Oxford University Press. Sergunin, A. & Gjørv, G. (2020). The Politics of Russian Arctic Shipping: evolving security and geopolitical factors. The Polar Journal, 10 (2), 251-272. Sergunin, A. & Godzimirski, J. (2020). Russian Expert and Official Geopolitical Narratives on the Arctic: Decoding Topical and Paradigmatic DNA. Arctic Review on Law and Politics, 11, 2246. Sergunin, A. & Konyshev, V. (2019). Forging Russia’s Arctic strategy: actors and decision-making. The Polar Journal, 9 (1), 75-93. Sergunin, A. & Konyshev, V. (2018). Russia’s Arctic Strategy: Hard or Soft Power? [E-book]. Verlag Stuttgart, Germany. Sergunin, A. & Konyshev, V. (2017). Russian military strategies in the Arctic: change or continuity?. European Security, 26 (2), 171-189. The Arctic, Russia and Coercion of Navigation


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Sevastyanov, S. & Kravchuk, A. (2020). Russia’s policy to develop trans-arctic shipping along the Northern Sea Route. The Polar Journal, 10 (2), 228-250. Staalesen, A. (2020, December 22). Shipping on Northern Sea Route breaks record. The Barents Observer. Retrieved from: https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2020/12/shippingnorthern-sea-route-breaks-record. Accessed on January 14, 2021. The Arctic Institute. (2017). Continental Shelf Claims in the Arctic. (Poster Format). The Arctic Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/06/TAI-Infographic-ContinentalShelfClaims.pdf?x62767. Accessed on May 14, 2021. Till, G. (2009). Seapower. A Guide for the Twenty-First Century [E-book]. 2nd Edition. Routledge. Todorov, A. (2021). Russia’s implementation of the Polar Code on the Northern Sea Route. The Polar Journal, 1-13. Todorov, A. (2017). The Russian-USA legal dispute over the straits of the Northern Sea Route and similar case of the Northwest Passage. Arctic and North, 29, 62-75. United Nations. (1982). United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. New York, USA. Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf. Accessed on May 24, 2021. Vego, M. (2008). On Naval Power. Joint Forces Quarterly, 50, 8-17. Yep, E. (2013, August 21). Energy Companies Try Arctic Shipping Shortcut Between Europe and Asia. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324619504579026031203525734. Accessed on May 13, 2021.

Nikitina


A Decolonial Approach to Arctic Security and Sovereignty Gabriella Gricius

Traditional geopolitical theories characterize the Arctic as a zone of potential conflict with the overarching narrative that it is the site of the new Cold War and great power competition between Russia, the United States and China over resources. However, this dominant approach often ignores the extent to which colonial legacies and neocolonial ideas play an instrumental role in influencing these security narratives. There is a need for a more nuanced understanding of Arctic security, particularly as it has to do with how different Arctic states express their sovereignty in practice. A decolonial approach to studying security in the Arctic can better reveal how expressions of sovereignty represent much of the same social and political hierarchies that existed during the colonial era. In this research, I aim to unpack the security narratives and actions of three Arctic states, Canada, the United States, and Russia, by documenting instances of coloniality of knowledge in text as well as neocolonial actions that each state has taken. With this deconstruction of Arctic narratives, I propose a different perception of sovereignty in the Arctic as being heavily influenced by neocolonial narratives in practice and argue that traditional state-centered conceptions of sovereignty should change to acknowledge 1) the shifting geography of the Arctic, 2) the history and role of Indigenous people who live there and 3) adopt an approach that considers shared sovereignty as a more realistic Arctic version of sovereignty.

Introduction Arctic security is described through several different lenses. While some scholars focus on the importance of oil and gas reserves, others highlight the relevance of interstate conflict between larger powers such as China, the US, and Russia (Sliwa & Aliyev, 2020, Zandee et al., 2020). However, what most security lenses and approaches miss is the importance of colonial legacies and neocolonial ideas. Without an understanding of how these narratives and legacies influence security narratives, Arctic security almost appears ahistorical and ignores how colonialism continues to influence state behavior. A decolonial approach to Arctic security takes up that challenge, unpacking how the social and political hierarchies from the colonial era continue to be reproduced in the current geo-political environment of today. Instead of overt expressions of force, however, states today use expressions of sovereignty to show their influence and power over regions such as the Arctic by naturalizing hierarchies of knowledge production and geopolitics that continually place the West in control of the narrative.

Gabriella Gricius is a doctoral candidate at Colorado State University.


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In this research, I aim to unpack the security narratives and actions of the United States, Canada, and Russia by documenting instances of coloniality of knowledge in text as well as in neocolonial actions. With this deconstruction of Arctic narratives, I propose that sovereignty in the Arctic as being heavily influenced by neocolonial narratives in practice and argue that traditional statecentered conceptions of sovereignty should change to acknowledge: 1) the shifting geography of the Arctic, 2) the history and role of Indigenous people who live there, and 3) adopt an approach that considers shared sovereignty as more equitable and historically grounded Arctic version of sovereignty.

Literature review Sovereignty Traditional geopolitical theories frame the Arctic as a zone of potential conflict with the narrative that it is the site of the new Cold War and competition between Russia, the United States, and China. However, this traditional strand of thought ignores the extent to which colonial legacies and neocolonial ideas play a role in influencing these security narratives. There is a need for a more nuanced understanding of Arctic security, particularly as it has to do with how different Arctic states express their sovereignty in practice. Postcolonial and decolonial approaches to studying security in the Arctic reveals how traditional security narratives have naturalized neocolonial ideas of the civilizing mission, extraction, and ecological imperialism. Furthermore, this approach can better reveal how expressions of sovereignty reproduce social and political hierarches that existed during the colonial era. Although sovereignty is a base term in international relations, it remains a contested term. For some scholars, the concept is constantly evolving (MacFarlane & Sabanadze, 2013; Glanville, 2013). Others argue that sovereignty represents a hierarchy in international relations that implicitly places the West as the epistemic authority with state development (White, 2019). However, a general understanding of sovereignty is understood as having three elements, and many International Relations (IR) scholars suggest that there is no alternative to these principles. Krasner argues that states have 1) international legal sovereignty, 2) Westphalian/Vattelian sovereignty, and 3) domestic sovereignty. International legal sovereignty refers to a state having recognition including the right to enter treaties and have membership in international organizations, while Westphalian/Vattelian sovereignty concerns the norm of non-intervention. Domestic sovereignty is when states can control activities within their territory (Krasner, 2016). Departing from these conventional notions of sovereignty, Krasner argues, only comes from failed states, states with areas of limited statehood, and members of the EU (Krasner, 2016). More simply put, sovereignty is having the authority over a territory and the population living there internally and externally that other states will not interfere (MacFarlane & Sabanadze, 2013). Sovereignty in the Arctic For some scholars, there is already a contestation of sovereignty in the Arctic due to the region’s indeterminate geographic characteristics and the real question of distance from non-Arctic capitals to the Arctic itself, making expressing authority over the region complex (Gerhardt et al., 2010). Others argue that climate change, globalization, and a greater acknowledgement of Indigenous rights also challenge traditional ideas of sovereignty because these transnational problems go beyond the scope that sovereignty offers (Lackenbauer & Greaves, 2016).

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Although, as stated above, while there are many ways of explaining sovereignty, only a few are relevant to the study of the Arctic. For example, while ancient conceptions of sovereignty were proven through invasion and power over a land, achieving that in the Arctic where geography and climate make such actions difficult makes achieving traditional sovereignty similarly difficult (Grant, 2011). To handle these problems today, Arctic states have engaged in international agreements to claim sovereignty such as the Ilulissat Declaration where Arctic states used UNCLOS to justify sovereignty over natural resources from the shore to a distance of at least 200 nautical miles. Traditional realist scholars look at Arctic sovereignty as intrinsically connected to security. For example, protecting sovereignty in the Arctic for some scholars is the ability to control what happens and respond to threats in the Arctic region (Huebert, 2009). Understanding sovereignty in the Arctic, particularly from a Canadian view, however, also is complicated by international maritime challenges such as the American-Canadian dispute over the Beaufort Sea and Canada’s dispute over the Northwest Passage. Broadly, sovereignty and security are also threatened by climate change, resource development, and geopolitical transformation (Huebert, 2009). These factors paired with quickening changes resulting from globalization mean that sovereignty is contested and under threat. In contrast, other scholars suggest that sovereignty in the Arctic is not in serious jeopardy. These scholars instead argue that quiet diplomacy, historic security, and diplomatic practices mean that we should rely on stability to ride out geopolitical and climatic changes in the High North (Griffiths, Huebert & Lackenbauer, 2013). Thus, sovereignty will not ultimately be contested. Instead, it will reckon with a greater demand for resources that will reinforce security and engagement. This importantly means that securitization of the region would be detrimental to the current stability – and instead that scholars and policymakers ought to focus on common interests and double down on multilateral and bilateral mechanisms. Indigenous Sovereignty International Law such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People gives rights to Indigenous people to have rights to the lands, territories, and resources that they have traditionally used, owned, or acquired. While this Declaration is not binding on states, the rights contained with it have been upheld by customary law and specifically within Canada, there is constitutional protection in section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 as well as a Supreme Court case in 1982 that confirmed the rights of Aboriginal People to hold title to their territories (Campbell, 2015). For some Inuit in Canada, sovereignty does not necessarily mean the same thing as it is interpreted by Western legal accounts. For example, giving land via a land claim agreement does not mean giving up all rights to that title. Instead, it means agreement to share that land in a sustainable manner (Campbell, 2015). This brings up an important distinction to be made between Westphalian sovereignty and Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty. From an Indigenous perspective of sovereignty, many of the assumptions of Westphalian and Western sovereignty act as a Eurocentric and dispossessive tool that has been used to colonize and subjugate Indigenous People (Kincaid, 2016). Indigenous sovereignty, in contrast, takes a broader and more relational understanding of social and cultural factors (Bauder & Mueller, 2021). Perhaps the most important aspect of Indigenous sovereignty is the right to self-determination, that is the right to freely pursue economic, social, and cultural development and the right to choose a political Gricius


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status. In other words, sovereignty here is not a source of legal and political authority, but rather a social and cultural way of understanding community. One example of this is that often for Indigenous peoples, sovereignty is linked to an ability to continue to carry out their lives – such as the ability to gather and hunt food (Fakhri, 2018) or the right to engage in good faith (Nicol, 2017). Some scholars such as Vine Deloria Jr. (1996: 111) frame Indigenous sovereignty as “a nation of distinct people, separate from others… so long as the cultural identity of Indians remains intact.” Other scholars argue that Indigenous sovereignty should be removed from Western ideas of power and law and instead be conceived of in terms of ontological belonging (Morteon-Robinson, 2015). Scholars of Indigenous sovereignty also propose that sovereignty does not focus on a state actor, but rather takes a relational lens to look at the relationships and interdependencies in deciding how to make decisions, “the right to be heard and included in deliberations” (Nicol, 2017: 811). Further, an Indigenous sovereignty perspective focuses not on legal power over land, but the responsibility that comes with living on land (Hiller & Carlson, 2018). This notion of caring for land is in complete contrast to a Western perspective of sovereignty that sees land as an exploitable resource. Further in contrast to the universal way that the West defines sovereignty, Indigenous sovereignty is also understood to be contextualized. In other words, how sovereignty is understood changes per community and per individual (Thorner et al., 2018; Mitchell, 2020). Even with all varying definitions of Indigenous sovereignty, there is debate from Indigenous activists and scholars about whether the term should even be used. By using the term ‘sovereignty,’ some scholars argue, it inherently roots ideas of power and the superiority of the Westphalian state (Bauder & Mueller, 2021; Turner, 2001; Alfred, 1999). Further, it perpetuates a myth of equality between sovereign entities when relations are clearly not equal. While conceptions of Indigenous sovereignty may be distinct from western Westphalian ones, that is not to say that they do not participate in international organizations that frame sovereignty in Eurocentric terms and use the terminology in their own documents such as, most importantly, A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic. This addresses many of the aspects noted above, such as the importance of self-determination. The declaration begins by declaring key aspects of Inuit sovereignty such as the Inuit being Indigenous citizens of Arctic states but also the Arctic writ large. The declaration also acknowledges the changing nature of sovereignty in the Arctic, and points to the importance of recognition and respect for the right to self-determination, the right to develop creative and innovative jurisdictional arrangements, and the lack of inclusion for Inuit in Arctic sovereignty discussions such as the 2008 Ilulissat Declaration. Looking forward, the declaration also sees the importance of the rule of law, the Inuit as active partners in the future, the need for relationships, and the right for healthy communities in the Arctic. Thus, when thinking about alternative notions of sovereignty that may operate better in the Arctic, it is important to consider the social and cultural aspects of Indigenous sovereignty that recognize and focus on interdependent relationships between actors and the land and highlight the contextual nature of sovereignty.

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Decolonial theory Using a decolonial lens, sovereignty creates a normative hierarchy in international relations, which some scholars characterize as placing the ‘Orient’ as the ‘other’ in opposition to the inherently sovereign and rational West (White, 2019). One example of this is the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect, which assumes that Western states are the only and highest authority of human rights due to their own narrative of naming the West as civilized in opposition to a savage non-West. Another example is the imposition of liberal democratic ideals through international organizations and institutions. There is an important distinction to be made here before addressing decolonial theory: the similarities and differences between decolonial and postcolonial theory. Postcolonial scholars share many of the same critiques of the current world order, including the elevation of Eurocentric forms of knowledge, developmentalism, and the subordination of the periphery (Grosfoguel, 2011: 17). The capitalist system, they argue, is a cultural system – choosing to focus on agency rather than the overall structure (Morozov & Pavlova 2016; Bhambra, 2014). Decolonial scholars, while agreeing in many of the critiques of the world order, focus more on structural factors to account for the complexities of how different hierarchies have emerged, continued, and play a significant role in the processes of the modern world (Tucker, 2018). A decolonial approach to IR begins with the acknowledgement that “entrenched and deeply rooted social and political hierarchies based on exclusionary practices shape both geopolitics and the production of knowledge” (Adamson, 2020: 131). These hierarchies often are invisible but play an important role in creating barriers for the legitimacy of knowledge of the colonized and continually perpetuate the same colonizer-driven narratives again and again (Murray, 2019; Mignolo & Walsh 2018; Mignolo, 2011; Grosfoguel, 2011; Blaney & Tickner, 2017). While these hierarchies may not be consciously organized, they exist as “a body of interrelating elements and processes that all marginalize non-Western knowledge” (Foneseca & Jerrems, 2012). This body of elements is what decolonial theory seeks to explain. How are hierarchies reenacted in modern times? How are power relations continued that subjugate the colonized and elevate the colonizers? How is coloniality reproduced? Coloniality at its core relies on power over invisible and disparate social structures, which always relegates knowledge of colonized cultures (Tucker, 2018; Capan, 2017). Thus, for example, a decolonial lens can help answer the question of why some voices and issues are legitimized in security studies and some are not. One key example of this is how, in many cases, the agency of Cuba is written out of narratives surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. In doing so, many scholars have reproduced the Eurocentric idea that only great powers have agency (Barkawi & Laffey, 2006; Sabaratnam 2011). Scholars take this decolonial approach to examine instances of these hierarchical systems and understand how neocolonial ideas play a significant role in how states approach the Arctic. Many of these neocolonial ideas include versions of the civilizing mission in the form of platforms to modernize Indigenous ways of life and measuring their capacity based on solely Western ideas of modernity and progress (Tuhiwai Smith, 2012). These narratives also often include extraction, such as the growing interest in gas and oil exploration in the Arctic and ecological imperialism. Extraction, in a decolonial lens, furthers colonial actions that are inherent in capitalism, leading into ecological imperialism, which turns people and land into resources to be exploited (Newell, 2020). Importantly, how states express sovereignty in the Arctic is a key part of their neocolonialist

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actions, as it often comes directly into contact with the everyday lives of Indigenous communities in both how they speak about land and people but also how they express their sovereignty over land and people through actions. These narratives originate from the singular aim of colonialism, and thus neocolonialism, as they occupy and turn people and nature into resources for the accumulation of capital (Khoo, 2020). By unpacking these narratives, a decolonial approach to security in the Arctic could reconstitute sovereignty and better explain security in terms that make more sense in exploring the security threats in the Arctic today. For example, decolonial theory addresses a broad, comprehensive, or human security approach because it points out how non-Western knowledge is always marginalized rather than remaining with a traditional state-centered concept of security. Taking this broader approach to security, a decolonial lens can unpack how neocolonial actions by states in the Arctic contribute to insecurity of the individual. Furthermore, in many of the security problems that the Arctic faces now, such as climate change and food, water, and environmental security, Western ways of understanding these problems have proven thus far insufficient for solving collective actions problems. Decolonial theory puts a lens on that problem and defines alternative ways of seeing security and addressing issues like climate change by elevating knowledge from previously colonized/currently neo-colonized cultures. Thus, using this decolonial lens challenges scholars to consider factors that would otherwise not be considered in the realm of security studies.

Methodology My main research question for this research is: how can a decolonial lens better unpack how Arctic security narratives reproduce social and political hierarchies through expressions of sovereignty? In this paper, I will use a mix of process tracing and discourse analysis to explore three cases of the United States, Canada, and Russia’s security actions in the Arctic. I have time bound my case studies from 2014 to 2021 due to the change in Arctic relationships in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In these case studies, I will begin by addressing how states have expressed sovereignty, and then document instances of coloniality in text by examining important security policy documents produced by these three governments from 2014 to 2021. I have gone through all official foreign and security policy documents that focused on the Arctic in all cases from 2014 to 2021. For this article, I have examined a selection of those documents and linked them with selected events and actions to make my argument. I will also use process tracing to look at related security neocolonial actions from 2014 to 2021. After establishing the case study both through discourse analysis as well as process tracing, I will propose a different construction of Arctic sovereignty that departs from a traditional definition of sovereignty. This alternative suggests that a new reading of sovereignty in the Arctic should weaken the norm of international legal sovereignty and domestic sovereignty. I aim to do this by claiming that this new sovereignty should acknowledge the shifting geography of the Arctic, weaken the norm of international legal sovereignty and domestic sovereignty to give more agency to the Indigenous people who live there, and adopt an approach that considers shared sovereignty as a more equitable and historically grounded version of Arctic sovereignty.

The United States Since 2014, the United States’ actions and policies in the Arctic have reflected various expressions of sovereignty. Most call for advancing American security interests in some way to facilitate

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commerce, deepen international cooperation, and strengthen environmental stewardship. In documents from 2013-2015, sovereignty was mainly expressed by the United States with a focus on promoting the Western multilateral order through assuring peace, security, and cooperation. This matches with American interests in the Arctic being primarily driven by commercial and security needs, thus more internally focused domestic sovereignty. From 2016-2021, the focus of sovereignty changed to one characterized by reactiveness and defense. This arose in response to the resurgence of great power competition. Here, expressions of sovereignty began to take on a more Westphalian flavor to respond to perceived Russian and Chinese incursions on the Western multilateral order. These expressions in many cases serve to reproduce social and political hierarchies that exclude the colonized and do not appropriately address the security issues at hand. Notably, the United States’ chairmanship of the Arctic Council illustrated the nature of leaving out Indigenous voices. This was a multilateral success for Arctic states, but the lack of inclusion of Indigenous people, whose knowledge of maritime travel and non-impact shipping corridors would have been useful, again serves to illustrate the continued power dynamics at play that privilege Western ideas of states, security, and sovereignty. As great power competition rhetoric began to heat up in the Arctic, the United States continued to move its focus more towards state-vs-state competition, ignoring the larger transnational threats emerging from the environment, further using ideas of sovereignty to focus solely on states rather than individuals. In 2014, the main policy in place was the 2013 National Strategy for the Arctic Region. While this policy does mention the needs of Indigenous communities, the focus is primarily on stewardship. In short, many issues that are non-state based are mentioned such as climate change, food security and environmental security. However, the response to these threats is described as one in which the US’ role should be as a steward. Stewardship is connected to the Western values of exploitation of natural resources and development within the Arctic. This is reflected in the 2014 Implementation Plan for National Strategy in the Arctic and the 2015 Year in Review: Progress Report on Implementation of National Strategy. Beyond the role of a steward, both policies address the establishment of ports in the Arctic, partnering with academia and industry, and conservationists. Although the role of Indigenous people and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) are mentioned as potential partners to consult, they are described as having a consultant role rather than a co-management role. American policy in both cases reiterates the role of domestic sovereignty – illustrating how the state controls territory and people rather than giving them an equal voice in the process. During this time frame, there were no direct security policy documents concerning the Arctic, but rather security ideas were integrated within the broader strategies noted above. Because of this, the outright question of security is subsumed within the themes of climate change and does not focus on state-based issues. Perhaps the most recent significant period of US active engagement with the Arctic was from 2015 to 2017 when it hosted the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. At first glance, the US chairmanship appeared to move towards a more inclusive perspective with its theme of ‘One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges, and Responsibilities’, but neocolonial narratives continued to play a role. The United States’ three lines of focus within the Arctic Council were 1) strengthening international cooperation, 2) steering the Arctic in the right direction, and 3) promoting security interests by safeguarding peace and considering science and traditional knowledge (Hossain & Barala, 2017). The mention of traditional knowledge is notable. Nonetheless, a decolonial lens Gricius


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immediately brings attention to the idea of ‘right direction.’ Who decides what is the right direction? Who is involved in that decision? Given that the US interest in the Arctic was and is driven by both security and commercial needs, it suggests that many of the people living in the Arctic, such as Indigenous peoples, do not actually play a significant role in these decisions. Here, we can see domestic sovereignty at play with the United States exerting its control over territory and people by promoting infrastructure and resources development. By excluding the involvement of Indigenous peoples in the development of this Arctic security policy, social and political hierarchies place only Western states at the forefront of decision-making. One of the other hallmarks of the US chairmanship of the Arctic Council was its drive to improve economic and living conditions of Arctic residents by creating a Water Resources Vulnerability Index. While this does aim to help individuals living in the Arctic, it also creates an explicit numeric scale that places those without a Western perceived need in an ‘othering’ position. All of this is not to say that the United States did not have many notable successes in the Arctic Council. The United States worked on and concluded many legally binding agreements on Arctic maritime cooperation, improved cooperation, responded to black carbon pollution, and addressed marine diversity (Hossain & Barala, 2017). Nonetheless, much of its success relied on reproducing hierarchies that consistently marginalized the voices of Indigenous peoples and served only to place Western states’ needs and wants on top. Policy documents that date after or during 2016 paint a much different picture of Arctic security from a domestic lens. The Department of Defense’s 2016 Arctic Strategy only references Indigenous people three times throughout the entire document. It instead focuses on state threats, particularly from Russia, and the continued policy of the US to preserve the freedom of the seas. In this policy, the US is clearly expressing Westphalian sovereignty through non-interference in the sea. This mode of expressing sovereignty reinforces political hierarchies that the US has created as the hegemon to propagate Western values and ideology. In 2018, more attention began to be paid to the Arctic as Russian militarization and Chinese interest began to worry American policymakers. That year, the US Navy announced that it would reestablish the 2nd fleet, citing Russia as the primary concern for the new force (Larter, 2019). The 2nd fleet, according to the Navy, would respond to high-end naval warfare in the Atlantic. The choice to reestablish the 2nd fleet is a particularly interesting one using a decolonial lens, because it refocuses attention towards how the United States felt that they needed to arrange for a fleet to essentially monitor the Arctic against unwelcome advances that threatened a Western-centric order. The United States does not have traditional sovereignty over most of the Arctic Ocean but felt it had the right to protect the freedom of the seas under the auspices of that order. This aggression from the United States stems from both Westphalian and domestic sovereignty. Interestingly, the United States extended its version of Westphalian sovereignty as a way of claiming that no nonWestern state should interfere in the Arctic in ways that Western practices that enforce a multilateral legal order deem problematic. Later that year, the United States also aggressively pushed for Denmark to fund the construction of airports in Greenland instead of China to counter perceived Chinese influence (Daly & Matzen, 2018; Humpert, 2020). These two issues centered around growing concern in the United States about Chinese and Russian influence growing in the Arctic, while simultaneously, impacts from climate change were beginning to have worrying knock-on effects on the environment and thus livelihoods of those living in the Arctic. By doing this, as well as pushing for Denmark to stave off A Decolonial Approach to Arctic Security and Sovereignty


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Chinese influence, the United States reproduced a social and political hierarchy in which Western ways of life are preferable and therefore more valued than other states, particularly that of China and Russia – both of which are not fully considered Western. The concern for the United States was Chinese infrastructure in Greenland, a key strategic location, which the United States saw as a strategic vulnerability. This type of behavior is reminiscent of an imperial approach, where the United States extended a Western perception of sovereignty to its allies within the Western multilateral order, attempting to thwart what it saw as unwelcome non-Western influence and interference. In doing so, the United States reinforced a hierarchy in which it places Western perceptions of social and political order over others. The security policies that came out of the Trump Administration from 2019 to 2021 frame security in a similar way (i.e., 2019 United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategic Outlook, 2019 Report to Congress Department of Defense Arctic Strategy, 2020 The Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy, 2021 A Blue Arctic, and 2021 Strategic Approach for Arctic Homeland Security). In short, they focus on the perceived aggressive actions of China and Russia in the Arctic with a focus on expressing and defending American sovereignty in the Arctic. This type of sovereignty mentioned in the policies is mainly domestic sovereignty – control over land and people. When Indigenous or colonized people are mentioned, they are described as resources to be used. For example, the 2019 United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategic Outlook calls Alaska Natives a “critical layer of security in the Arctic” (United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategic Outlook: 34). In short, Alaska Natives are seen as carriers of information that can assist security strategy by building resilience in local communities. This pattern of making Alaska Natives into resources also occurs in the 2021 Strategic Approach for Homeland Security, where Alaska Natives are called first responders – again being transformed into resources for the American security apparatus. The clearest sign yet that the United States was pivoting towards the Arctic in a manner that cemented a focus on Western security concerns (i.e., traditional state-centered security threats) was then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech to the Arctic Council in 2019 (Sengupta, 2019). Rather than address the growing concerns about climate change and the Paris Accords, Pompeo warned the Arctic Council about Russian and Chinese aggressive action in the Arctic, calling the region a zone of global power competition. This continued focus on China and Russia as the main threats to the Arctic and a continued traditional state-centered security lens happens at the expense of other security issues that threaten the individual security of those living in the Arctic. Societal security issues and after-effects originating from climate change, for example, can slip by the wayside with the focus on state-centered threats. Taking a decolonial approach here highlights the neocolonial narratives that are obscured in general discussion about security in the Arctic and brings the focus back to individual insecurities and transnational issues that otherwise are not prioritized. Within American policy documents, this trend is further exacerbated. Turning back to the research question, Arctic security narratives in the United States reproduce Western social and political hierarchies through expressions of sovereignty. As mentioned above, policy exists to justify and support actions – so it is no surprise that many of the types of sovereignty and security in action are reflected in policy. Thus, in many cases but particularly in policy, domestic sovereignty is the primary mode of sovereignty through which a hierarchical structure is produced in which the government places state-based needs over the needs of people. As with actions, policies from the United States focus overtly on state-based security threats such as Russia and China rather than transnational security threats or individual threats such as those originating from Gricius


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climate change, food security and environmental security. In short, one of the hierarchies is in which security discourses are legitimized (i.e., state-based threats) versus which are not (i.e., transnational) alongside the question of government needs such as oil and gas extraction versus the needs of individuals and communities living in the Arctic. Although there is not a neat Indigenous/non-Indigenous dichotomy particularly on oil and gas extraction, this hierarchy is best understood through a decolonial frame because this frame brings attention to the entrenched hierarchies that underpin how from a state perspective, questions of threats to state sovereign security are institutionally legitimized. The way in which the United States expresses sovereignty is a way to reify existing hierarchies, suggesting that the way that sovereignty is conceptualized currently in the Arctic is insufficient to fully account for the reality on the ground.

Canada Canadian expressions of sovereignty in the Arctic have generally reflected a focus on domestic sovereignty over the Canadian Arctic from 2014-2021. Under the Conservative Government until 2015, Canada took a more aggressive stance in the Arctic, implying it would engage in decisive actions to protect its sovereignty. This militaristic approach was paired with promoting tenets of the Western multilateral and neoliberal order such as economic development, environmental heritage, and increased governance. With the arrival of the Liberal Government in 2015, Canada’s rhetoric shifted to focus more on consultation and co-development with Indigenous peoples in the Canadian Arctic. Its expressions of sovereignty here turned inward to give more attention to northern governance, modernization, and economic development. Thus, while Canada’s approach to Arctic sovereignty has oscillated in terms of rhetoric, ultimately its underlying tenets for how to approach Arctic security have remained the same. Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party have been in power since 2015, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party formed the 2010 Canadian Arctic Strategy that was in place at the beginning of 2014. This policy explicitly mentioned that the exercise of Canadian sovereignty over the Far North was the goal of Canadian Arctic foreign policy alongside promoting economic and social development, protecting environmental heritage, and improving Northern governance. This former strategy is important in a few respects, the first being that it clearly established sovereignty over the Canadian Arctic as a goal, and heavily implied it would engage in military actions to protect that sovereignty. This military protection and a more aggressively enforced version of sovereignty gave more agency and power to the Canadian government at the expense of, rather than opening the door to, co-development and cooperation with local and regional governing structures in the Canadian Arctic (Gronning, 2016). Certainly, other co-development and cooperation activities were occurring – there is no binary per se that sovereignty assertions preclude other forms of governance– but political attention was more focused on questions of hard security. Thus, funding and the benefits that come from being politically valued were relatively lacking as compared to questions of security. Canada also held the chairmanship of the Arctic Council during the leadership of Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative Government. However, many scholars and policymakers found Canadian leadership lacking (Exner-Pirot, 2016). Much of the term of Canada’s chairing of the Arctic Council focused on economic development, such as founding the Arctic Economic Council despite concerns about lobbying and the environmental costs of increased resource extraction. By focusing on economic development through increased extraction activities, the Canadian government expressed domestic

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sovereignty in order to give preference to the needs of extractive industries. The Canadian government favored those extractive needs coming from the Canadian South over the needs and wants of Indigenous peoples living in the Canadian North. With the accession of the Liberal Party to power with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2015, there was a huge rhetorical shift in how Canada talked about the Arctic. The Canadian government discussed Arctic cooperation with Indigenous Peoples and engaged in more consultation and codevelopment at the outset. They also announced that the next Canadian Arctic Policy would be developed in tandem with people from the High North. Despite this change in rhetoric, however, much of the neocolonial narratives still exist beneath the surface, such as a focus on increased extraction. Trudeau’s Liberal government worked on the development of the 2019 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework from 2015 to 2019. They created the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, a permanent organization with a mandate to advance the interests shared between the Canadian state and the Inuit and focused on the co-development ‘with’ Northerners rather than ‘for’ them. This committee was quickly followed by Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy Framework Discussion Guide. While this policy seemed to give voices to those throughout the North by holding in-person consultation sessions, individuals and groups could only participate by invitation. Furthermore, the constant consultation process was in many cases exhausting for Indigenous communities, particularly when the results of those consultations were not helpful (Everett, 2018). While the word sovereignty was not used in the document, connotations throughout the policy refer to it, thus giving more agency to the Inuit as shared owners of the Canadian territory, but still using them to make sovereignty claims about the region – as they have since the 1980s when Canada formally recognized how Inuit sovereignty underpins Canada’s Arctic sovereignty – by the Canadian state. (Everett, 2018). This policy framework discussion guide was followed by the 2017 Shared Leadership Model, the 2017 Pan Territorial Vision for Sustainable Development, and the 2017-2018 Towards a New Arctic Policy Framework documents, all of which mostly echoed the 2017 Discussion Guide. In short, they used the right rhetoric to support policies of shared development and consultation, but in many cases, Indigenous issues and needs were sidelined in favor of government needs and wants. The publication of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (2019) was a widely anticipated policy, given that it had taken four years of development. However, it was almost immediately met with criticism for being light on details and binding commitments (Chater, 2019). Others claimed that, looking at the Harper and Trudeau policies, not much had changed (Brockman, 2019). Perhaps the most damning critique is that the timing of the publication’s release immediately before the 2019 federal election in Canada left many experts to analyze the document as part of an election platform for the Liberal Party, rather than a serious Arctic Policy (Tommerbakke, 2019). From a decolonial lens, the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (2019) immediately raised concerns. The first issue is the lack of consensus. In the policy, many of the stakeholders from the North such as those from Nunangat, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, and the Pan-Territorial Governments (governments from Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) had their contributions placed in appendices rather than within the fully developed policy. This illustrates that there was no compromise or agreement on serious issues of concern such as modernization and extraction – showing that the federal government had trouble finding consensus (Tommerbakke, 2019). Here, there is a clear sidelining of Indigenous needs and wants, one that is reflected through an expression of domestic

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sovereignty, where wishes of the federal government were placed above those of the local and regional governing bodies. The second concern came from the lack of details on how the policy framework was developed. Given that this policy took more than four years to develop, many experts find it reasonable to expect more details (Chater, 2019). This lack of detail illustrates the propensity of states to create policies that have the potential to be imperial and nontransparent in nature. The third and final concern was an issue that was previously noted – the question of participation. While the federal government did host in-person consultation sessions throughout the North, they were invitationonly and thus restricted who could contribute and whose voices mattered. This is not to say the policy was entirely problematic. One of the most notable aspects of the policy was the recognition of the impacts of colonialism in the North, particularly referring to the consequences of disease, cultural assimilation, and coerced relocation. However, by focusing more directly on questions of how and focusing on expressions of sovereignty and power, the federal government continues to sideline Indigenous viewpoints even when the policy claims to represent a co-developed process. In short, it represents the relative insecurity of those living in the Canadian Arctic in terms of representation and participation. Arctic security narratives in Canada are clearly reproducing social and political hierarchies through expressions of sovereignty. Most of Canada’s expressions of sovereignty come from a domestic sovereignty standpoint by focusing on exerting control and influence over territory and policy. This differs from the American case which has both domestic and Westphalian sovereignty, for one reason: Canada controls much more Arctic territory than the United States. Thus, their expressions of sovereignty that exclude or weaken the role of formerly colonized people tend to give more attention to what is happening within its own borders, rather than outside of them. In both policies and actions, Canada often performs the discourse but doesn’t follow through with substantial policy. It nominally recognizes the needs and interests of Indigenous People, but the Canadian government continues to prioritize its own needs and agenda. Thus, much of the actual policy continues to produce political hierarchies that puts the needs of the federal government over the actual needs and voices of those in the Canadian Arctic through expressions of domestic sovereignty.

Russia From 2014-2021, Russian expressions of sovereignty in the Arctic were geared primarily towards other countries rather than inward, thus using a conception of Westphalian sovereignty to express non-interference. With isolation from an economic and political font in the wake of the Crimean annexation, Russia began to focus on the Arctic as an economic opportunity. While there is no expectation of hot conflict, Russian military and economic interest in the Arctic has grown from 2014-2021 in terms of military exercise amount, oil and gas investment, and the investment placed in the Northern Sea Route. In engaging in the Arctic, Russia has expressed Westphalian sovereignty to keep out Western influence while also prioritizing economic interests over the individual security needs of its Indigenous Peoples, thus also expressing domestic sovereignty. Given Russia’s long coastline and history with the Arctic, it is no surprise how important the region is to the Russian government. Particularly in the wake of the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent sanctions, Russian economic interests have turned towards the Arctic as a future opportunity. Russia’s 2014 Military Doctrine began this trend, particularly as a notably recent Russian A Decolonial Approach to Arctic Security and Sovereignty


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military doctrine that explicitly mentions where Russia must protect its national interests in the Arctic. This trend continued with Russia’s 2014 Maritime Doctrine, which focused on the Atlantic and Arctic and named looming threats specifically in the Arctic as cause for strengthening Russia’s Northern Fleet. Russia’s 2015 National Security Strategy focused on the growing importance of developing Arctic natural resources. It also implied a background of global competition and focused on the expansion of NATO’s influence as a threat to Russian sovereignty. However, even with the focus on security, the strategy acknowledged that there was no expectation or conflict or race for resources. Later that year, the Comprehensive Project for Development of the Northern Sea Route was published, explicitly introducing measures to improve navigation-hydro-graphic and hydrometeorological support for navigation. Here, a decolonial lens raises an immediate red flag regarding neocolonial areas of extraction and economic development (Devaytkin, 2018). While the strategy describes the prioritization of Arctic resources, it immediately also raises the question of who is getting those resources, and how the Russian state will handle Indigenous communities who potentially may live in proximity to those areas. The 2015 strategy also highlighted the expansion of NATO’s influence as the largest threat to Russia (Klimenko, 2019). Thus, Westphalian sovereignty was also expressed through focusing on a lack of interference from other states. The Russian state also engaged in many military exercises to express this sovereignty, including Vostok in 2014 and 2015, Tsentr in 2019, and Grom in 2019 (Melino & Conley, 2020). A decolonial lens looks at this issue slightly differently than a traditional security lens by refocusing on how an increase in military activity to express Westphalian sovereignty produces social and political hierarchies. Doing so focuses Russia’s energy in the Arctic on military and economic matters, ignoring and sidelining individual insecurity issues that may arise from food, environmental, or societal issues. Thus, in expressing its Westphalian sovereignty, Russia places a priority on military and extractive concerns rather than long-lasting security concerns of Russia’s Indigenous People. As the Arctic became a more contested region, Russia created the State Arctic Commission in 2015 to coordinate federal executive authorities, state authorities, and other parts of its government to address the development of the Arctic region and to ensure national security. While this organization may at first seem to address the gaps regarding individual insecurities, it appears to have instead refocused power to Moscow. Leaders in the Russian Arctic now prioritize creating stronger ties to the federal government and Moscow, creating policy that pleases federal authorities rather than focusing on the needs and wants of Indigenous and other marginalized communities in the Russian Arctic (Blakkisrud, 2019). Taking a decolonial lens, in the creation of the Commission, the Russian government was seeking to express its domestic sovereignty over the Russian Arctic. However, in doing so, it created an explicitly top-down structure that continually puts the wishes of Russian political leaders in Moscow above the needs and wants of individuals living in the Russian Arctic. With the recent publication of Basic Principles 2035 in 2020, Russia has continued earlier outlines of Russian Arctic policies with one significant change. The new policy introduced the concept of ‘ensuring sovereignty and territorial integrity’ as the top national interest in the Arctic. Past versions of Russian sovereignty expressions in the Arctic have focused on either domestic sovereignty (to illustrate domestic control of territory and population) or Westphalian sovereignty, and it is likely that the document refers to a combination of the two. As with prior Russian Arctic documents, there is also lip service paid to the socioeconomic development of both the Arctic territory as well as the Indigenous Peoples living there (Klimenko, 2020). However, there is little that suggests that Gricius


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this will result in any real policy changes. Most parts of the Russian Arctic are suffering from population decreases and individual insecurities such as healthcare and housing. This lack of attention to individual insecurities suggests that there are other priorities such as military and economic concerns that trump – in Russia’s view – the needs of their Indigenous population. In short, Arctic security narratives in Russia reproduce social and political hierarchies that favor the needs of the Russian federal government without giving a real voice to minority interests such as those originating from Indigenous Peoples – particularly regarding economic and military concerns. In contrast to Canada, it appears that Russia expresses sovereignty both in a domestic and Westphalian sense. The United States expresses Westphalian sovereignty to keep Russian influence out, while Russia expresses Westphalian sovereignty against as what it sees as undue NATO influence. In its policies and actions, Russia seems to focus heavily on colonial ideas of extraction and economic development to reproduce social and political hierarchies that continually exclude the individual needs of people living in the Arctic.

Discussion and conclusion Considering how the United States, Canada, and Russia express sovereignty, rather than protecting states from outside threats, each states’ versions of expressing security and sovereignty are merely serving to reinforce hierarchies. Thus, rather than thinking of sovereignty purely as a neutral tool in which Western states express their power over non-Western entities, I argue that sovereignty in the Arctic is heavily influenced by neocolonial narratives and thus the traditional state-centered conception of sovereignty should therefore change to acknowledge three things. First, the shifting geography of the Arctic which makes establishing sovereignty difficult if not impossible (domestic sovereignty). Second, the history and role of Indigenous Peoples who live there (both in enhancing the international legal sovereignty of Indigenous people and giving them more power). Finally, shared sovereignty as a better fit as it will make a more equitable and historically grounded Arctic version of sovereignty. Adopting a decolonial lens allows scholars to see that sovereignty in general creates a normative hierarchy that places the non-West as ‘othered’ in opposition to the inherently sovereign West (White, 2019). This hierarchy that Western states use suggests that neocolonial narratives continue to influence the way they view security and sovereignty in the Arctic. Non-Western perspectives on conservation, for example, are consulted but not placed on the same valuation as perspectives of Western science, academia, and industry. State-centered threats from China and Russia are given more weight than real individual insecurities arising from food, water, and environmental insecurity. States contribute to individual insecurities by doing so. Thus, non-West perspectives are devalued in reference not only to conservation, but also other questions related to climate change. Traditional security lenses neither acknowledge this neocolonial power structuring nor fully reflect the contestation of sovereignty. Some scholars have already argued that sovereignty is contested in the Arctic due to the region’s constantly changing geography as well as the distance between nonArctic capitals and the Arctic (Gerhardt et al., 2010). First, the adverse effects of climate change continue to change Arctic geography as well as geopolitical realities. An updated understanding of Arctic sovereignty should acknowledge that enacting domestic sovereignty may not be fully possible. By trying to maintain the same understanding of land and territory as before that use colonial understandings of ecological imperialism when relating to land, one cannot really approach and think about climate change in a

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productive manner. Thus, the same kind of expressions of domestic sovereignty, then, should also be reduced in order to think more critically about climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. Second, the history and role of Indigenous peoples should also be more broadly acknowledged in this updated version of Arctic sovereignty. Doing so gives them more legal power and sovereignty over decisions that impact their livelihood. While Inuit sovereignty is key to Canada’s broader Arctic claims, it is by no means the norm across Arctic states. Further, acknowledgement is only one part of the equation. With more scholarly attention being paid towards the importance of TEK and other contributions from Indigenous people, so too should sovereignty in the Arctic reflect that role. Going beyond acknowledgement here would serve to give Indigenous peoples more legal sovereignty to take part in decision-making about the Arctic, something that is sorely lacking now. Bringing in those voices may seem like a small step, but it would empower Indigenous Peoples, acknowledging that they too are important players in the Arctic. Acknowledging this new kind of sovereignty is in line with what Indigenous leaders are already saying, particularly in reference to the publication of ‘A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic’ by the Inuit Circumpolar Council in April 2009. Among other claims, the declaration argues that issues of sovereignty must be assessed in the Inuit’s context of a long history of exercising self-determination and that the Inuit have been ignored in Arctic sovereignty discussions. When thinking about the role of Indigenous people in Arctic sovereignty, thus, it goes beyond any one state’s claim to sovereignty in the Arctic on a territorial level. Scholarly, policy, and activist attention ought to be paid to bringing attention and acknowledgement to the way Indigenous People use sovereignty. Third, Arctic policymakers and scholars should consider that shared sovereignty may be a more equitable and historically grounded version of Arctic sovereignty. From an Indigenous perspective, sovereignty has a different meaning and can be helpful here when imagining how a shared sovereignty can work in the real world. First, Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty are social and cultural ways of understanding community – and thus sovereignty is often linked to an ability to carry out normal life activities. Therefore, shared sovereignty in the Arctic can reflect that, acknowledging that geopolitical competition and increased oil and gas extraction are threats to that sovereignty. Second, Indigenous approaches to sovereignty also take a relational approach, thinking about how land and people interrelate and the importance of being heard in deliberations between people. In action, this could mean focusing more on the Arctic institutions that exist and giving more power to Indigenous People in those institutions to be heard and speak rather than giving power to states alone. In a future Arctic that will be inevitably changed by the advent of climate change, people and collectives will have to work together to solve these larger collective-action problems. This feeds into a third way that Indigenous sovereignty can inform shared sovereignty. While Westphalian sovereignty treats land as an exploitable resource, Indigenous sovereignty sees land as something to be cared for, the other part of a reciprocal relationship between people and land. What use is having sovereignty over a place if it is not cared for or is not productive? Shared sovereignty in action here would be a reframing of the Arctic as a place for cooperative action to care for the land as the primary objective of sovereignty. Fourth, sovereignty is contextual. In the Arctic, this implies that any notion of shared sovereignty specifically in the Arctic must include Indigenous people, their traditional and ecological knowledge, and the co-managing of Arctic issues.

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Scholars acknowledge that sovereignty is constantly evolving and thus we should not use outdated terminology to describe a region when it is no longer useful (MacFarlane & Sabanadze, 2013; Glanville, 2013). It is not as though sovereignty has not already adapted and been changed with other alterations. The European Union, for example, does not fit within the traditional bounds of sovereignty. It operates as somewhat of a hybrid that follows some older rules but also adapts to the type of sovereignty that the European Union represents. The Arctic similarly should be an opportunity for sovereignty to evolve and address both the changing role of geography and Indigenous peoples alongside a new conception of shared sovereignty as well as deal with the very real threat of climate change. In this research, I have used a decolonial lens to illustrate how the United States, Canada, and Russia reproduce social and political hierarchies through expressions of sovereignty. I have further demonstrated how traditional security lenses are insufficient to address the current security issues of today and thus, why a new version of sovereignty in the Arctic is necessary to reflect the changing reality on the ground. It is through the deconstruction of neocolonial narratives and ideas that new ways of thinking about sovereignty and security can be revealed and hopefully better fit the current needs and security concerns of people in the Arctic.

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Kincaid, Patrick. (2016). Review of Indigenous Sovereignty in the 21st Century: Knowledge for the Indigenous Spring, by Michael Lerma. Wicazo Sa Review, 31 (2): 96–103. Klimenko, E. (2019). The Geopolitics of a Changing Arctic [SIPRI Background Paper]. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Klimenko, E. (2020, April 6). Russia’s New Arctic Policy document signals continuity rather than change. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. https://www.sipri.org/commentary/essay/2020/russias-new-arctic-policy-documentsignals-continuity-rather-change Klimenko, E., Nilsson, A., & Christensen, M. (2019). Narratives in the Russian Media of Conflict and Cooperation in the Arctic (SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security No. 2019/5; `). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Klimenko, Ekaterina. (2016). Russia’s Arctic Security Policy: Still Quiet in the High North? (SIPRI Policy Paper 45). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Krasner, S. (2016). The Persistence of State Sovereignty. In The Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism. Oxford University Press. Lackenbauer, W., & Greaves, W. (2016). Re-thinking sovereignty and security in the Arctic. Open Canada. https://opencanada.org/re-thinking-sovereignty-and-securityarctic/#:~:text=Historically%2C Larter, D. (2019). US Navy declares new fleet created to confront Russia fully operational. Defense News. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/12/31/us-navy-declaresnew-fleet-stood-up-to-confront-russia-fully-operational/ LeVine, M. (2020). Colonialism in the Region: Foundations, Legacies, and Continuities. In A. Salvatore, S. Hanafi, & K. Obuse (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190087470.013.5 MacFarlane, N., & Sabanadze, N. (2013). Sovereignty and self-determination: Where are we? International Journal, 68(4), 609–627. Matzen, E., & Daly, T. (2018). Greenland’s courting of China for airport projects worries Denmark. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-arcticgreenland/greenlands-courting-of-china-for-airport-projects-worries-denmarkidUSKBN1GY25Y Melino, M., & Conley, H. (2020). The Ice Curtain: Russia’s Arctic Military Presence. Center for Strategic and International Studies. https://www.csis.org/features/ice-curtain-russiasarctic-militarypresence#:~:text=In%202017%2C%20Russia%20updated%20its,its%20sea%2Dbased% 20nuclear%20forces. Mitchell, Audra. (2020). Revitalizing Laws, (Re)-Making Treaties, Dismantling Violence: Indigenous Resurgence against ‘the Sixth Mass Extinction.’ Social & Cultural Geography, 21 (7): 909–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2018.1528628. Moreton-Robinson, A. 2015. The White Possessive; Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. National Security Strategy of the United States of America. (2017). The White House. https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-182017-0905.pdf

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National Strategy for the Arctic Region. (2013). The White House. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/nat_arctic_strategy.pdf Nicol, Heather N. 2017. From Territory to Rights: New Foundations for Conceptualising Indigenous Sovereignty. Geopolitics, 22 (4): 794–814. https://doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2016.1264055. Obama, B. (2015). Executive Order—Enhancing Coordination of National Efforts in the Arctic. The White House. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-pressoffice/2015/01/21/executive-order-enhancing-coordination-national-efforts-arctic Pan Territorial Vision for Sustainable Development. (2017). Premiers of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. https://www.gov.nt.ca/sites/flagship/files/documents/panterritorial_vision_for_sustainable_development_en.pdf Prime Minister of Canada and President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami announce the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. (2017). PMO. https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/newsreleases/2017/02/09/prime-minister-canada-and-president-inuit-tapiriit-kanatamiannounce Report to Congress Department of Defense Arctic Strategy. (2019). US Department of Defense. https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jun/06/2002141657/-1/-1/1/2019-DOD-ARCTICSTRATEGY.PDF Report to Congress on Strategy to Protect United States National Security Interests in the Arctic Region. (2016). US Department of Defense. https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2016-Arctic-Strategy-UNCLAScleared-for-release.pdf Sengupta, S. (2019). United States Rattles Arctic Talks with a sharp warning to China and Russia. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/climate/pompeo-arcticchina-russia.html Shrinkhal, Rashwet. (2021). Indigenous Sovereignty’ and Right to Self-Determination in International Law: A Critical Appraisal. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 17 (1): 71–82. https://doi.org/10.1177/1177180121994681. Simon, M. (2017). A new Shared Arctic Leadership Model. Government of Canada. https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1492708558500/1537886544718 Sliwa, Z., & Aliyev, N. (2020). Strategic Competition or Possibilities for Cooperation between the United States and Russia in the Arctic. The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 33(2), 214– 236. Strategic Approach for Arctic Homeland Security. (2021). US Department of Homeland Security. https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/21_0217_plcy_dhs-arcticstrategy.pdf The Department of the Air Force Arctic Strategy. (2020). Department of the Air Force. https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/2020SAF/July/ArcticStrategy.pdf Thorner, Sabra, Fran Edmonds, Maree Clarke, and Paola Balla. 2018. Maree’s Backyard: Intercultural Collaborations for Indigenous Sovereignty in Melbourne. Oceania, 88 (3): 269–91. https://doi.org/10.1002/ocea.5206. Tommerbakke, S. G. (2019). Why the Canadians are Provoked by the New and Ambitious Arctic Policy Document. High North News. https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/whycanadians-are-provoked-new-and-ambitious-arctic-policy-document

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Toward a new Arctic Policy Framework. (2017). Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1499951681722/1537884604444 Turner, D. 2001. “Vision: Towards an Understanding of Aboriginal Sovereignty.” Canadian Political Philosophy: Contemporary Reflections, edited by Ronald Beiner and W. J. Norman, 318-331. Oxford University Press. United States – Canada Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement. (2016). PMO. https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/statements/2016/12/20/united-states-canada-joint-arcticleaders-statement “United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategic Outlook.” 2019. Washington DC: The United States Coast Guard. https://www.uscg.mil/Portals/0/Images/arctic/Arctic_Strategy_Book_APR_2019.pdf. White, J. I. (2019). A Critical Reflection on Sovereignty in International Relations Today. EInternational Relations. Zandee, D., Kruijver, K., & Stoetman, A. (2020). The future of Arctic security: The geopolitical pressure cooker and the consequences for the Netherlands. Clingendael. Военная доктрина Российской Федерации. (2014). Президент Российской Федерации. Морская доктрина Поссиицкои Федерации. (2014). Президент Российской Федерации. О стратегии национальнои безонасности Россиискои Федарации. (2015). Президент Российской Федерации. Об Основах государственнои Поссиискои Федарации в Арктике на период до 2035 года. (2020). Президент Российской Федерации. Об основах государственной политики Российской Федерации в Арктике на период до 2035 года. (2020). Кремль. http://static.kremlin.ru/media/events/files/ru/f8ZpjhpAaQ0WB1zjywN04OgKiI1mAv aM.pdf Утверждён план развития инфраструктуры Северного морского пути до 2035 года. (2015). Арктическая деятельность.

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Beyond the Nation-State Paradigm: Inuit SelfDetermination and International Law in the Northwest Passage Juliana Iluminata Wilczynski

This article examines how the nation-State paradigm of international relations and international law in the Arctic conflicts with Inuit self-determination in the Northwest Passage. This evaluation is made through the lens of four Indigenous rights which are relevant to the Northwest Passage: the right to self-determination, the right to traditional territories and resources, the right to culture, and rights to consultation and free, prior, and informed consent. This article makes three submissions, namely: (1) doctrinal reduction of sovereignty to the nation-state paradigm in international law functions to exclude Indigenous peoples from participation in international law and decision-making; (2) Inuit participation in the international politics of the Northwest Passage is a vehicle for the expression of their right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; (3) the inclusion of the Inuit as international legal actors as demonstrated by their historical transnational advocacy will be a necessary step for the international community to take in order to uphold the Inuit’s right to self-determination, especially in relation to the future of the Northwest Passage if the transit passage regime is deemed to apply in the future. Ultimately, this article adopts a pluralist and decolonial perspective to critically challenge the traditional notion of sovereignty as understood from a Westphalian perspective, and advocates for the imperative recognition of Indigenous peoples and inclusion of them as transnational legal actors.

Introduction Adopting a pluralist (Davies, 2010: 805) and decolonial (Mignolo, 2017) perspective, this article evaluates how the nation-state paradigm of Arctic international relations interacts and conflicts with Inuit self-determination in the Northwest Passage (NWP). These tensions are examined through the lens of four Indigenous rights applicable to the NWP: the rights to self-determination, culture, traditional territories and resources, consultation and free, prior, informed consent (FPIC). These rights of Indigenous peoples (IPs), laid down in the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), overlap in scope with nation-state centered legal regimes applicable to the NWP, like the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Juliana Iluminata Wilczynski is a 2021 graduate of the European Law School L.L.B. at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, and a member of the Arctic Youth Network.


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The Inuit Canadian domestic context remains the focus of this article, while the greater Inuit polity1 is referenced to in relation to Inuit transnationalism. Utilizing the doctrinal method, deductive analysis is developed on the basis of existing decolonial, political, and legal scholarship, referencing legal texts, and Inuit representative statements. The author clarifies her positionality as nonIndigenous, and she does not claim to define the Inuit experience nor to be an expert in Indigeneity. This article proceeds by placing the development of international law in its historical context to demonstrate the disconnect between international law and Indigenous dispossession. This historical context circumscribes Indigenous advocacy in the twenty-first century, and illuminates the limitations imposed by nation-state sovereignty doctrine on Indigenous recognition. This article sets out the domestic legal context in Canada applicable to the NWP, exploring the comprehensive Land Claims Agreements (LCAs) negotiated by Inuit, and legal pluralism, demonstrating overlapping sovereignties in the NWP. Next, this article lays out the applicability of human and Indigenous rights to the NWP. These rights are then elaborated in the context of their overlap with State-centered legal regimes in the NWP, and the NWP dispute. The nexus of these conflicting notions of sovereignty lies in the overlap in territorial scope between LCAs, UNDRIP, and UNCLOS.

Indigenous dispossession IPs were first conceptualised as non-sovereigns in Franciscus de Vitoria’s sixteenth century lectures concerning the colonial encounter in the West Indies, (Anghie, 2005)2 through which sovereignty doctrine emerged, where ‘Indians’ were deemed non-sovereign because their ‘cultural practices’ conflicted with natural law.3 Following the transition from divine to natural law, the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 reconfigured political structures (Lesaffer, 2004) giving rise to a nation-State framework of international relations, whereby positivism replaced natural law (Shaw, 2003). As Empires expanded through colonization, the law of nations “…became less universalist in conception and more...a reflection of European values” (Shaw, 2003: 27). Positivism became the framework which reconstructed “the entire system of international law based on the...new version of sovereignty doctrine” (Anghie, 2005: 41) through a ‘racialised scientific lexicon’4 excluding non-Europeans, and non-Christians, from international law, as, “it would be impossible for a nomadic tribe...to come under” the provisions of international law (Lawrence, 1895: 136). Recognition doctrine, purporting that States entered the community of nations upon recognition by other sovereigns, allowed property rights to be “derived from natives...even before European sovereignty has existed over the spot” (Anghie, 2005: 80),5 preventing IPs from deriving sovereign rights (Anghie, 2005). Sovereignty over Indigenous territories was established by application of doctrines, including the discovery doctrine which characterised Indigenous territories as legally unoccupied, or terra nullius, and, “represented the legal conclusion that Indigenous peoples possessed no international legal existence” (Macklem, 2008: 184). Sovereignty doctrine dispossessed IPs because legal personality was only bestowed to enable transfer of title to colonial powers (Anghie, 2005). The application of this framework led to acquisition of sovereignty over adjacent traditional marine spaces of IPs (Hamilton, 2019). In the twentieth century, international institutions materialised in parallel to the decolonisation process (Anghie, 2005). The emergence of the right to self-determination was perceived as a Beyond the Nation-State Paradigm


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violation of the obligation to maintain ‘territorial integrity’, (UNGA Res. 15/14 XV, 1960), prompting a 1970 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Declaration, from which the ‘blue water doctrine’ limited pursuit of sovereign independence to colonized populations “separated by water from their parent colonial State” (UNGA Res. 26/25 XXV, 1970: 9). This doctrine has arguably had the greatest impact on the right to self-determination, as it limited legal capacity by the geographic location of IPs’ traditional territories (Macklem, 2008). Thus, international law became the tool by which IPs were dispossessed from their traditional territories and excluded from participation in international relations. Within this historical context, IPs are excluded from legal frameworks qualified on Statehood which are applicable to their traditional territories and through which they must advocate for their rights. Crown sovereignty and Inuit Nunangat Inuit have lived along the NWP long before the imposition of Crown sovereignty (ICC, CIDSA, 2009, para. 1.2). European nations claimed sovereignty over North America by application of the terra nullius doctrine (Macklem, 2001).6 No single event marks establishment of Crown sovereignty over Inuit Nunangat (Morrison, 2021),7 but ‘exploration’ of the NWP facilitated acceptance of de facto and de jure Crown sovereignty over the Canadian Arctic. In 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Company Charter granted the company legal title to about half of present-day Canadian territory, (Hudson’s Bay Company Charter, 1670) initiating Crown acquisition of sovereignty over the Canadian Arctic (Morrison, 2021). Remaining present-day Northwest Territories, and Southern Nunavut were annexed into the Charter in 1821, and in 1870, Hudson’s Bay Company transferred title of its lands to Canada, which included all but the Arctic archipelago (Morrison, 2021). Crown sovereignty over the remaining archipelago was strengthened during the cartographic process of the Arctic (Morrison, 2021). Canada advanced sovereignty claims most successfully through military occupation of Inuit territory. State police organs were established in new Arctic outposts, coinciding with Inuit relocations to Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay in the 1950s (Morrison, 2021; Kunuk 2008). Since then, the motive behind these relocations have been thoroughly debated in the literature, in official reports, and at different government fora.8 Although a narrative has emerged claiming that Inuit were used as ‘human flagpoles’ to further Canadian sovereignty, archival records, and Inuit oral histories suggest that the relocations were not primarily motivated by sovereignty claims (Lackenbauer, 2020: xv). As Lackenbauer points out, the crux of the matter is that the relocations inflicted trauma on relocated Inuit communities. Crucially, Inuit’s longstanding use and occupancy of the Arctic is the basis for Canada’s Arctic sovereignty, as laid out in the LCAs, regardless of whether they were used as ‘human flagpoles’ or not (Lackenbauer, 2020: xv). In 1985, Secretary of State for External Affairs Joe Clark stated in the House of Commons that, “From time immemorial Canada’s Inuit people have used and occupied the ice as they have used and occupied the land” (Joe Clark, 1985). Ultimately, the accumulation of events in which Canada asserted sovereignty supplemented by historic Inuit occupancy eventually contributed to the crystallisation of Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic. Nevertheless, the NWP is not universally recognised as Canadian territorial waters, as the US contends that the NWP is an international strait (NSPD-66/HSPD-25, 2009; National Strategy for the Arctic Region, 2013).

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Legal pluralism The existence of legal pluralism in Canada was confirmed in the Haida Nation (Haida Nation v. British Columbia, 2004) and Taku River Tlingit First Nation (Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. British Columbia, 2004) cases in which the Canadian Supreme Court acknowledged ‘pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty’. The Court characterised Crown sovereignty in the present as de facto, (Haida Nation v British Columbia, 2004: para. 32) asserting that overlapping Indigenous and Crown sovereignty claims must be reconciled through treaties (Haida Nation v British Columbia, 2004, para. 17). Canada has appropriated pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty to advance Arctic sovereignty claims (Nicol, 2017) through unrequited agreements with Inuit, as it is argued that Canada maintains Inuit in a situation of disenfranchisement and State dependency (NTI, 2006). Land Claims Agreements Inuit have negotiated five ‘comprehensive land claims agreements’ with Canada (Policy Options, 2007). While all five treaties9 have scope in the NWP, two are explored here: the 1984 Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) (IFA, 2005) and the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) (NLCA, 1993). In 1973, the Canadian Supreme Court held that IPs hold aboriginal title to historically occupied territories (Calder v British Columbia, 1973: 394). Following Calder, the government announced a policy to negotiate land claims with IPs who could prove aboriginal title on the basis of historic occupation (Crowe, 2019). In 1982, the Canadian Constitution was amended to recognise rights of IPs (Constitution Act, 1982: § 35 (2)), including treaty rights (Constitution Act, 1982: § 35 (1) jo. 35 (3)). Inuit negotiated their 1984 IFA on the basis of the 1977 Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project report demonstrating historic use and occupancy of land, water, and sea ice. (IFA, 2005; Milton Freeman Research Limited, 1976). This report, commissioned by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, demonstrated Inuit use and occupancy of land ice including in the NWP (Milton Freeman Research Limited, 1976; Lajeunesse, 2016: 265) Inuvialuit Inuit ceded aboriginal title and rights to Canada (IFA, 2005: para. para. 3.(4) jo. para. 3. (5)) in exchange for rights and privileges (IFA, 2005: para. 3.(4) jo. para. 3. (11)) including rights of consultation, title to approximately 95,000 km2 in traditional lands, (IFA, 2005: para. 7.(a)-(b) jo. 7.(2) jo. 7.(3)) limited autonomy, and oil royalties (IFA, 2005: para. 7.52 jo. 7.53 jo. 7.54). The 1993 NLCA required cession of aboriginal title in exchange for title to approximately 350,000 km2 in traditional lands, (NLCA, 1993: para. 19.1.119.5.1), the right to establish a semi-autonomous Territorial Government, (NLCA, 1993: para. 2.10.4) and marine management rights (NLCA, 1993: para. 15). Notwithstanding, “all Aboriginal peoples with modern treaties report that the Government of Canada fails to carry out various treaty obligations” (Policy Options, 2007). Through the LCAs, Canada’s NWP sovereignty was strengthened on the basis of Inuit occupancy yet corresponding rights laid down in the NLCA have failed to be implemented by Canada (Fenge & Quassa, 2009; Nunavut Settlement Agreement, 2015). This failure of implementation is well documented in reports documenting its implementation status (Nunavut Implementation Panel, 2000; 2004; 2008; 2011). Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), tasked to implement the NLCA, sought litigation in 2006 to enforce the NLCA (NTI, 2006). This culminated in a 2015 out-of-court settlement agreement. (Nunavut Settlement Agreement, 2015). Canada opposed the adoption of UNDRIP in 2007, citing Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 as evidence that it protected the IP rights

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(Campbell, 2015). Ironically, this was only a year after NTI initiated proceedings against Canada for failing to implement the NLCA. In 2016, Canada signaled its intention to adopt and implement UNDRIP (Government of Canada, 2021). In June 2021, Bill C-15 codifying UNDRIP received royal assent and entered into force (Bill C-15, 2020-2021; UNDRIP Act, 2021). Canada’s distorted perception of Indigenous rights has served the interests of advancing Canadian Arctic sovereignty. Unlike UNDRIP, the NLCA constructs a unique relationship between State sovereignty and Indigenous self-determination, limits the exercise of self-determination by allowing “continuous assertion of sovereignty by the State government over lands and waters within Canada’s Arctic” (Nicol, 2017: 804). The LCA process may reflect a state strategy to dispossess IPs of traditional territories (Samson, 2016). The LCA process extinguished aboriginal title rights and concluded assertion of State sovereignty over Inuit Nunangat. Nicol argues that UNDRIP conflicts with the IFA and NLCA, as UNDRIP self-determination standards do not support negotiation of rights in exchange for cession of aboriginal title (Nicol, 2017), as aboriginal title recognition is necessary to the realization of selfdetermination. Inuit contend that LCAs reflect an understanding of shared jurisdiction of traditional territories (ICC, 2019). Now that UNDRIP has been codified into Canadian law, a new framework must emerge to understand how UNDRIP standards will interact with LCAs, Inuit sovereignty, UNCLOS, and Canada’s Arctic sovereignty. Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (AWPPA) In 1969, the SS Manhattan, an American oil-tanker became the largest commercial vessel to sail the NWP (Policy Options, 2007). In response, Canada adopted the AWPPA, citing ‘Canada’s responsibility’ to Inuit welfare as reason to enact environmental protection in the ‘internal waters of Canada.’ (AWPPA, 1985: Art. 2(2)). Even though the AWPPA had an environmental rationale for its adoption, coinciding with the growing environmentalist movement of the 1970s, and a rationale to protect Inuit, it also reaffirmed Canadian territorial sovereignty in the Arctic by establishing a jurisdiction to enforce anti-pollution laws in its territorial waters (Government of Canada, 2017). In 2009, Canada adjusted the application of this act from 100 to 200 nautical miles (An Act to amend the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, 2009; Art. 234 UNCLOS).

Arctic narratives While Inuit lead Arctic narratives in the Canadian context, global Arctic narratives still center around the eight Arctic States and their interests, economic and political. These narratives overlook the sempiternal existence of IPs, “communities...whose lives, cultures, histories, and societies predate the imposition of the nation-State on them, people who have lived on the northern cap of the globe for thousands of years” (Christie, 2011: 329) These narratives reinforce State-centered conceptions of Arctic sovereignty, and inform legal culture and policy. Ultimately, these narratives limit the legal imagination of a sovereignty practice not circumscribed by the nation-State paradigm, which the author describes as State-centered international relations.10 Hence, two points must be made; the first being that Inuit have conceptualised an expression of sovereignty and selfdetermination outside of secession (CIDSA, 2009: para. 1.6). Secondly, most Inuit proudly acknowledge their multifaceted identities as both Inuit and Canadians, and support Canadian sovereignty in the NWP (ICC, 2019). However, this does not excuse Canada from implementing LCAs, or from fulfilling UNDRIP’s standards.

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Inuit continue to demand treatment by Canada in compliance with LCAs and human rights, primarily through calls for inclusion in NWP decision-making, especially as it involves international actors in traditional territories. Accordingly, exercise of Inuit self-determination means inclusion in decision-making processes that impact their traditional territories, and resources at national and international level (Christie, 2011: 343). Inuit seek greater participation in decision-making at international level on environmental regulations, shipping regulations, and advocate for recognition of Indigenous human rights at international level (CIDSA, 2009: para. 3.4-3.5) At national level, Inuit seek adequate implementation of LCAs, implementation of UNDRIP, consultation on issues of Arctic tourism, and equitable access to water and healthcare infrastructure (ITK, 2021).

International human rights and Indigenous rights Indigenous rights have been contentious since their emergence in international law. Whether Indigenous rights exist within the general human rights framework, or whether they occupy a separate legal sphere, and whom this framework applies to remains debated (Chen, 2014). This section outlines Indigenous rights in international law, and evaluates the status of four rights applicable to the NWP. Legal protection is qualified upon fulfillment of criteria identifying the right-holder and thereafter attaching protection. Scholars have attempted to define ‘Indigenous peoples’ to develop the Indigenous rights regime. However, “historically speaking, indigenous peoples have suffered from definitions imposed by others” (Daes, 1995: para. 6). This sentiment is echoed by Indigenous representatives (Simpson, 1997). The author acknowledges historical oppression faced by IPs by way of imposition of legal definitions. Accordingly, this article adopts Anaya’s (1996) definition of IPs as, “living descendants of pre-invasion inhabitants of lands now dominated by others” (3). Within the general human rights framework, Indigenous peoples are protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), all enjoying near universal ratification. UN human rights committees have evolved to interpret their conventions11 in light of the rights of IPs (ILA, 2010). UNDRIP was adopted by the UNGA in 2007, with four votes against it from States containing significant IP populations, including Canada. All four States now endorse UNDRIP (Chircop et al., 2019). UNDRIP is the most articulate international human rights framework pertaining to IPs. UNDRIP weaves individual human rights (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 1) along with rights carved out by the Indigenous rights regime. As a UNGA resolution, UNDRIP is not strictly binding under international law. Nevertheless, many contend12 that some provisions of UNDRIP codify customary international law (CIL), regionally or internationally, or reflect general principles of international law (Barnabas, 2017). An ILA report asserted that human rights committees now demonstrate reliance on UNDRIP in interpreting widely-ratified human rights conventions (ILA, 2010), and that although UNDRIP as a whole does not yet reflect CIL, specific provisions do (ILA, 2012). At its minimum, UNDRIP illuminates available protections within the international human rights framework (Barnabas, 2007: 244), and must be interpreted through this framework (UNDRIP, 2007: Preamble). It must also be interpreted in recognition of collective rights, as IPs maintain that

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a unique framework of Indigenous rights separate from the general human rights regime (Wiessner, 1999) is necessary “to secure their cultural survival” (Chen, 2014) amidst systemic oppression faced by virtue of their Indigeneity. This mutually symbiotic relationship of individual and collective protection on the basis of human and Indigenous rights is reflected in UNDRIP, as “UNDRIP recognises and affirms...IPs as a collective or as individuals” (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 2). Additionally, Inuit affirm their unique status as IPs in the Arctic (CIDSA, 2009: para. 1.8).

Applicability of human rights to the Northwest Passage The principle that human rights are applicable within a State’s territory (VCLT, 1980: Art. 29) or in a space subject to State jurisdiction, is reflected in human rights conventions (ICCPR, 1966: Art. 2(1); ECHR, 1953: Art. 1; ACHR, 1969: Art. 1(1)). As State territory includes not only internal waters, but also territorial sea and archipelagic waters, (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 2(1) jo. Art. 49) human rights law is applicable therein (Enyew, 2019). Similarly, as States maintain jurisdiction through effective control (UNHRC, General Comment 31, 2004: para. 3; Case Concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo, 2005: para. 216; Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004: para. 107-113) over their exclusive economic zone (EEZ), human rights law is also applicable there (Enyew, 2019). Thus, Indigenous and human rights overlap in geographic scope with UNCLOS. Right to self-determination The right to self-determination is regarded as the cornerstone of the Indigenous rights regime, but remains heavily debated. Indigenous peoples maintain that the collective right to self-determination and its recognition is “essential for their survival and development” (Eide, 1982: para. 70). The right is grounded in the UN Charter (UN Charter 1945: Art. 1(2)) and Common Art. 1 ICCPR and ICESCR, defining the right to self-determination as the right to “...freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.” Art. 3 UNDRIP articulates the right to self-determination, mirroring Common Art. 1 ICCPR and ICESCR. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has established the right of nomadic peoples to selfdetermination (Western Sahara, 1975: para. 70, 80), and characterised the right as erga omnes (Case concerning East Timor, 1995: para. 29; Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 2004: para. 88). The right to self-determination has an internal and external dimension. The external dimension is characterised by freedom of a group to independently choose its ‘international status’ without interference, while the internal dimension entails rights to autonomously design a government within the territorial boundaries of a nation-State (Wiessner, 1999). Exercise of external selfdetermination is limited by Art. 46 (1) UNDRIP, prohibiting “any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States.” States associate the right to self-determination with secessionist movements and perceive it as a threat to territorial integrity and State sovereignty (Urrutia, 1996). This is further impacted by the uti possidetis juris principle, which aims “to achieve the stability of territorial boundaries by preserving the former administrative or colonial boundaries of a State.” (Zyberi, 2009: 449; Case concerning the Frontier Dispute, 1986: para. 26). Conversely, scholars question “whether the right to self-determination can be really exercised if it can only be implemented following borders...settled by colonizing states” (Chen, 2014: 6).

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Chen (2014) describes the right to self-determination in UNDRIP envisioning “full participation of Indigenous peoples in decisions concerning them...or having some form of territorial autonomy” (6). Accordingly, the author suggests that Inuit are already exercising external selfdetermination, through their transnational advocacy for inclusion in State-centered regimes applicable to the NWP. Accordingly, without full Inuit inclusion in commercial, political, and legal processes of the NWP their right to self-determination as IPs is hindered. Right to traditional territories and resources The right to traditional territories and resources entails, “the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters, and coastal seas and other resources…” (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 25). Art. 26 UNDRIP asserts this relationship as a property right, and IPs are entitled to “own, use, develop, and control” these spaces, by which States must recognise their “customs, traditions, and land tenure systems.” This right has also been applied by regional human rights bodies13 and arguably represents at least regional customary international law (ILA, 2010; Anaya & Williams, 2001; Wiessner, 1999). Although Art. 25 and 26 UNDRIP specify traditional ‘waters and coastal seas’, human rights bodies have not adequately applied this norm to marine spaces (Enyew, 2019). Nevertheless, the definition for traditional lands in ILO Convention no. 16914 has been extended to include marine spaces traditionally occupied and used by Indigenous peoples. (ILO 169, 1991: Art. 13 (2)). Similarly, a UN study on Indigenous peoples found rights to traditional territories applicable to oceans and seabeds (Toki, 2016: 3). Indigenous peoples maintain that these rights are applicable to marine spaces including sea-ice (ILO, 1989: 4). Inuit have used and occupied NWP sea-ice and waters for ‘time immemorial’ (ICC, 2009: para. 1.2), as evidenced in the Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project report commissioned by the Canadian Government (Milton Freeman Research Limited, 1976) and in the Sea Ice is Our Highway report demonstrating traditional occupancy of sea-ice (ICC, 2008: ii). Importantly, the latter report elaborates that, “Inuit do not distinguish between the ground upon which our communities are built and the sea ice upon which we travel, hunt, and build igloos...Land is anywhere our feet, dog teams, or snowmobiles can take us” (ICC, 2008: para. 1.2.2). As NWP sea-ice and its resources are the traditional territory and resources of Inuit, Inuit are entitled to all rights arising therefrom. Right to culture The right of IPs to their culture is enumerated in several human rights frameworks, including Art. 27 ICCPR, Art. 15 (1) ICESCR, and in Art. 11-13, 15 and 34 UNDRIP. Importantly, the scope of the right to culture in relation to IPs has been clarified by the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC): “[C]ulture manifests itself in many forms, including a particular way of life associated with the use of land resources, especially in the case of Indigenous peoples. That right may include such traditional activities as fishing or hunting…” (UNHRC, General Comment 23, 1994: para. 7). The UNHRC has applied this notion in Art. 27 cases.15 The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) asserts that, “the strong communal dimension of Indigenous peoples” cultural life...includes the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired” (UNCESCR, General Comment 21,

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2009: para. 36). Thus, the right to traditional territories, and resources is inextricably linked to the right to culture. The right to culture has been interpreted in the context of marine spaces, and as Enyew (2019) argues, this right is “equally applicable to marine spaces and resources” (53). In the Apirana Mahuika case concerning Maori fishing rights, UNHRC found that, “economic activities may come within the ambit of article 27 [ICCPR], if they are an essential element of the culture of a community.” (Apirana Mahuika et al v New Zealand, 2000: para. 9.3). As Inuit in the NWP practice their culture by means of hunting, fishing, and associated activities (ITK, 2018), their cultural practice is dependent on their distinct spiritual and economic relationship with the NWP. Rights to consultation, and FPIC Although the right to consultation in decision-making is a tenet of the right to self-determination, consultation and FPIC are also recognised in UNDRIP as procedural rights giving effect to selfdetermination (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 3, 19, 29(2), 32(2)). Art. 19 UNDRIP affirms that “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith” with IPs to obtain “free, prior, and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.” Furthermore, FPIC of IPs must be acquired if projects impact traditional marine spaces (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 32 (2)), and projects involving “storage or disposal of hazardous materials” in traditional territories (UNDRIP, 2007: Art. 29(2)). The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, asserts that FPIC must be acquired in “matters of fundamental importance for their rights, survival, dignity and well-being” (UNHRC, UN Doc A/HRC/18/42, 2011: para. 22). The UNHRC and Inter-American Court of Human Rights have applied a standard of ‘major impact’ and ‘substantial interference’ to situations in which FPIC of IPs must be acquired (UNHRC, Ángela Poma Poma v Peru, 2006: para. 7.6; IACtHR, Saramaka People v Suriname, 2007: para. 134, 137; Enyew, 2019). An issue therefore arises as to how Inuit agency can be advanced if commercial or legal processes, occur on the broader international scale, where Inuit lack standing. Furthermore, State-centered regimes like UNCLOS have high normative value in international law. As the Indigenous rights regime is still developing higher normative status, legal regimes which qualify participation on Statehood have the potential to supersede Indigenous rights in marine spaces with overlapping scope.

Inuit transnationalism In 2008, Denmark, Canada, the US, Russia and Norway issued the Ilulissat Declaration, deeming UNCLOS as the principal legal framework applicable to the Arctic Ocean (Ilulissat Declaration, 2008). Khan (2019) argues that the declaration “brought to the forefront the exclusion of Arctic Indigenous peoples in intergovernmental deliberations over Arctic resources and sovereignty disputes” (682). In response, Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), a transnational organization representing Inuit across the US, Canada, Russia, and Greenland issued the Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Sovereignty in the Arctic (CIDSA) asserting that the Ilulissat Declaration “neglected to include Inuit in Arctic sovereignty discussions in a manner comparable to Arctic Council deliberations” (CIDSA, 2009: para. 2.6).

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CIDSA states, “the inextricable linkages between issues of sovereignty and sovereign rights in the Arctic and Inuit self-determination...require states to accept the presence and role of the Inuit as partners in the conduct of international relations” (ICC, CIDSA, 2009: para.3.3). Inuit envision exercise of self-determination as participation and recognition beyond the limitations of the nationstate paradigm of international relations (ICC, CIDSA, 2009: para. 1.4, 3.3). As UNCLOS is a statecentered conception of maritime sovereignty, Inuit can only subvert this paradigm through exercise of self-determination via recognition “as a legitimate actor in global politics” (Shadian, 2010: 493). Through CIDSA, Inuit have challenged the Westphalian construction of sovereignty in the Ilulissat Declaration. Inuit transnationalism coincides with the changing dynamic of international law. As Shadian (2014) explains, “instead of [international law] being created and controlled by states…[it] now includes a wide range of new stakeholders, who are creating, interpreting, and enforcing new informal rules and normative behaviours” (129). Since 1977, the Inuit Circumpolar Council has contributed to the evolution of international law, relating to human rights, sustainable development and have advocated for recognition ‘as subjects of international law’ (Shadian, 2014: 124). At the ICC’s founding, ICC President Hopson explained that “We must elevate our [Inupiat] Arctic claims to the status of an international effort to secure equal justice all across the North American Arctic” (Hopson, 1977). Furthermore, the ICC has elaborated that, “In order to achieve greater recognition and protection of Inuit rights by states, it is beneficial to also seek endorsement and support for Inuit rights at international level.” (ICC, 1992 (as cited in) Shadian, 2014: 124). Recognition as international legal subjects would directly benefit Inuit, as it would incorporate sharing of traditional knowledge in the development of international policy and law which directly impacts their traditional territories. This would represent a practice of self-determination not only at regional level, but at international level. In the present, Inuit continue their transnational advocacy and denounce their exclusion from international relations, as evidenced by CIDSA (ICC, 2009), their participation in the Arctic Council, and their advocacy at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The ICC has specifically denounced their exclusion from the drafting of shipping regulations at the IMO which apply to the NWP, and called for inclusion of traditional knowledge in maritime policy-making (ICC, 2018). Inuit participation in the Arctic Council provides an important example of what an Indigenous inclusive intergovernmental Arctic governance framework can look like, as it involves the eight Arctic States and six permanent participants representing Arctic IPs. Although all Permanent Participants have “full consultation rights in all aspects of the Council’s work,” (Khan, 2019: 681) they lack formal voting rights. Nevertheless, Permanent Participants provide “extraordinary influence over all issues for consideration due to the consensus decision making approach of the Arctic Council” (Dorough, 2017: 82). The Arctic Council has produced three binding agreements bringing together States and IPs ‘sitting at the same table’ (Khan, 2019: 690). Through their transnational advocacy, Inuit exercise external self-determination, as Inuit continue to seek greater inclusion in international relations and policy-making which impacts their traditional territories. Similarly, Indigenous rights to FPIC, consultation, and self-determination established by the Indigenous rights regime are disregarded through legal frameworks which are qualified on Statehood, reinforcing colonial power matrices. Accordingly, inclusion and recognition of Inuit

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and other IPs as international legal actors, specifically as it relates to the application of UNCLOS in the NWP will be a necessary step for the international community to take to uphold Indigenous rights, because state-centered regimes like UNCLOS do not account for IP rights or historic use and occupation of maritime territories like the NWP. While Inuit have negotiated extensive local governance powers through their LCAs, they still lack recognition as international legal subjects. As Khan notes, “despite many overlapping dimension of state and indigenous sovereignty” over natural resources, the “consistent refusal to recognize Indigenous peoples as ‘sovereign legal actors’ has been one of the primordial and enduring injustices of international law, since the time of early colonial encounters and treaty-making between Indigenous peoples and Europeans” (Khan, 2019: 676-677). Although the NWP is subject to an extensive framework of Canadian anti-pollution shipping regulations (Art. 234 UNCLOS; Pharand, 2007: 41) Inuit seek consultative status at the IMO, to promote international action on the regulation of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFOs), black carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and air pollution, issues which already impact Indigenous rights in the NWP and which are not yet adequately addressed by national and international environmental regulations (ICC, 2021). Additionally, international advocacy is vital to ensure protection against the unique human rights impacts that IPs face in the wake of climate change are addressed at international level.16 As Khan points out, “In the case of the Arctic, Indigenous transnational activism introduces an Indigenous sovereignty in international relations that is different from, and cannot be subsumed under, state sovereignty or state-determined conceptions of self-determination” (Khan, 2019: 677). These overlapping sovereignties point to a need for Canada to include Inuit in decision-making involving international actors concerning the NWP, to meet UNDRIP’s and its own constitutional standards.

Northwest Passage dispute UNCLOS holds high normative status in international law, representing “a monumental achievement of the international community, second only to the charter of the United Nations.” (Koh, 1982). Yet UNCLOS, UNDRIP, and the human rights regime overlap in scope (Chircop et al., 2019). Under UNCLOS, “navigation rights are arguably the international community rights that have received the strongest possible level of protection in all ocean spaces” (Chircop et al., 2019: 103-104). While UNCLOS accounts for interaction with ‘generally accepted international rules and standards’, (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 21(1)) it does not acknowledge Inuit customary laws of ocean stewardship. UNCLOS’s fundamental mandate is to protect nation-State sovereignty over maritime spaces (UNCLOS, 1982). The status of the NWP has been disputed for over seven decades. The primary actors involved in this dispute are Canada, and the US. Both positions of the dispute have been hashed out in the literature,17 and whether it is or isn’t an international strait falls outside of the scope of this article. Nevertheless, it must be noted that if the NWP is not already an international strait, it may potentially be deemed to fall under the transit passage regime in the future due to climate change. Warming temperatures melt sea-ice, making it possible for more international ships to sail the NWP.

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To be considered an international strait, a waterway must fulfill a geographic and a functional criterion. The geographic criterion entails a strait connecting “one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone” (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 37; The Corfu Channel Case, 1949: 28). The ICJ has also emphasized the decisive criterion as being the geographic one (Corfu Channel Case, 1949: 28). The functional criterion requires the strait to be a useful route in the sense that it should be in use as a waterway for international navigation, and mere possibility of navigation does not satisfy the functional criterion if not accompanied by historic and present use (Pharand, 2007: 35). Additionally, Pharand has stressed that the functional criteria will not apply if the ‘strait’ was considered to be internal waters prior to the ratification of UNCLOS, as Canada only ratified UNCLOS in 2003, after their declaration of straight baselines around the Arctic archipelago in 1985 (Joe Clark, 1985; Pharand, 2007: 59). Part III UNCLOS dictates international straits falling under the transit passage regime (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 37), and those under the innocent passage regime (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 38 (1) jo. Art. 45 (1) (a); and Art. 45 (1) (b)). The US has asserted that the NWP is an international strait falling under the transit passage regime. An international strait falling under the transit regime connects one part of the high seas or EEZ to another part of the high seas or EEZ through the territorial sea (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 37). If the NWP were deemed an international strait, the transit passage regime may apply because geographically, the NWP can be characterised as several waterways connecting the Atlantic Ocean or Canadian EEZ to the Pacific Ocean or Canadian EEZ through Canadian territorial seas. As the geographic criterion is already fulfilled, and as the dispute centers around the functional criterion, the improved navigability from sea-ice melt could potentially lead to increased shipping in the NWP which may eventually be permitted through a transit passage regime. It is also difficult to foreshadow which dispute settlement procedure would apply, and whether it would involve Inuit, and thus, the discussion is limited to the consequences of the NWP being deemed a strait falling under transit passage. Although transit passage navigation is subject to stringent international regulations concerning maritime safety (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 39 (2) (a); SOLAS, 1980), and pollution (UNCLOS, 1982: Art. 234) it is still understood as a more liberal regime than innocent passage. Strait States must not suspend transit passage, unless the ship acts contrary to Part [III] UNCLOS (Rothwell, 2018). Although the NWP is subject to robust marine pollution regulations domestically, and internationally, Inuit have only been involved in the drafting of binding Arctic Council-negotiated agreements. Inuit contend that these regulations are not sufficient to protect the NWP (ICC, 2018). Arctic marine ecosystems are fragile (UNGA Res. 68/70, 2014), as climate change enhances seaice melt. Increase in sea-ice melt, specifically in the NWP, may contribute to a potential ruling of the NWP falling under a regime of transit passage, but results would be uncertain if sent to an international tribunal. In this scenario, climate change and subsequent imposition of a transit passage regime will facilitate an increase in shipping activity in the Northwest Passage. Increased shipping activity is already intensifying incidental waste and noise pollution in the NWP, which is of great concern to the Inuit (ITK, 2018).

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Inuit self-determination Recalling that the right to self-determination in UNDRIP envisions “full participation of indigenous peoples in decisions concerning them,” (Chen, 2014: 6) this conflicts with Inuit exclusion from UNCLOS and IMO regulatory processes. As Nicol (2017) explains, “based upon Westphalian understanding of State sovereignty, UNCLOS remains the framework for State claims to maritime spaces. It allows that States, and only States, have the right to claim maritime territory.” (806). Accordingly, lacking statehood, Inuit have no standing before international tribunals, leaving Inuit interests systematically unaccounted for. Inuit have thus advocated for inclusion in UNCLOS (Nunatsiaq News, 2013) and IMO processes, and for incorporation of traditional knowledge into regulatory processes (ICC, 2018). Sonic pollution from shipping impacts marine life in the NWP (Hauser et al., 2018). Ice-breaking activity affects the exercise of the right to culture, as Inuit have been known ‘to get stuck’ while out hunting on sea-ice (Carter et al., 2018). Because Inuit are excluded from the UNCLOS regime and IMO regulatory processes, their right to self-determination is hindered, as those regimes are applicable in the NWP. While Inuit have extensive local governance powers, as negotiated through the LCAs, and political representation in Canada, their recognition as international legal subjects is imperative for the fulfillment of UNDRIP rights, including the right to self-determination.

Conclusion This article has illuminated how the nation-state paradigm of international relations potentially hinders the exercise of Inuit self-determination, as it relates to the NWP. This analysis began by illuminating the disconnect between international law, and dispossession of IPs. Canada recognises aboriginal title of IPs by virtue of historical occupancy and use of traditional territories, but Canada has required cession of aboriginal title through LCAs in exchange for rights and privileges that Inuit are entitled to under UNDRIP. LCAs thus conflict with UNDRIP, and both are still not fully implemented in Canada. Transnational Indigenous advocacy has advanced the Indigenous rights regime, and UNDRIP continues to gain greater normative status. Indigenous rights are recognised on a collective and individual level, through a mutually symbiotic relationship with the general international human rights law framework. Because the Indigenous rights regime recognises the right to and of management of traditional marine spaces, and because human rights law is applicable to marine spaces, both regimes are applicable to the NWP. Furthermore, if the NWP is deemed to be a strait subject to transit passage, increased shipping will impact the exercise of rights laid down in UNDRIP, which has now been transposed into Canadian law and received royal assent. Inuit view self-determination as inclusion in NWP decision-making at both domestic and international level. Most importantly, Inuit seek recognition as international legal subjects in order to meaningfully practice their right to self-determination. Through for example, the Arctic Council, Arctic decision-making processes are moving beyond the nation-State paradigm, and thus, international law must evolve to recognise and include Inuit as subjects of international law to secure their rights to self-determination, to manage their traditional territories and resources, to practice their culture, and to ensure that FPIC is provided.

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Acknowledgements The author expresses her appreciation and gratitude to the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their comments. She also wishes to thank Dr. Miriam Cullen, Dr. Liesbeth Lijnzaad, and Gaia Hasse for their invaluable insight during the research and writing process. The author also acknowledges that this article builds upon an earlier version of research presented in her unpublished L.L.B. thesis.

Notes 1. The greater Inuit polity encompasses Inuit living across Canada, the United States, the Russian Federation, and Greenland. See also Shadian J., (2014). The Politics of Arctic Sovereignty: Oil, Ice and Inuit Governance. Routledge, Ch. 1. 2. In this context, Anghie broadly defines sovereignty doctrine as ‘the complex of rules deciding what entities are sovereign’, in Anghie A., (2005). Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law. Cambridge University Press, 16; See also Vitoria F., (1917/1532). De Indis et de Ivre Belli Relectiones. (Nys E. (ed.), Bate J. P. (trans.)), Carnegie Institution of Washington. 3. Natural law was referred to as jus gentium by Vitoria, in F Vitoria, De Indis et de Ivre Belli Relectiones (Ernest Nys ed., John Pawley Bate trans., Carnegie Institution of Washington 1917), 127 (as cited in) Anghie A., (2005). Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law. Cambridge University Press, 20. 4. See also Lorimer J., (1883). The Institutes of the Law of Nations: A Treatise of the Jural Relations of Separate Political Communities (first published 1883, 2005 ed.). The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd, 156; Lawrence T.J., (1895). The Principles of International Law. D. C. Heath & Co., Publishers, 136; Wheaton H., (1866). Elements of International Law (8th edn.). Sampson Low, Son and Company, 17. 5. Westlake references Johnson v. McIntosh 121 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543 (1823), in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that in line with the discovery doctrine, right of occupancy of Indigenous peoples is ‘extinguished’ upon ‘discovery’ and that subsequently no title is held by Indigenous occupants; Westlake J., (1904). International Law Part I – Peace (1st edn.). Cambridge: At the University Press, as cited in Anghie A., (2005). Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law. Cambridge University Press, 80. 6. See also Hall W.E., (1924). A Treatise on International Law, (8th edn). Oxford University Press, 47; Oppenheim L., (1905). International Law: A Treatise. Longmans, Green and Company, 126. 7. Inuit Nunangat refers to the traditional Inuit territories, lands, and waters of the North American Arctic. (see ITK, or CIDSA)‘Inuit Nunangat is the Inuit homeland in Canada, encompassing the land claims regions of Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Beyond the Nation-State Paradigm


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Territories. It is inclusive of land, water and ice, and describes an area encompassing 35 percent of Canada’s landmass and 50 percent of its coastline’, in Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, (2019). Inuit Nunangat Map. https://www.itk.ca/inuit-nunangat-map/. 8. For an extensive overview of this issue in the literature, official reports, and government communications, see Lackenbauer P., (2020). Human Flagpoles or Humanitarian Action? Discerning Government Motives behind the Inuit Relocations to the High Arctic, 19531960. Documents on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security (DCASS) 16. 9. James Bay and Northern Quebec Native Claims Settlement Act, S.C.,1976-77, c 32, (Can.); Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, S.C. 2005, c 27, (Can.); Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, S.C. 1993, c 29 (Can.); Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, S.C. 2008, c 2 (Can.); Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act, S.C. 1984, c 24 (Can.). 10. See also Christie G., (2011). Indigeneity and Sovereignty in Canada’s Far North: The Arctic and Inuit Sovereignty. The South Atlantic Quarterly 110(2), 329-346, 329, 333, 339, 342, 344. 11. See for example, General Comment No. 36 on Art. 6: the Right to Life, U.N.H.R.C., on Its 124th Session, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/GC/36 (Sep. 3, 2019), 5 para. 23, 6 para. 26, and 13 para. 61; General Comment no. 21 on the Right of everyone to take part in cultural life, (Art. 15, para. 1 (a), of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), U.N.C.E.S.C.R., on Its Forty-Third Session, U.N. Doc. E/C.12/GC/21, (Dec. 21, 2009), 2 para.3, para. 7, 5 para. 16(e), 7 para. 27, 9-10 para. 36-37, 12 para. 49(d), 13 para 50c, 14 para. 53, 18 para. 73; General Recommendation XXIII on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, U.N.C.E.R.D., on Its Fifty-First Session, U.N. Doc. A/52/18, (Dec. 26, 1997), Annex V, para. 1; Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nov. 20, 1989, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, (1989), Art. 30; Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, (Oct. 20, 2005) 2440 U.N.T.S. 311 (2005), Art. 7 (1) (a). 12. See also International Law Association, (2010). Report of the Hague Conference (The Hague). https://www.ila-hq.org/index.php/committees, 43-44; Wiessner S., (1999). Rights and Status of Indigenous Peoples: A Global Comparative and International Legal Analysis. Harvard Human Rights Journal 12, 57-128, 109; Anaya S.J., (2005). Divergent Discourses in International Law, Indigenous Peoples, and Rights over Lands and Natural Resources: Toward a Realist Trend. Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law & Policy 16(2), 237-258. 13. See for example Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community v Nicaragua, Merits, Reparations, Costs, Judgment,Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 79 (Aug. 31, 2001), para. 148; Yakye Axa Indigenous Community v. Paraguay, Merits, Reparations, Costs, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 125 (June 17, 2005), para. 137 and 143; Saramaka People v Suriname, Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations, and Costs, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 172 (Nov. 28, 2007), para. 95; African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights v. Republic of Kenya, Judgment, App. No. 006/2012, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights [Afr. Ct. H. P. R.], (May 26, 2021), https://www.escrnet.org/sites/default/files/caselaw/ogiek_case_full_judgment.pdf, para. 128; Endorois Welfare Council v Kenya, Comm. 276/03, African Commission on

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Human and Peoples’ Rights [Afr. Comm’n H.P.R.], (Nov. 25, 2009), https://www.achpr.org/sessions/descions?id=193, para. 196; Maya Indigenous Communities of the Toledo District v. Belize, Case 12.053, Inter-Am. Comm’n H.R., Report No. 40/2004, OEA/Ser.L/V/II.122 Doc. 5 rev. 1 (2004). 14. International Labour Organization, Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, 27 June 1989, C169 1650 UNTS 383, (entered into force 5 September 1991). Although this convention is one of the only binding treaties concerning Indigenous rights, it is not yet widely ratified, and is not ratified by Canada. 15. See Ivan Kitok v Sweden, U.N.H.R.C. Comm. No. 197/1985, July 27, 1998, U.N. Doc.CCPR/C/33/D/197/1985, para. 9.2; Ominayak v Canada, U.N.H.R.C. Comm. No. 167/1984, Mar. 26, 1990, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/38/D/167/1984, para. 32.2 and 33; Ilmari Länsman et al v. Finland, U.N.H.R.C. Comm. No. 511/1992, Oct. 26, 1994, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/52/D/511/1992 (1994), para. 9.2; Jouni E Länsman et al v. Finland, U.N.H.R.C. Comm. No. 671/1995, Oct. 30 1996, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/58/D/671/1995, para. 10.2; Apirana Mahuika et al v New Zealand, U.N.H.R.C. Comm. No. 547/1933, Oct. 27, 2000, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/70/D/547/1993 (2000), para. 9.3; Ángela Poma Poma v. Peru, U.N.H.R.C. Comm. no. 1457/2006, Mar. 27, 2009, U.N. Doc CCPR/C/95/D/1457/2006 (2009), para. 7.2, 7.3. 16. On the unique human rights impacts of climate change on Indigenous peoples, see International Council on Human Rights Policy, (2008). Climate Change and Human Rights: A Rough Guide [Report]. < https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/ClimateChange/Submissions/136_report.p df>; Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dec. 12, 2015, T.I.A.S. No. 16-1104, Preamble. 17. See also Pharand D., (1988). Legal Status of the Northwest Passage. In Pharand D., Canada’s Arctic Waters in International Law. Cambridge University Press; Rothwell D., (1993). The Canadian-U.S. Northwest Passage Dispute: A Reassessment. Cornell International Law Journal 26 (2), 331-370; Lalonde S., & Byers M., (2006). Who Controls the Northwest Passage? Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 42, 1133-1210; Kraska J., (2007). The Law of the Sea Convention and the Northwest Passage. (2007) The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, 22 (2), 257-281; Byers M., (2013). International Law and the Arctic. Cambridge University Press.

References African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, June 27, 1981, 1520 U.N.T.S. 217 (1981). African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights v. Republic of Kenya, Judgment, App. No. 006/2012, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights [Afr. Ct. H. P. R.], (May 26, 2021), https://www.escr-net.org/sites/default/files/caselaw/ogiek_case_full_judgment.pdf.

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At the Front Lines of Increased Shipping and Climate Change: Inuit Perspectives on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security Nicolien van Luijk, Jackie Dawson, Natalie A. Carter, Gloria Song, Colleen Parker, Kayla Grey & Jennifer Provencher

Discussions of Arctic sovereignty and security have traditionally centered on the interests of the state and how it impacts the nation. More recently, scholars have noted the importance of addressing the interests of other actors, in particular, Indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples in the Arctic have long advocated for conceptualizing Arctic sovereignty as Indigenous sovereignty. While development in Arctic Canada has been relatively limited compared to southern Canada due to infrastructure, climate, and logistical challenges, this is all set to shift dramatically, with Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic arguably weathering the brunt of climate change risks and experiencing everything else that comes with it. An Indigenous-centered conception of Arctic sovereignty and security requires an understanding of how Inuit communities are experiencing the front lines of these changes. Thus, this paper offers a valuable contribution to Arctic sovereignty and security discourse by presenting the concerns expressed directly by members of 14 communities located in three regions of Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homeland). Our findings show that Inuit communities have concerns about many unknowns associated with the changing climate and increased shipping, including implications of increased international interest in the Canadian Arctic, which could pose threats to the ability of Inuit to protect their sovereignty and the environment they live in. Given the potential for change in the Arctic climate to make Arctic shipping a more attractive and realistic option in the future, we argue that these concerns should be considered integral to climate change discussions and decisions in the Canadian Arctic, as well as in general discussions of Arctic sovereignty and security.

Introduction The Arctic is bearing the brunt of global climate change impacts and risks, with the change in temperatures increasing at three times the rate of the global average, resulting in the melting of glaciers and sea ice and having the potential to dramatically change the landscape (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, 2021; Bush & Flato, 2019; Hassol, 2004; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019). Melting sea ice could open up previously frozen over passages thereby increasing the potential for marine traffic, which has to date been seasonally limited. This has encouraged talks of the potential for a northern trade route through the Northwest Passage and has also increased global interest in potential for resource extraction in areas of the Arctic that have historically been difficult to access. While the Government of Canada, and Inuit (through Dr. Nicolien van Luijk, University of Ottawa (corresponding author: nicolien.vanluijk@uottawa.ca); Dr. Jackie Dawson, University of Ottawa; Dr. Natalie A. Carter, University of Ottawa; Ms. Gloria Song, University of Ottawa; Ms. Colleen Parker, Nunavut Marine Council; Ms. Kayla Grey, University of Ottawa; Dr. Jennifer Provencher, Acadia University.


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Land Claims Agreements) hold sovereignty over the land mass surrounding the Northwest Passage, there is international disagreement about whether the waters and ice in the Northwest Passage fall under Canadian jurisdiction or are international waters. Despite Canada’s claim of sovereignty over these regions, these civil international disputes, alongside other potential unknowns as a result of climate change and increased marine traffic in the Canadian Arctic, highlight the vulnerabilities of Inuit communities and risks to security and Inuit sovereignty. In this study, we present security and sovereignty concerns expressed by knowledge holders in 14 communities in three regions of Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homeland in Canada) (Fig. 1) who participated in the Arctic Corridors and Northern Voices research project (Dawson et al., 2020a; see www.arcticcorridors.ca). Three key points are discussed from the findings relating to the security and sovereignty concerns shared by knowledge holders about shipping traffic in Inuit Nunangat: 1) ‘Unknowns’ about shipping traffic; 2) Lack of Inuit agency over shipping traffic and marine areas; and 3) Concerns in the context of Inuit agency and sovereignty. Concerns raised by community members are integral to climate change discussions and decisions in the Canadian Arctic, as well as general discussions of Arctic sovereignty and security.

Literature review In classic security paradigms, state sovereignty is often considered to be inextricably connected to Arctic security (Sharp, 2011; Huebert, 2011a; Huebert, 2011b). Security analyses within this paradigm, often inspired by the realist school of thought in the field of international relations (Rothschild, 1995), tend to be concerned with the nation state as its main unit of reference: threats to the state, actions of states, impacts on the state (Åtland, 2014; Huebert, 2011a; Huebert, 2011b; Johnston, 2012; Lackenbauer, 2011; Lackenbauer & Huebert, 2014; Scopelliti & Pérez, 2016; Sharp, 2011). For example, Huebert argues that the Canadian sovereign control of the Arctic allows for the protection of Canadian interests that benefit the Canadian population (2011a). A prominent focus for classic security studies is military build-up in the Arctic as a means of asserting state sovereignty (Huebert, 2011a; Huebert, 2011b). Over time, Arctic scholars have recognized the limitations of a state sovereignty-centered classic approach to security, pointing out that focusing narrowly on the state as represented by its political elite does not account for the needs of its people, including Inuit and other Arctic Indigenous peoples in the region, thus reproducing structural colonial power relations (Broadhead, 2010; Greaves, 2011; Heininen, 2013; Heininen & Exner-Pirot, 2020). In addition, scholars have emphasized how classic security analyses’ preoccupation with interstate conflict often implicitly rely on a violence-based conception of security, ignoring other sources of insecurity that people face – in other words, freedom from fear, rather than freedom from want (Broadhead, 2010; Greeves, 2011). Security should include more than the protection of Canada’s territory, but also the protection of the security of the Indigenous peoples who reside there (Slowey, 2014). It follows then that a narrow state-centered security focus on sovereignty may not only be irrelevant to Arctic Indigenous peoples, including Inuit, but could at times be contrary to their needs, particularly where the regional needs of the people there may be significantly different from those in non-Arctic regions (Broadhead, 2010; Greaves, 2016a; Kukkanen & Sweet, 2020). The edited volume Nilliajut: Inuit Perspectives of Security, Patriotism and Sovereignty released in 2013, and its 2018 follow up report Nilliajut 2: Inuit Perspectives on the Northwest Passage, Shipping, and Marine Issues, alongside other texts written by Inuit (Simon, 2011), provide insight into the nuanced

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positions Inuit have about the concepts of Arctic sovereignty and security and what those mean to them and their communities. Inuit leaders such as Mary Simon and Aaju Peter have expressed pride in their Canadian identity and a willingness to support Canada’s assertions of sovereignty in the Arctic (Simon, 2011). However, Inuit have also argued that Canada must accept Inuit use and occupation of the lands and waters in Inuit Nunangat when making such assertions of Arctic sovereignty (Simon, 2011; Peter, 2013). Peter (2013: 46) explains: “The Inuit who have occupied the Arctic for thousands of years are the only ones who can best define what “use and occupation” of Inuit Nunaat [Inuit homeland] is.” After all, Inuit communities have recognized that they will be most impacted by any issues that may arise with respect to Arctic sovereignty, control, and access (Kelley, 2013). As such, it is argued that Inuit must be actively involved in discussions on their use and occupation in the Arctic during sovereignty discussions (Greaves & Lackenbauer, 2021; Peter, 2013), a topic on which community members do not feel adequately consulted (Kelley, 2013). There have been increasing calls from Inuit and others to recognize Arctic security within the framework of Indigenous sovereignty, rather than state sovereignty (Slowey, 2014; Greaves, 2016a; Greaves & Lackenbauer, 2021). This approach accounts not only for what state governments perceive as security concerns in the Arctic, but what those residing in the Arctic identify and experience as security threats (Broadhead, 2010; Kuokkanen & Sweet, 2020; Nicol & Heininen, 2014). Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (at the time he wrote this piece) suggested that the relevant question should be: “What dangers do Inuit face in Inuit Nunangat (our traditional Arctic homeland in Canada)?” (Audla, 2013: 7). Similarly, Inuk leader Rosemarie Kuptana advocates for understanding security as being more than military actions, but ensuring a reasonable lifestyle for Inuit (Kuptana, 2013). Simon also notes that although Inuit desire a peaceful Arctic, security must be understood as a broader concept: Just as health is more than the absence of disease, so, too, security is more than the absence of military conflict. With that view, Inuit will continue to advance what we believe are constructive and reasonable ideas for Arctic policymaking and decisionmaking – decision-making that respects and provides sustainable benefits to the Inuit majority of Inuit Nunangat, as well as to humanity as a whole (Simon, 2011: 891). Inuit have also identified the limited implementation of Inuit self-government and other policies by Canada as negatively infringing on their security (Greaves, 2016a; Greaves, 2016b). For example, Zebedee Nungak highlights colonization as being one of the most significant security threats to Inuit, arguing that “the British legal system, as used by its Monarch and colonial/post-colonial governments, is the single most lethal weapon used to eradicate Inuit sovereignty over Arctic homelands in Canada” (Nungak, 2013: 13). More recently, Indigenous researcher and policy advisor, Bridget Laroque explained that “policies developed without the knowledge and wisdom of Indigenous expertise, which we bring as life-long Northerners, is nothing more than the continuation of the colonial methodology that perpetuates antagonism” (Dorough, Laroque, Kaluraq & Taukie, 2021: 19). Whitney Lackenbauer’s (Kikkert & Lackenbauer, 2020; Lackenbauer and Kikkert, 2020) research examining the role of the Canadian Rangers in the Arctic shows how the involvement of Inuit and other northerners in security and sovereignty activities can help to empower Inuit to “protect their lands and their rights in the spirit of self-determination” (Lackenbauer & Kikkert, 2020: 16). Hoogensen explains that “a critical human security perspective van Luijk, Dawson, Carter, Song, Parker, Grey, & Provencher


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in the Arctic demands that a security analysis include bottom-up, lived experiences of insecurity that have been missed or ignored by state-centered perspectives” (Hoogensen, 2021: 209). In the context of Indigenous sovereignty, this would mean examining the experiences of insecurity of Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic, with consideration of Indigenous rights and selfdetermination. Discussions of sovereignty and security in the Arctic have therefore evolved over the past few decades from a focus on state sovereignty as a means to Arctic security, to the de-coupling of sovereignty and security. This enables the integration of other dimensions to security such as human, environmental, and economic security concerns, to the re-introduction of the connection between Arctic security and sovereignty, but with a focus on Indigenous sovereignty, rather than that of the state. This shift is also reflected in Government of Canada policy approaches to Arctic security and Inuit sovereignty. The focus of the 2019 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (ANPF) is to create “a shared vision of the future where northern and Arctic people are thriving, strong, and safe.” (Government of Canada, 2019a: para. 4). The framework was co-developed amongst federal, territorial, and provincial governments, northerners, and Indigenous governments and organizations (Kikkert & Lackenbauer, 2019). Government and Indigenous leaders worked together through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee for the development of an Inuit Nunangat chapter to guide how the framework would be implemented in Inuit Nunangat in a manner that ensures that the framework “respects Inuit rights and that an Inuit Nunangat approach is utilized in the development and implementation of federal policies and programs that are intended to benefit Inuit, creating efficiencies that in turn benefit all Canadians” (Government of Canada, 2019a: para. 9). Similarly, the 2016 Ocean Protection Plan outlines the creation of policies that support the Canadian Arctic marine environment and the communities who live there (Transport Canada, n.d.). This provides some optimism that Inuit will continue to become more involved in policy decision making regarding security and sovereignty around shipping in the Canadian Arctic. However, while the ‘Safety, Security, and Defence’ chapter of the ANPF does include mentions of increasing “…participation of Northern and Indigenous communities in the maritime management regime” (Government of Canada, 2019b: para. 44), and it also addresses the possible impacts of shipping to northern and Arctic communities, it does not make explicit reference to Inuit conceptions of security, Inuit sovereignty, or Inuit Land Claims Agreements (Government of Canada, 2019b). In order to move forward in discussions about Arctic security and sovereignty, specifically in relation to increased shipping in the Canadian Arctic, Inuit perspectives such as those shared in this paper need to be at the forefront. In this paper, we describe perspectives of knowledge holders from 14 communities throughout Inuit Nunangat regarding how Inuit security and sovereignty are impacted by Arctic shipping and may continue to be, into the future.

Methods Study area Members of 14 communities in three settled land claim regions in the Canadian Arctic participated in the Arctic Corridors and Northern Voices (ACNV) project including six from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR); Aklavik, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk, and Ulukhaktok; seven from Nunavut: Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Coral Harbour, Gjoa Haven, Iqaluit, Pond Inlet, and Resolute; and one from Nunavik (Northern Quebec): Salluit (See Figure 1). Communities involved

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in this study were purposely selected based on known concerns about marine vessel traffic impacts on community livelihoods (see Stewart et al. 2015; Dawson et al. 2017; 2018), and in consideration of existing research networks and collaborative relationships. Climate change has meant that the number of kilometers travelled by ships in their areas have increased in all but one of these communities since 1990 (Dawson et al., 2018) and that future growth is expected (Bennett et al. 2020; Mudryk et al., 2021). These include container ships, tankers, general cargo, bulk carriers, government icebreakers, tug and barge, fishing vessels, oil and gas exploration vessels, pleasure craft and cruise ships (Dawson et al., 2018; Pizzolato et al., 2014). Figure 1. Settled Land Claim regions and Arctic Corridors and Northern Voices research project participating communities

Source: Dawson et al., 2020b

Study approach and methodology This study was part of the broader Arctic Corridors and Northern Voices project which combined community-based research techniques with participatory mapping approaches to develop the methodology for the project. This involved conducting community workshops and individual interviews in each of the 14 participant communities. See Carter et al. (2019) and Dawson et al. (2020b) for additional details on the methodological approach. The community workshops and interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. These transcriptions were then analyzed using an inductive-deductive coding approach (Patton, 2002). The focus of the conversations was about knowledge holder perspectives of the Government of Canada established Low Impact Shipping Corridors (LISC), where they shared their experiences with shipping traffic, the current and potential impacts of shipping traffic, and recommendations to minimize the impacts of shipping traffic into the future. During these conversations there was opportunity for unprompted discussions to develop and many of the findings presented in this paper came from these discussions. These discussions did not focus on the concepts of security or sovereignty, rather knowledge holders were encouraged to share their perspectives on impacts of shipping traffic more broadly. As the researchers, we have grouped these discussions under themes related to issues of security and sovereignty. While the selection of coastal communities and shipping-based questions

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meant that knowledge holders would likely frame their concerns around shipping impacts, here we analyzed their responses to determine not just what communities were concerned about, but why (the reasons for the concerns), and who (who would be impacted by these concerns). In this way, the responses from knowledge holders were linked back to broader discourse about Arctic sovereignty and security. It is important to note here that knowledge holders also reflected on the opportunities and benefits related to shipping for their communities, in particular their reliance upon annual resupply ships, but here we focus on the concerns raised in regards to this topic. The methodology used for a particular analysis influences how security concerns are identified. Greaves (2016b: 464) points out that the academic tendency to privilege settler perspectives – in particular, the state’s – over sub-altern actors such as Indigenous peoples can contribute to “the (re)production of Indigenous non-dominance [and] the erasure and denial of Indigenous histories, epistemologies, and interests”. Nicol and Heininen (2014: 84) similarly suggest: One of the greatest unacknowledged threats to the Arctic region, besides the race for natural resources as a result of climate change, may be the continuing way in which competitive southern geopolitical and geo-economic discourses concerning northern development serve to effectively ‘re-colonise’ the north and remarginalise its peoples. These discourses dig the hole deeper by ignoring their voice, their interests, and their expertise in shaping their own future; instead promoting a competitive paradigm cultivated by media and domestic political agenda. The goal of this study has been to build on previous work that has utilized methodologies that provide empirical data collected directly from Inuit community members residing in the Arctic (Kikkert & Lackenbauer, 2020; Lackenbauer & Kikkert, 2020; Slowey, 2014).

Positionality statement All authors are settler, southern-based scientists or staff at non-governmental organizations (at the time the research was conducted). We strived to maintain knowledge holder voices, and example quotes from knowledge holders are provided as context throughout.

Results and discussion Knowledge holders are concerned about increased shipping traffic because of the impact it is having, and could continue to have, on their livelihoods and communities. A knowledge holder from Sachs Harbour explained: I’m just scared as hell about the traffic that’s going to go through there. I don’t know how it’s going to happen but I know it’s going to change our lives for sure. Change our lives big time. Knowledge holders shared concerns about not knowing how they would continue to be able to engage in important activities integral to their livelihoods with all the risks that shipping poses to the Canadian Arctic, revealing that their concerns were rooted in security threats to their livelihood and way of life. For example, knowledge holders expressed concerns that ship traffic and pollution or shipping-related accidents could negatively affect wildlife, and hunting and harvesting activities. These concerns about security were also intimately linked to a sense of Inuit sovereignty, as knowledge holders identified as concerns a lack of knowledge and/or a lack of control over what

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they were observing and experiencing in their own homeland as part of climate change and increased vessel traffic, specifically increased international vessel traffic. Knowledge holders were very aware and concerned about the international disagreements regarding the status of the Northwest Passage as Canada’s internal waters. However, their concerns were rooted in how such disagreement would impact their way of life – their Inuit sovereignty – rather than state-focused security concerns such as how it would affect the Canadian government’s sovereignty. Knowledge holders also expressed concerns about their lack of agency over these potential unknowns: perceptions were shared that if something were to happen in terms of shipping in the Arctic – for example, a shipping-related accident or even an increase in ship traffic – Inuit could not do anything to stop it from happening. As such, while some discussions such as the one described above did overlap with concerns of state (Government of Canada) sovereignty, such discussions focused more on how such concerns would impact Inuit in their homelands, rather than Canada as a state. The findings of this paper reiterate the ways in which Inuit sovereignty differs from state sovereignty, even in circumstances when the goals align. Our findings have revealed three overarching themes relating to lack of shared information about shipping traffic: 1) “’Unknowns’ of shipping traffic; a related lack of agency over the shipping traffic and marine areas”; 2) “Lack of Inuit agency over shipping traffic and marine areas in their region” and the resulting impacts on Indigenous sovereignty in the Arctic; and 3) “Concerns in the context of Inuit agency and sovereignty”.

‘Unknowns’ of shipping traffic There was broad consensus that residents of participant communities did not feel that they had enough knowledge or available information about who is travelling through the Canadian Arctic and why. A knowledge holder from Gjoa Haven explained: Some of them [sail boats], we’re afraid of them because we don’t know where they are coming from. We don’t have any notification about these little sail boats or what not. And most of our Elders always wonder where they came from and what are they doing here? A knowledge holder from Salluit expressed her feelings about ‘unknown’ ships: We had no idea that they [ships] were there. Or what they [the ships] were doing there but they were parked right inside Deception Bay. And there’s no way for us to police it. Are they pirates of the sea? Are they just passing through and getting a safe shelter out of the wind? We have no idea. The increase in traffic is something to be concerned with and because we don’t know where they are coming from or going to. It seems that all we can do is watch to be quite honest. These findings reflect comments made by Inuk leader Nancy Karetak-Lindell (2018) in Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s report Nilliajut 2: Inuit perspectives on the Northwest Passage, Shipping, and Marine Issues. Karetak-Lindell (2018: 30) expressed that: A sense of security is strong when we [Inuit and Northerners] know who is coming, from where, and their purpose. But our sense of security and control is eroding because not only are we facing increased Canadian [marine] traffic, but also foreign [marine] traffic coming through. We no longer have confidence that we know who is travelling through our waters and lands or why. van Luijk, Dawson, Carter, Song, Parker, Grey, & Provencher


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This is a perspective that continues to be expressed in the responses of the knowledge holders who participated in this project. However, it is important to explore why this lack of shared information about shipping traffic was a concern for knowledge holders. Knowledge holders expressed that their worries about these unknown ships traveling through Inuit Nunangat were often related to their lack of agency over the activities of vessel traffic in their regions.

Lack of Inuit agency over shipping traffic and marine areas in their region In these remote communities, some knowledge holders experience these unknown ‘visitors’ as an intrusion and describe feeling a ‘lack of control’ over whether and how these activities occur. One knowledge holder in Gjoa Haven explained: They [people in unknown marine vessels] just come as they please and go wherever they please. And the certain areas where they go, you kind of wish they wouldn’t go there; I wish they would ask first. Then they just go there and to always have something like that go around that area, like a ship, if a ship comes around there it’s kind of like, I don’t know how to say it… it’s so… you get so offended even though maybe they don’t mean to. But it’s very hurtful. This statement suggests that knowledge holders are not simply concerned about knowing who are on board marine vessels and what they are doing, but are also concerned that marine vessels are travelling through Inuit Nunangat without first asking for permission. In other words, Inuit have expressed not only a lack of shared information about shipping traffic in their region, but a lack of agency over the shipping activities that happen near their communities or harvesting areas that have direct impacts on their way of life. Knowledge holders indicated security concerns about international presence in the Canadian Arctic. A knowledge holder in Paulatuk recalled the transit of the SS Manhattan, a US oil tanker that became the first commercial ship to cross the Northwest Passage in 1969. This voyage generated many conversations about the sovereignty of the Northwest Passage as the Canadian Government had not been asked permission prior to the transit (Byers & Lalonde, 2009). You remember the SS Manhattan that came through the Northwest Passage, 3540 years ago at least. Think about how big the SS Manhattan was, unregulated, unmitigated and it was a tanker…I guess their way around it was that it was international waters. Like I mentioned before, the Canadians have different views from what the Americans think about international waters. Other knowledge holders also confirmed concerns about the pressures of increasing interests for foreign shipping traffic to travel through Inuit homeland, either as a trading shortcut or specifically to extract resources from the Arctic environment through fishing, mining, or oil extraction. A knowledge holder in Gjoa Haven explained: Remember I had mentioned that China is building a giant icebreaker ship. I mean that could come into play in the near future too. Because right now aren’t they fighting over the Arctic, where everyone’s allowed to fish and this and that? And then the U.S. declaring the Northwest Passage as international waters. So, security is a big issue, I guess. Future security.

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Although these issues of increasing foreign interests in the Canadian Arctic can be seen as being aligned with state interests and state sovereignty, it is important to note that knowledge holders in these communities focused on how such international interests were impacting and could impact Inuit communities. Such issues were at times discussed with an implication that Inuit did not have the power to adequately respond to such foreign interests. For example, a knowledge holder from Gjoa Haven shared their perspective about the international interest in resource extraction in the Canadian Arctic: That’s another field all in itself - oil exploration. That’s something that we’re not going to be able to stop too. Mining. Oil exploration. That’s exactly why the United States is saying this is international water[s]. That’s what they want, right? - the oil. [emphasis added.] Another knowledge holder in Gjoa Haven recalled an experience where a yacht travelling from Norway arrived at their community unannounced, with concerns about its impact on the community: You have to be careful. Some of these guys [passengers of unknown marine vessels] can take away your kids. We’ve had these Berserkers…Norwegian Hells Angel type sailors came through Gjoa Haven and they were looking for alcohol, drugs… they asked young women to come on the boat with them. This incident was detailed in a newspaper article with respect to a group that called themselves the ‘Norwegian Vikings’ and were subsequently ordered to be deported by the Canada Border Services Agency after they arrived in Cambridge Bay in 2007 (Curry, 2007). One of the sailors argued in a deportation hearing that they did not feel the need to let Canadian officials know about their plans to travel through the Northwest Passage as they believed those were international waters (Curry, 2007). This incident further exemplifies concerns that knowledge holders shared, not only relating to a lack of information about who is traveling through Canadian Arctic waters and the intentions of these unknown vessels, but also how international border disputes affect Inuit directly. For other knowledge holders, these pressures also included international military actions in the Canadian Arctic. Knowledge holders from four participating communities shared accounts about seeing submarines travelling throughout Inuit Nunangat 30 to 40 years ago. This reflects a widely held belief that Russian and American submarines may have travelled through the Canadian Arctic during the Cold War era (Byers, 2010). See Huebert (2011) for more details about the actions of foreign submarines in the Canadian Arctic. While these instances are shrouded with such secrecy that these accounts have never been confirmed by state governments, what is clear is that Inuit experiences during the Cold War era continue to be reflected in the concerns some of the knowledge holders shared about the Canadian Arctic today, specifically in relation to questioning the intentions and activities of unknown foreign ships. Knowledge holders in Ulukhaktok described an incident where a yacht from Hong Kong docked in their bay – where community members have their fishing nets – without prior permission from the community. One knowledge holder explained: You’re not going to see any of us boating in Hong Kong and going into their bay and then come back. Just stuff like that, they said it probably wouldn’t really affect

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the fish or the seals or whatever but it’s like, what are they disposing of that we don’t know? They could drop old dead batteries [in the water] for all we know. Knowledge holders were likely talking about a sailor from Hong Kong who had travelled the Northwest Passage via sailboat in 2016. A newspaper article states that this sailor did inform Canadian authorities of his intentions to travel in this area, however, it is unclear whether he contacted communities prior to arrival (Brend, 2016). This is an important distinction to make, as per knowledge holder responses, communities often lack information about the intentions of ‘visitors’ particularly those who travel in smaller passenger vessels or pleasure craft, even if the activities of these visitors can have significant impacts on these communities, such as hunting and harvesting. Most recently, Inuit marine monitors of Cambridge Bay observed a yacht captained by a New Zealander travelling through the Canadian Arctic in August 2020. This occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic when the Government of Canada had banned all cruise ships and most pleasure craft1 from Canadian Arctic waters in a bid to “reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in remote and vulnerable Arctic communities” (George, 2020: para 5). Inuit marine monitors notified Transport Canada of this vessel and Transport Canada had directed the vessel “to depart Canadian waters and not make landfall.” Despite these requests, the sailor continued to travel through the Northwest passage and responded that: “Canada has no legal right to apply Canadian law to a foreigner in [an] international waterway” (George, 2020). These findings reflect the perspectives of community members in Kinngait as shared in the work by Karen Kelley (2013) in the first Nilliajut volume. These community members felt it was unclear who was responsible for regulating shipping in Arctic waters and therefore expressed concerns about the Arctic as an international waterway used by ships for whatever purpose they please, and potentially resulting in foreign operators developing a sense of ownership over that water (Kelley, 2013). The perspectives shared by Inuit community members of Kinngait and by knowledge holders in this project suggest a disconnect between state level decision-making and what is experienced by and communicated to Canadian Arctic coastal communities who would be affected by such issues, indicating a lack of Inuit involvement.

Concerns in the context of Inuit agency and sovereignty Knowledge holders in our project also raised concerns about the lack of agency over regulations, and lack of enforcement over the regulations that do exist. They explained that while some regulations exist, no adequate monitoring (nor enforcement) system exists that ensures vessels abide by regulations. One knowledge holder in Sachs Harbour explained: “We have to develop our own standards, I think. But again, who’s going to enforce it? Where are the resources? Where are those [resources] going to come from? Where’s our infrastructure to get to the ships?” Concerns about a lack of enforcement over activities within Canada’s jurisdiction in Arctic waters aligns with state sovereignty concerns with respect to Arctic security. However, it is important to note the distinction that knowledge holders were less overtly concerned with state sovereignty interests (such as the rule of law and respecting state jurisdictions), and were more concerned about how this lack of enforcement could impact their communities and their way of life. This focus in turn can be seen as impacting Inuit goals of sovereignty. For example, one knowledge holder in Cambridge Bay expressed: I think we have to look at future considerations that are in talks right now. Let’s

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say the Bathurst Inlet port and also the Grays Bay, so these will be under construction very soon but we need to look at the effects that these will be [having] because supply ships and oil, gas, ships will be coming through…I’ve been [in] these hearings many times and there are a lot of questions that they need to answer to the Inuit of Bay Chimo, Bathurst [Inlet] and also Cambridge Bay so we have to look at the proposed projects for the future because they will be carrying oil and gas, supply ships, you know…We need to start looking at these ports so that we have something in place for our people in the future (emphasis added). For this knowledge holder, the potential increase in shipping traffic in the Canadian Arctic is important to consider, not because of the implications to the Canadian state, but because of the impacts on the communities in the region. Although Inuit have made clear their aspirations for self-determination and sovereignty through various venues such as Land Claims Agreements (e.g. Nunavut Agreement, Inuvialuit Final Agreement; Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement), these security concerns about marine shipping traffic could have a direct impact on their ability to achieve their goals of selfdetermination and sovereignty, particularly if they do not feel that they have adequate information about or control over such activities happening in their area. Knowledge holders expressed concern that Inuit currently had little power over what happens in marine areas. An Inuvik knowledge holder shared: “On land we’ve got lots of power but on water we’re fighting against any obstacle that comes our way. We need to get that legislation there...I mean it is our land [in reference to marine areas]” (emphasis added). Some knowledge holders noted that their Land Claims Agreement does not ensure their rights over the marine environment; only over land. A knowledge holder from Tuktoyaktuk expressed: I think we have through the ISR [Inuvialuit Settlement Region] no more rights. Every creek, if it’s a navigable waterway, you [marine vessels and their occupants] automatically get 100 foot from the waterway on the shore that you [Inuit] can’t do anything anyway even if it’s under the ISR. Even on our private lands the waterway is just for everyone. It’s for the whole world. This comment suggests discomfort from some knowledge holders about this arrangement set out in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, which they perceived as leaving them with inadequate control over activities happening in their area. The Inuvialuit Final Agreement provides Inuit with a right of access on Inuvialuit lands “to the extent of 100 feet of land from the edge of the water of the sea coast and navigable rivers and navigable lakes that can be entered from such rivers” (Inuvialuit Final Agreement, 2005, Article 7(14)). The public may access unoccupied Inuvialuit land without prior notice for a number of reasons, including for recreational use that is casual and individual in nature, so long as there is no “significant” damage or mischief committed on the lands, or “significant” interference with Inuvialuit use of the lands (Inuvialuit Final Agreement, 2005, Article 7(14) and (15)). When discussing the activities of marine research vessels, one knowledge holder from Sachs Harbour described that Inuit were perceived as ‘second-class citizens’: [Research vessels] always say they’re going to stay away from local hunters but they don’t care, because their scientific [research] trumps our natural way of

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living…Because you know to them, we’re second-class citizens. I mean their research is more important than our livelihood and our well-being which shouldn’t be the case. This sense of lack of power and a perceived lack of recognition of Inuit sovereignty was shared by a knowledge holder from Salluit, their response to the question about what areas they would like ships to avoid: Like I say, there is not much we can do. Our voices are too small. It’s not like we can get the media up here with cameras and everything you know. They [ship operators] will say it’s too expensive…native people are treated differently, very much... I got nothing against whites or any color but when it comes to this, it’s like Inuit, Indians we’re put under [down]…we see that, we’re not stupid. A knowledge holder from Gjoa Haven shared their experiences of not being listened to when recommending where marine vessels should or should not travel: Even when we raised the concern of don’t go that way [through Peel Sound], the government does not listen to us, that’s one of our most important areas between Resolute and Gjoa Haven for the whales and bears and…We have raised this issue in the past but it has fallen on deaf ears. But at the same time, we do not want them to increase their shipping route for the cost issue and that [cost of community resupply that arrives on sealift vessels]. That’s why we’ve never…we just want to put it on record that it’s a fact that we want heard but probably nothing will happen, but we just want to make them aware of this issue where Peel Sound normally should be out of bounds so to speak. But it’s a cost issue that’s why I guess you would say we tolerate it where actually we don’t have a choice about where the ships go. We say they can’t go by there, but they won’t listen. They’re going to go by there anyways. It’s a short cut! Inuk leader Rosemarie Kuptana derides the lack of effective and meaningful participation of Inuit in the framing of Arctic territorial disputes involving Canada, particularly with respect to the Northwest Passage, arguing that “The current discussion of arctic sovereignty and security lies in the realm of mythology and the exclusion of Inuit with regard to the Inuit Sea [e.g. Northwest Passage] discussions, both by Canada and players from abroad, is not only an immoral and shameful exercise of out-dated and discredited colonialism but also illegal in light of the contemporary developments in law” (Kuptana, 2013: 10). She notes how the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) ignores the way Inuit have occupied and used the sea as water and ice as part of their way of life. She also argues that the position articulated by the United States and European countries of the Northwest Passage as constituting international waters ignores Inuit rights to the Inuit sea, and reflect “earlier and discredited European colonial practices” (Kuptana, 2013: 11). Other scholars have also called for recognizing Arctic security within the framework of Indigenous sovereignty (Slowey, 2014; Greaves, 2016a), by examining what Indigenous peoples residing in the Arctic perceive as security threats (Audla, 2013; Broadhead, 2010; Kuokkanen & Sweet, 2020; Nicol & Heininen, 2014). Through this study, Inuit frustrations with the lack of information about the

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local marine vessel activities, and a lack of control and agency over these activities have emerged as security concerns that threaten Inuit sovereignty.

Conclusion Knowledge holders in the Canadian Arctic articulated security concerns, which included lack of information about marine shipping traffic in their areas, and lack of agency over these marine shipping activities. Some of these security concerns, such as increasing international interests in the Canadian Arctic and the disputed status of the Northwest Passage, have also been shared by security scholars who write about the way in which Arctic security is intertwined with state sovereignty (Huebert, 2011b; Sharp, 2011; Johnston 2012). The findings from this study builds on previous work and statements made by Inuit (Audla, 2013; Dorough et al, 2021; Karetak-Lindell, 2018; Kuptana, 2013) which shows that the knowledge holders in this study framed their security concerns in the context of Inuit sovereignty: how such security issues impact the well-being of Inuit communities, rather than simply the interests of the state. Knowledge holders in these communities were concerned about not knowing which marine vessels were entering their territory because of how such actions could impact their communities’ way of life, and to highlight how they did not have adequate agency over such activities, creating barriers to Inuit aspirations for self-determination and sovereignty. Inuit sovereignty is intertwined with feelings of security. These findings reinforce the need to continue to support Inuit sovereignty over marine areas. In the first Nillajuit volume Kuptana (2013: 12) argued: “The rest of the world, if it has the courage to look beyond its colonial mentality, must know and recognize that jurisdiction over the Inuit Sea continues to lie with the Inuit who have been the stewards of the Arctic for a very long time”. While there may appear to be surface-level commonalities between what a state-centered analysis and an Indigenous-centered analysis may consider to be a security concern, the question of why a particular issue constitutes a security concern will vary, depending on the focus and the methodology of the analysis. Disagreements over the status of the Northwest Passage and increasing international interests in Arctic shipping are popular topics because of how they may threaten the Canadian state’s sovereignty over its jurisdiction. Inuit share this concern because of how the domestic/international waters debate impacts their communities, their way of living, and their own sovereignty. These concerns come from a variety of directions: commercial, military, exploration, and colonization, and have come about as a result of Inuit experiencing a lack of knowledge and control over what is happening in the marine areas in Inuit Nunangat. Lackenbauer and Kikkert (2020) have shown that while the Department of National Defence (DND) continues to stress that Canada does not “face any imminent conventional military threats to its Arctic” (Lackenbauer & Kikkert, 2020: 17), they have started to acknowledge that “new risks and threats may emerge” as a result of climate change and growing interest in the Canadian Arctic. The responses in this study reveals that the fear and lack of trust among knowledge holders continues as a result of both previous encounters and these new risks and threats. Thus, while a couple of tourist ships travelling through the Northwest Passage may not be viewed as a security issue from a state security perspective, it is perceived differently by those living in the region and experiencing it directly. The development of recent government policies such as the Oceans Protection Plan and the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework provide a hope that many of the concerns shared in this study van Luijk, Dawson, Carter, Song, Parker, Grey, & Provencher


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can be addressed. For example, the Oceans Protection Plan acknowledges that “Indigenous and coastal communities expect that more local data on marine traffic (who is doing what and where) will be shared in a user-friendly way that meets their needs” (Transport Canada, n.d.: 1). There is also a recognition of needing to engage with Indigenous and coastal communities in order to develop marine shipping policies in those areas. While there is a growing number of marine policies and programs that include Inuit in decision-making, that acknowledge Inuit rights through Land Claim Agreements, and that work to support Inuit livelihoods, additional research is needed to consider how these policies work on the ground and to consider what gaps remain. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge that positions Inuit perspectives at the forefront of security discussions in the Arctic (Greaves, 2016a, 2016b; Slowey, 2014). It also highlights the importance of prioritizing Inuit perspectives when discussing Arctic security and sovereignty with a recognition that state sovereignty is not the same as Inuit sovereignty. As change in the Arctic climate (and other drivers such as technology, economics, and political will) continues to increase international interest in Arctic shipping, these perspectives should be integral in such discussions. As Audla (2013) expressed: “We have lived with insecurity in the past. We are living with new forms of insecurity now. We will no doubt face other forms of insecurity in the future…With that awareness, Inuit are committed to making Inuit Nunangat, all of Canada, and our world, a more secure place for all of us” (Audla, 2013: 9).

Notes 1.

“These restrictions do not apply to pleasure craft used by local communities, or used for purposes such as essential transportation or subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting.” (Transport Canada, 2020, https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/05/thegovernment-of-canada-announces-new-measures-for-pleasure-craft-in-northerncommunities.html)

References Åtland, K. (2014). Interstate Relations in the Arctic: An Emerging Security Dilemma? Comparative Strategy, 33(2), 145-166. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (2021). Arctic Climate Change Update 2021: Key Trends and Impacts. Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program. Retrieved: https://www.amap.no/documents/download/6730/inline Audla, T. (2013). Inuit and Arctic Security. In S. Nickels (Ed.), Nilliajut: Inuit Perspectives on Security Patriotism and Sovereignty (pp.7-9). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Bennett, M. M. et al. (2020). The opening of the Transpolar Sea Route: Logistical, geopolitical, environmental, and socioeconomic impacts. Marine Policy, 104178, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104178.

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Broadhead, L. (2010). Canadian sovereignty versus northern security: the case for updating our mental map of the Arctic. International Journal, Autumn. 913-930. Bush, E. and Flato, G. (2019): About this report. Chapter 1 in Canada’s Changing Climate Report, (ed.) E. Bush and D.S. Lemmen; Government of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, p. 723. Retrieved: https://changingclimate.ca/CCCR2019/ Brend, Y. (September 25, 2016). Diary of a serial adventurer: Eagle Quest II's inspired Arctic voyage. CBC News. Retrieved: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britishcolumbia/arctic-expedition-eagle-s-quest-ii-hong-kong-to-spain-1.3774268 Byers, M. (2010). Who Owns the Arctic? Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the North. United States: Douglas and McIntyre Limited. Byers, M., & Lalonde, S. (2009). Who controls the Northwest passage? Vand. J. Transnat'l L., 42, 1133. Carter, N.A., Dawson, J., Simonee, N., Tagalik, S., Ljubicic, G., (2019). Lessons Learned Through Research Partnership and Capacity Enhancement in Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit Homeland in Arctic Canada). Arctic. Curry, B. (September 1, 2007). Viking invaders turned back from our shores. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/viking-invaders-turnedback-from-our-shores/article693000/ Dawson, J., Carter, N., Van Luijk, N., Parker, C., Weber, M., Cook, A., ... & Provencher, J. (2020a). Infusing Inuit and local knowledge into the low impact shipping corridors: An adaptation to increased shipping activity and climate change in Arctic Canada. Environmental Science & Policy, 105, 19-36. Dawson, J., Carter, N. A., van Luijk, N., Weber, M., & Cook, A. (2020b). Arctic corridors and northern voices project: Methods for community-based participatory mapping for low impact shipping corridors in Arctic Canada. MethodsX, 7, 101064. Dorough, D. S., Larocque, B., Kaluraq, K., Taukie, D. (2021). Voices from the Arctic: Diverse Views on Canadian Arctic Security, https://www.naadsn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20nov-ArcticVoicesProceedings-upload.pdf George, J. (May 19 2020). Canada moves to bar most pleasure craft from Arctic waters. Nunatsiaq News. Retrieved https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/canada-moves-to-barpleasure-craft-from-arctic-waters/ Greaves, W. (2011). For whom, from what? Canada’s Arctic policy and the narrowing of human security. International Journal, Winter. 219-240. Greaves, W. (2016a). Environment, Identity, Autonomy, Inuit Perspectives on Arctic Security. In K. Hossain & A. Petrétei (Eds.), Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security: Perspectives of Northern Indigenous Peoples (pp.35-55) Koninklijke Brill. Greaves, W. (2016b). Arctic (in)security and Indigenous peoples: Comparing Inuit in Canada and Sámi in Norway. Security Dialogue 47(6), 461-480.

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Greaves, W., & Lackenbauer, P. W. (Eds.). (2021). Breaking Through: Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic. University of Toronto Press. Government of Canada (2019a) Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1562782976772/1562783551358 Government of Canada. (2019b). Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework: Safety, Security, and Defence chapter. https://www.rcaanccirnac.gc.ca/eng/1562939617400/1562939658000 Hassol, S. J. (2004). Impacts of a warming Arctic. Cambridge University Press: UK. Heininen, L. (2013). Arctic Security Global Dimensions and Challenges, and National Policy Responses. Yearbook of Polar Law (Brill), 5, 93-118. Hoogensen Gjørv, G. (2021). Human Insecurities of Marginalized Peoples in the Arctic: The Cost of Arctic and Nordic Exceptionalism. In W. Greaves & Lackenbauer, P. W. Breaking Through: Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021, pp. 199-216. Huebert, R. (2011a). Submarines, oil tankers, and icebreakers: trying to understand Canadian Arctic sovereignty and security. International Journal (Autumn), 809-824. Huebert, R. (2011b). Canada and the Newly Emerging International Arctic Security Regime. In J. Kraska (Ed.), Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change (pp. 193-217). Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511994784.013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2019). H.-O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, V. MassonDelmotte, P. Zhai, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Nicolai, A. Okem, J. Petzold, B. Rama, & N. M. Weyer (Eds.), IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/ Inuvialuit Final Agreement (as amended). (2005). https://irc.inuvialuit.com/sites/default/files/Inuvialuit%20Final%20Agreement%20200 5.pdf Johnston, P. (2012). Arctic Energy Resources: Security and Environmental Implications. Journal of Strategic Security 5(3), 13-32. Karetak-Lindell, N. (2018). Sovereignty – When did this become our cause? In S. Nickels (Ed.), Nilliajut 2: Inuit Perspectives on the Northwest Passage, Shipping, and Marine Issues. (pp.19-22). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Kelley, K. (2013). Inuit Involvement in the Canadian Arctic Sovereignty Debate: Perspectives from Cape Dorset, Nunvaut. In S. Nickels (Ed.), Nilliajut: Inuit Perspectives on Security Patriotism and Sovereignty (pp.58-63). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Kikkert, P., & Lackenbauer, P. W. (2019). Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework: A Roadmap for the Future?. Arctic Yearbook 2019, 332-39. Kikkert, P., Lackenbauer, P.W., & Pedersen, A. (2020). Kitikmeot Roundtable on SAR: General report and Findings. Report from a workshop hosted at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, 31 January & 1 February 2020.

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https://kitikmeotca.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/kitikmeot-roundtable-on-search-andrescue-general-report-and-findings-1.pdf Kuokkanen, R., & Sweet, V. (2020). Indigenous Security Theory: Intersectional analysis from the bottom up. In G.H. Gjørv, M. Lanteigne, H. Sam-Aggrey (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security (pp. 80-90). Routledge. Kuptana, R. (2013). The Inuit Sea. In S. Nickels (Ed.), Nilliajut: Inuit Perspectives on Security Patriotism and Sovereignty (pp.10-12). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Lackenbauer, P. W. (2011). Polar Race or Polar Saga? Canada and the Circumpolar World. In J. Kraska (Ed.), Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change (pp. 193-217). Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511994784.013 Lackenbauer, P. W. & Huebert, R. (2014). Premier partners: Canada, the United States and Arctic security. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 20(3), 320-33. Lackenbauer, P. W., & Kikkert, P. (2020). Measuring the success of the Canadian Rangers. North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network, Peterborough. https://www.naadsn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Rangers-Success-MetricsLackenbauer-Kikkert-upload.pdf Mudryk, L. et al., 2021. Impact of 1, 2, and 4°C of global warming on ship navigation in the Canadian Arctic. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/s41558-021-01087-6. Nicol, H. N. & Heininen, L. (2014). Human security, the Arctic Council and climate change: competition or co-existence? Polar Record, 50(252), 80-85. Nungak, Z. (2013). The Decimation of Inuit Security. In S. Nickels (Ed.), Nilliajut: Inuit Perspectives on Security Patriotism and Sovereignty (pp.14-15). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluative methods. Thousand Oaks,California: Sage Publications Peter, A. (2013). Inuit Use and Occupation. In S. Nickels (Ed.), Nilliajut: Inuit Perspectives on Security Patriotism and Sovereignty (pp.43-47). Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Rothschild, E. (1995). What is security? Daedalus 124(3), 53-98. Scopelliti, M. & Pérez, E.C. (2016). Defining security in a changing Arctic: helping to prevent an Arctic security dilemma. Polar Record 52(267), 672-679. Sharp, T. D. (2011). The Implications of Ice Melt on Arctic Security. Defence Studies, 11(2), 297322. Simon, M. (2011) Canadian Inuit: Where we have been and where we are going. International Journal, Autumn, 879-891. Slowey, G. (2014). Aboriginal Self-Determination and Resource Development Activity: Improving Human Security in the Canadian Arctic. In G.H. Gjørv, D. Bazely, M. Goloviznina, & A. Tanentzap, (Eds.) Environmental and Human Security in the Arctic (pp.187202). Routledge. Transport Canada. (n.d.). Oceans Protection Plan. https://tc.canada.ca/en/initiatives/oceansprotection-plan van Luijk, Dawson, Carter, Song, Parker, Grey, & Provencher


Section II: Geopolitics on the Map


Measuring and Mapping the Arctic: Cartography and the Legacies of Nineteenth-Century Arctic Science John Woitkowitz

Cartographies of the Arctic are powerful instruments to support legal, political, commercial, and scientific claims and interests in the region. Polar projections on sea ice extension, the distribution of natural resources or the state of ocean currents in the Arctic, for example, are critical indicators for the future of the region. At the same time, natural scientific categories to describe the Arctic are products of historical processes in the production of geographical knowledge; they are not eternal givens. As disciplines such as oceanography, meteorology or hydrology emerged as fields of professional study during the nineteenth century, new theoretical and visual vocabularies equipped explorers and cartographers with the language of natural science to relate the regions and their representation in maps to the geopolitical, commercial, and scientific interests of nineteenth-century European and North American states. Grounded in historical data and archival research, this article discusses how such cartographies re-defined the Arctic region, how they generated a surge in Arctic expeditions, and how they continue to inform modern understandings of the region, one predominantly perceived as a region of nature. Specifically, this article discusses the theory of an Open Polar Sea—a body of navigable, ice-free water in the central Arctic Ocean—as a consequential re-envisioning of the central Arctic and a generator of scientific agendas of Arctic exploration across Europe and North America that, in turn, informed contemporary field science such as the recent MOSAiC expedition.

Introduction When the research icebreaker Polarstern departed Bremerhaven in Germany in September 2019 to embark on a yearlong drift across the Arctic Ocean from the Laptev Sea to the East Greenlandic Sea, tons of scientific equipment and the first of three cohorts of researchers were not the only cargo the expedition transported to the Arctic. The urgency of understanding the multilayered processes of a changing climate in the central Arctic region that was at the heart of the MOSAiC expedition’s scientific program may have had a distinct twenty-first century quality. Yet for all the urgency of the present moment, the expedition was inextricably embedded in the long history of European and American scientific activities throughout the circumpolar North. “The light of knowledge grows dim in the central Arctic during the winter months to this day,” expedition leader Markus Rex wrote in his travel narrative, noting that the Arctic remains among the last corners of the planet yet to be unveiled by the instruments of modern science (Rex, 2020: 9). The ‘disenchantment of the world’, as Max Weber noted (Weber, 1919), a central project of European Woitkowitz


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and American nineteenth-century exploration and science, retains a powerful grasp on the wider imagination of science in remote regions today. Its enduring salience, however, calls attention to a larger reality of science in the Arctic: scientific practices and theoretical categories are themselves informed by centuries of European and American expeditionary science in the Arctic. The history of science in the circumpolar world remains acutely present and continues to exert a firm grasp on the mental maps that shape the ways we make sense of the regions and its peoples today. European and American efforts to measure and map the Arctic regions have importantly shaped the visual, rhetorical, and intellectual ways the circumpolar world has come to be understood and envisioned. As instruments of governance and scientific investigation, maps have a long history of acting as powerful instruments to support legal, political, commercial, and scientific claims and interests in the region. Long before the onset of a ‘scientific’ cartography in the early decades of the nineteenth century, astronomers and natural philosophers popularized polar projection maps, relating celestial movements to terrestrial events in the form of globes and portable instruments (Cosgrove, 2001; Bravo, 2019a). The emergence of the modern natural scientific canon in the formation of scientific disciplines as part of the modern research university during the nineteenth century importantly transformed the way knowledge of the circumpolar world was generated, validated, and distributed (Habermas & Przyrembel, 2013; Powell, 2015). As empires and states such as Czarist Russia, Austria-Hungary, Prussia, France, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, and the United States increasingly directed their attention to the Arctic regions, they measured and mapped those lands and seas that were unknown to them. Travelers and organizers of Arctic science communicated their findings and future opportunities at scientific societies, museum exhibitions, and as part of a fast-expanding publishing landscape through the language of nineteenth-century meteorology, hydrology or oceanography. In these communications, innovations in the form of visualizing scientific data in the spatial plane of maps created powerful new ‘habits of seeing’ and understanding the Arctic regions (Kaalund & Woitkowitz, 2021). A seeming certainty vested in a positivist faith in the veracity of empirical data and measurement produced new categories and visual vocabularies to make claims in the description of the Arctic—including the promise of open shipping routes, unknown maritime and territorial formations, commercial opportunity, and national prestige. European and American cartographies of the Arctic were not the first attempts to make sense of these regions. Practices of wayfinding and mapmaking have been integral aspects of Inuit culture for millennia. Migration and peopling of vast territorial and maritime expanses across the North American Arctic required reliable forms of orientation and navigation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of travellers, hunters, and communities. Movement and travel between distant communities, moreover, was a central aspect of Inuit life, linking different communities across geographical regions from Alaska to Greenland. For this, celestial constellations, land formations, and oral traditions inscribed the regions with markers and narratives and enabled travellers to move with and through the Arctic (MacDonald, 1998; Aporta, 2009; Bravo 2019a). Eighteenth and nineteenth-century encounters among Inuit and Western travellers, moreover, resulted in cartographies that drew on Indigenous knowledge and information (Gapp, 2021). As co-travellers of expeditions and co-producers of geographical knowledge, Inuit were consequential actors in the making of European and American cartographies of the Arctic regions. This article provides a historical perspective on European and American nineteenth-century Arctic science and cartography. By way of a series of examples of scientific expeditions to the North Inuit perspectives on Canadian Arctic sovereignty and security


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American Arctic and the making of maps, it traces some of the theoretical and cartographical practices that helped establish specific ‘habits of seeing’ the Arctic. It illustrates how cartographies began to include scientific models of physical geography to make statements about the natural environment of the central Arctic Ocean, and how these re-cast the region as a space of opportunity. Specifically, this article examines the popular theory of an Open Polar Sea—a body of navigable, ice-free water purportedly endowed with riches of natural resources—as a cartographical re-envisioning of the Arctic. It shows how maps, in particular, acted as powerful instruments to advance the Open Polar Sea theory, and how they propelled scientific agendas of Arctic exploration across nineteenth-century networks in Europe and North America. Moreover, this article highlights the global connections of Arctic cartography and how historical actors moved across national boundaries to pursue commercial, political, and scientific agendas in the Arctic regions. Finally, this article draws attention to the enduring legacies of historical theories and their presentation in maps and how they continue to inform understandings and perceptions of the regions with important consequences for the Arctic and its inhabitants today.

Mapping the Open Polar Sea Efforts to expand the geographical knowledge of the Arctic regions have been conducted by numerous actors, institutions, and states throughout the circumpolar north for centuries. Long before the term ‘scientist’ became attached to voyagers traveling to the polar regions to measure and to observe during the early nineteenth century, different groups of European and American travellers collected data and objects throughout the Arctic. Commercial actors such as whalers frequently sailed to fishing grounds in high latitudes across the European and North American Arctic. On their journeys, they gathered data on the extent and the state of sea ice, for example, which, in turn, provided data and lend credence to polar exploration agendas. Likewise, missionaries of the Moravian Church acted as lay scientists as part of their activities at mission stations throughout Alaska, Labrador, and Greenland. Beyond evangelization and social uplift, these missionaries received specific instructions since the eighteenth century to conduct observations about the natural environment, climate, and flora and to collect natural specimen and ethnographic objects (Lüdecke, 2005; Wilhjelm, 2013; Nippa, 2003; Woitkowitz, 2019). Such field data, however, not only came to populate travel accounts, reports, and the storage facilities of early forms of natural history museums across Europe and North America. They also formed the evidentiary basis for the development of theoretical frameworks for the description of the physical geography of the Arctic regions during the nineteenth century. One such theory hypothesized the existence of an Open Polar Sea, a maritime body free of ice, readily navigable, and rich in Arctic fauna in the central Arctic Ocean. Debates over the existence of open water can be traced back to Greek philosophies, natural histories, and travel narratives on the polar regions, for example, by sixteenth-century Dutch explorer Willem Barents or nineteenth-century English whaler William Scoresby (Tammiksaar, Sukhova & Stone, 1999; Robinson, 2007; Craciun, 2010). During the nineteenth century, however, the theory took on a new sense of urgency as the Arctic regions moved increasingly into the focus of colonial and imperial ambition (David, 2000; Driver, 2001). Great power competition and expansionism made the search for passageways from the Atlantic to the Pacific world not only an objective of significant geopolitical concern. Travel and science in the Arctic, moreover, were curated as indicators of technological progress and of a purported nation’s quality of character (Berger, 1966; Grace, 2002; Robinson, 2006; Hill, 2008;

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Hulan, 2002). Nineteenth-century Arctic exploration acted as a badge of membership in the club of great powers. In this context, the promise of an Open Polar Sea appealed to commercial, naval, and political constituencies alike. Imperial fantasies of an Arctic Eldorado, however, were not limited to the centres of colonial powers in London, Washington, Paris or Copenhagen. Science in the Arctic and the nineteenthcentury economy of Arctic cartography was a fundamentally global and transnational phenomenon. If states such as the United States and Great Britain provided significant resources in the way of scientific infrastructure and naval capacity, travellers and scientists from various backgrounds participated in and initiated Arctic expeditions. As centres for imperial science, cities such as London presented geographers and mapmakers with what historians have come to describe as an ‘empire of opportunity’ (von Brescius, 2019; Kirchberger, 2014), that is the infrastructure and logistical capacities to apply their natural scientific expertise to the non-European world. Along with the regions of the global south, the circumpolar north was of interest to scientific actors across imperial boundaries. Distributional cartography and Petermann’s Open Polar Sea The German cartographer August Petermann was one such trans-imperial actor. Educated in the emerging scientific landscape of the 1830s in Berlin and Potsdam in Germany under Heinrich Berghaus and Alexander von Humboldt, Petermann became a leading mapmaker and a relentless advocate of the Open Polar Sea hypothesis during the second half of the century. Following an apprenticeship in Potsdam and a brief interlude in Edinburgh in Scotland, he moved to London at a time when Arctic travel had galvanized the public’s attention as a result of the missing expedition of John Franklin in the late 1840s (Felsch, 2010). In his maps, Petermann integrated travel narratives of past expeditions with recent innovations in the field of physical geography to recast contemporary understandings of the Arctic. Specifically, the presentation of scientific data in the spatial plane of maps opened up a new visual aesthetic and a new vocabulary to describe the physical geography of the Arctic regions. The power of cartography in the making of the European and American understandings of the Arctic world can be illustrated by a brief discussion of Petermann’s campaign for an Arctic expedition in search of an Open Polar Sea and the missing vessels of the Franklin expedition in the early 1850s. Travel to the Arctic regions for the purposes of exploration and science was dependent on the logistical, financial, and political support of patrons, scientific institutions, and the naval departments of national governments. In mid-nineteenth-century London, learned clubs and societies such as the Royal Geographical Society or the Athenaeum along with individual patrons such as Jane Franklin and the Admiralty of the British government were gatekeepers in the organization of expeditions. When Petermann launched his campaign, he activated a European network of supporters based at geographical societies, naval departments, and ministries, including the diplomatic envoy of Prussia to Britain to lobby public opinion in favour of his scheme. Most importantly, however, Petermann produced a small polar projection map of the Arctic to demonstrate the scientific basis for his plan and to train his audience’s eyes on the central Arctic

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Figure 1. August Petermann, “Polar Chart,” London, 1852, Sammlung Perthes, Gotha.

regions as valuable and accessible. An exceptional example of nineteenth-century science communication, “Polar Chart” (Figure 1) integrated data on the distribution of temperatures, ocean currents, sea ice, flora and river systems to make evident the existence of ice-free waters on the Asian and North American side of the Arctic. The power of the warm Gulf Stream pushing up far along the Eurasian side in combination with the freezing of the Siberian River systems during winter, so the German cartographer suggested, prevented the formation of sea ice in the East Siberian Sea and its movement westwards. Isothermal lines, shaded areas, and swarms of arrows represented the interplay of otherwise isolated natural phenomena. This distributional cartography, describing the Arctic as a system of interrelated forces, lend the German mapmaker the scientific language to suggest that open water existed and maritime navigation, including access to yet untraveled areas and potentially unexploited maritime riches, was possible.

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Petermann’s “Polar Chart” was a visual sensation and an important moment in the re-ordering of European and American ‘habits of seeing’ the Arctic regions. Physical geography and its cartographic representation in the form of distributional mapping helped recast the circumpolar world in the natural scientific categories of emerging scientific disciplines in the nineteenth century. The visual description of the Arctic, for example, in the language of isometrics and oceanography was consequential for seeing the Arctic as regions of nature and of commercial and geopolitical opportunity. Albeit ultimately unsuccessful in his campaign in London, Petermann’s map was instrumental in raising attention to his expedition plan with the British Admiralty, the learned circles of the Royal Geographical Society, and the patrons of polar exploration across Europe and the United States. As U.S. interest in expansion throughout the American hemisphere took on the form of expeditions to the Arctic, “Polar Chart” received a much warmer welcome in the learned halls of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., helping to lay the foundation for another two decades of American Arctic exploration (Robinson, 2006; Felsch, 2010; Kaalund & Woitkowitz, 2021).

Knowledge and networks in a global Arctic The Arctic was embedded in the global networks of exchange and transfer of the nineteenth century. As state and non-state actors travelled across the North Atlantic, they exchanged data and theories, news and gossip, and scientific objects among sites of collecting and knowledge-making in the Arctic and in the Euro-American world. In this context, cartographies acted as potent vehicles for the transfer of theories and knowledge about the most recent innovations and travels in the regions, further instigating the development of exploration agendas. Transatlantic networks and American exploration The theory of an Open Polar Sea was a catalyst in the emergence of American Arctic exploration in the 1850s. Early oceanographers and advocates of expansionism such as Matthew Fontaine Maury at the U.S. Navy Depot of Charts and Instruments and the U.S. Naval Observatory advanced the notion of open water, lending scientific credence to the theory with his charts of deep-sea soundings, winds, and currents (Rozwadowski, 2018; Hardy & Rozwadowski, 2020). Yet much like the close relations of German and British scientific networks of Arctic exploration, American travellers and institutions were not isolated from their European counterparts. The Euro-American republic of letters sustained a vibrant exchange among learned societies and scientific networks long before the installation of the transatlantic telegraph in the 1860s. Scientific theories and objects circulated among institutions such as the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the American Geographical and Statistical Society in New York, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and their European counterparts in London, Paris, and Berlin. Maps were powerful instruments in the campaigns by American explorers to secure the support of learned societies, patrons of exploration, and governmental agencies. In an effort to lobby Congress and the U.S. Navy to provide financial and logistical support for an expedition to the Smith Sound region along the north-western coast of Greenland, the newspaper owner and patron of Arctic exploration Henry Grinnell and the naval surgeon Elisha Kent Kane grounded their campaign in the theory of an Open Polar Sea. If European travellers sought to locate an entrance to this mythical body of water along the north-eastern passage ways and the East Greenlandic Sea, the route through Smith Sound, they argued, was the surest way to enter the fabled basin in the central Arctic Ocean. Yet for all the novelty and distinction Grinnell and Kane claimed for their project, they Inuit perspectives on Canadian Arctic sovereignty and security


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enlisted the work and the charts of the British naval services and, most importantly, those of the German cartographer August Petermann in their campaign. Petermann’s writings and his Polar Chart had been despatched to New York by various channels, including Jane Franklin’s office. His map was frequently used at scientific meetings and public events to underwrite the scientific basis for the existence of an Open Polar Sea. Claims to exceptionalism and nationalism notwithstanding, from its earliest forms American Arctic exploration was embedded in transatlantic networks of science with European cartographies of the region playing a key role as instruments of knowledge and persuasion (Kaalund & Woitkowitz, 2021). Missionary cartography, Inuit, and German Arctic exploration European cartographies of the Arctic, however, not only circulated among European and American metropoles. Sites in the Arctic, likewise, played an important role in the making of geographical knowledge throughout the nineteenth century. Critical analyses of travel narratives frequently reveal the indispensable role of Inuit co-travellers across the North American Arctic in navigating the Northern and Arctic terrain, identifying geographical formations, and ensuring the survival and safe return of expeditions (Bravo, 2019b). While cartographies of such journeys readily record the ‘discoveries’ and ‘acts of occupations’ by non-Arctic voyagers, the presence of Inuit communities and their roles in the collection of such information often remain unacknowledged, erasing Indigenous agency and knowledge from the cartographic record and further solidifying colonial notions of a terra nullius. The critical role of Inuit knowledge and intermediaries in the making of cartographies of the Arctic is evident in the first German scientific expeditions to East Greenland in the 1860s and 1870s. Interest in the polar regions as an object of scientific inquiry and a commercial and geopolitical region of concern was low at mid-century throughout the German states (Krause, 1992; Krause, 2010). Those Germans traveling to the Arctic regions such as whalers aboard Dutch fishing fleets, missionaries in collaboration with the Danish colonial authorities, or scientists as part of British naval expeditions took advantage of the global infrastructures of European empires in the Arctic. When preparations for the organization of a German voyage to the Arctic began in the early 1860s, historical and contemporary cartographies of Greenland were important instruments for advocates of an expedition around August Petermann and the Justus Perthes Geographical Establishment in Gotha in Germany. As part of the preparations, the charts and reports of Danish explorers and the Danish Navy along with English records were consulted. Yet Petermann’s colleagues deemed as more accurate and reliable those maps that had been produced in Greenland itself, specifically the missionary cartography of the Moravian Church in Noorliit (Neu-Herrnhut) just south of Nuuk. If missionaries acted as lay scientists in the field to collect natural specimen and ethnographic objects as late as the eighteenth century, they also joined the field of lay natural history and cartography in the nineteenth century. When the Danish colonial administration and the mission acquired printing presses at mid-century, missionaries soon began to write natural histories and geographies of Greenland. They also compiled linguistic works, prayer books, and music sheets as part of their missionary activities (Wilhjelm, 2013). Specifically the missionary Samuel Kleinschmidt emerged as a consequential figure in the collecting of data and the production of maps on the geography of Greenland. His map of Greenland, in fact, not only informed the preparations of the

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Figure 2. Adolf Stieler, “Polar Map containing the Countries and Seas surrounding the North Pole,” Gotha, 1874, Sammlung Perthes.

first German Arctic expeditions. It also appeared—without attribution—in one of the leading geographical publications in nineteenth-century Germany, the Stieler Hand-Atlas—rivalled only by Berghaus’s Physical Atlas which was based on Humboldt’s travels. Kleinschmidt, thereafter, prepared corrections and addendums to provide local spellings of toponyms and to specify the location of geographical features such as settlements, mountain ranges or coastal formations. In his writings, he emphatically stressed the importance of geographical information about regions untraveled by Europeans and Americans that he compiled on the basis of extensive reports and observations by Kalaallit as well as maps drawn by Aron and Abraham, two Kalaallit members of the Moravian mission. Indeed, missionaries and Inuit at mission stations of the Moravian Church were important nodes in the global web of meteorological measurements during the first International Polar Year in 1882 and 1883 (Lüdecke, 2005). As a result, European cartographies of the Arctic regions were not the products of seemingly disentangled centres of technology and science in the European or American metropole. Geographical knowledge of the Arctic was coproduced in a multilayered process of colonial governance, imperial science, and Indigenous knowledge. Acknowledgment of this co-productive aspect remained unusual and the encounters, some exploitative and violent, produced lasting consequences for Inuit across the circumpolar world (Bravo, 2019b; Cameron, 2016; LeMoine, Kaplan & Darwent, 2016).

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If missionary cartography and Inuit knowledge of Greenland contributed to expanding and specifying understandings of the geography of mountain ranges and coastlines, they did little to disabuse cartographers of the speculative aspects in their work. The Open Polar Sea remained a popular theory in the advocacy and campaigns for Arctic travel throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. It was not until the 1893-96 Fram expedition under the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen that Petermann’s hypothesis received a fatal blow. Nansen’s ship drifted across the Laptev and East Greenlandic seas, proving the frozen state of the ocean and revealing a different phenomenon governing Arctic geography: the transpolar drift. Not unlike the Open Polar Sea, sixteenth-century theories of hyperborea, a mythical land and people around the North Pole, also remained potent myths among European cartographers as shown in a map published in Stieler Hand-Atlas of 1874 (Figure 2). These theories were grounded in alleged reports of Inuit migration in and out of mission stations in southwestern Greenland. Such ideas retained valuable appeal for political, commercial, and scientific funders of Arctic exploration far into the early twentieth century as the material of the Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-1918) led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson document (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, “The Canadian Arctic Expedition,” Gotha, 1913, Sammlung Perthes.

Legacies of nineteenth-century Arctic cartography Histories of science and cartographies of the Arctic endure in the mental maps and the wider perceptions of today. At the same time, such histories rarely present the easy narratives and pure heroes often enlisted in the circumpolar geopolitics of the twenty-first century (Powell & Dodds, 2014; Steinberg, Tasch & Gerhardt, 2015). Nineteenth-century activities to measure and map the Arctic importantly shaped those ‘habits of seeing’ that laid the foundation for present-day understandings, analytical categories, and wider public perceptions of the Arctic (Woitkowitz,

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2021). As part of this process, European and American scientific activities in the Arctic regions have left complex and lasting legacies that place the present-day Arctic within the wider histories of colonial and imperial science in the non-European world of the nineteenth century. The field of science and the economy of mapmaking, as a result, have been entangled with the commercial, religious, and geopolitical interests of European and American governments, trading companies, missionary societies, and Inuit communities across the Arctic. Science and mapmaking have always existed alongside geopolitics, commerce, and Indigenous knowledge. The emergence of scientific categories to describe the physical geography of the Arctic over the course of the nineteenth century has importantly shaped cartographical portrayals of the region. The presentation of measurements and observations not as isolated data but as interrelated phenomena produced a new visual and analytical vocabulary. The scientific debates over the existence of an Open Polar Sea are a powerful example that demonstrates the practice of relating early fields such as meteorology, oceanography, and marine biology to each other to make projections of the geographical nature of the Arctic Ocean. In cartographies such as Petermann’s “Polar Chart,” these arguments became translated into the visual language of physical geography and proved influential as effective forms of early science communication, securing logistical and financial support from patrons and governments. Echoes of the Arctic as a system of natural phenomena as a predominant lens to understand the regions remain potent in present-day images where the aesthetics of vast wastelands, melting glaciers, and vanishing sea ice retain a significant appeal among non-Arctic audiences. These complex histories also highlight a little understood but fundamental quality of nineteenthcentury Arctic science and cartography: for all the exceptionalist and nationalist rhetoric of expeditions to the circumpolar North, the collection of data and the production of maps about the Arctic regions was a global operation. Cartographers trained in Germany solicited logistical and financial support across Europe and the United States for field science in the central Arctic Ocean. Geographical information publicized in maps and atlases, moreover, were corrected and updated based on knowledge by Inuit and intermediaries. European and American cartographies of the Arctic often silenced such voices and left unacknowledged the role of Indigenous co-travellers and co-producers in the maps and atlases they sold, for example, in London, New York or Berlin. Perspectives that investigate such global flows of knowledge under conditions of unequal power, therefore, are imperative to fully understand the diversity of actors and institutions—state and nonstate, Arctic and non-Arctic—involved in the long history of Arctic science and cartography. The MOSAiC expedition of 2019/2020 enlisted the history of nineteenth-century expeditionary science in the Arctic as a touchstone in the design and communication of its scientific program. The MOSAiC’s Scientific Plan and expedition publications by Markus Rex, the expedition leader, identified the polar drift of Nansen’s Fram expedition as the central reference point for the yearlong journey across the central Arctic Ocean (MOSAiC, 2016; Rex, 2020). The web-based tracker of MOSAiC, for example, juxtaposed diary entries and daily locations of Nansen’s journey with Polarstern’s progress and features of its scientific activities as part of the expedition’s public outreach activities (Figure 4). Indeed, when placed within the context of nineteenth-century Arctic science, however, MOSAiC emerges as a distant cousin of the debates and controversies over the existence of an Open Polar Sea. When preparing for the 1879-81 Jeannette expedition to the Bering Sea, the American publisher James Gordon Bennett consulted with Petermann and his map collection in

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Figure 4. Web-based tracker of MOSAiC showing Fridtjof Nansen's 1893-96 polar drift with daily historical excerpts, MOSAiC Expedition, http://www.follow.mosaic-expedition.org, last accessed October 5, 2021.

Germany to return to the United States convinced of the existence of open water and its accessibility via the Bering Strait. It was debris and personal items of Bennett’s abortive expedition that were found along Greenlandic shores years later that fuelled Nansen’s theory of a transpolar drift and his plans for MOSAiC’s historical precursor, the Fram expedition. The search for an Open Polar Sea and Petermann’s maps, as a result, helped generate a new hypothesis of the physical geography of the Arctic Ocean that would ultimately inform the design of the MOSAiC expedition a century and a half later. On its course to record 90°N latitude in August 2020, Polarstern indeed encountered large sections of open water, free of ice and easily navigable. For the researchers aboard the icebreaker, it constituted one more alarming indication of the accelerated transformations taking place in the Arctic as a consequence of a changing climate. As present-day science seeks to understand the processes and dynamics of these transformations, it is important to recognize knowledges and scientific categories not as self-evident but as products of a certain point in time. Cartography and science in the nineteenth-century generated new forms of describing the central Arctic region in the language of natural science. Understanding this historical dimension not only means acknowledging these forms as consequential in the ways they structure ways of knowing. It also means recognizing such knowledges and categories as transient and therefore amenable to building a more inclusive and equitable future for science and knowledge-making in the circumpolar world.

Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge the thoughtful comments and suggestions by two anonymous reviewers in preparation of this article. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement number: 724317 — ARCTIC CULT — ERC-2016-COG). Cartography and the Legacies of Nineteenth-Century Arctic Science


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Research funding was further provided through a Herzog Ernst Fellowship by the Gotha Research Centre, University of Erfurt.

References Aporta, C. (2009). The Trail as Home: Inuit and their Pan-Arctic Network of Routes. Human Ecology, 37 (1), 131-46. Berger, C. (1966). The True North Strong and Free. In P. H. Russell (Ed.), Nationalism in Canada (pp. 83-102). McGraw-Hill. Bravo, M. (2019a). North Pole: Nature and Culture. Reaktion Books. Bravo, M. (2019b). Indigenous Voyaging, Authorship, and Discovery. In A. Craciun & M. Terrall (Eds.), Curious Encounters: Voyaging, Collecting, and Making Knowledge in the Long Eighteenth Century (pp. 71-112). University of Toronto Press. Cameron, E. (2016). Far Off Metal River. Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic. University of British Columbia Press. Cosgrove, D. (2001). Apollo’s Eye: A Cartographic Genealogy of the Earth in the Western Imagination. Johns Hopkins University Press. Craciun, A. (2010). The Frozen Ocean. PMLA, 125 (3), 693-702. David, R. (2000). The Arctic in the British Imagination, 1818-1914. Manchester University Press. Driver, F. (2000). Geography Militant: Cultures of Exploration and Empire. Blackwell Publishers. Felsch, P. (2010). Wie August Petermann den Nordpol erfand. Luchterhand Literaturverlag. Gapp, I. (2021, March 19). Mapping and Materiality: Inuit Cartography in Greenland [Conference presentation]. Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW). Online, Portugal. Grace, S. (2002). Canada and the Idea of North. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Habermas, R. & Przyrembel, A. Eds. (2013). Von Kädern, Märkten und Menschen: Kolonialismus und Wissen in der Moderne. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Hardy, P. & Rozwadowski, H. (2020). Maury for Modern Times: Navigating a Racist Legacy in Ocean Science, Oceanography 33 (3), 10-15. Hill, J. (2008). White Horizon. The Arctic in the Nineteenth-Century British Imagination. State University of New York Press. Hulan, R. (2002). Northern Experience and the Myths of Canadian Culture. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Kaalund, N. & Woitkowitz, J. (2021). ‘Ancient Lore with Modern Appliances’: Networks, Expertise, and the Making of the Open Polar Sea, 1851-1853. British Journal for the History of Science 54 (3), 277-299.

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Kirchberger, U. (2014). Zur Bedeutung des Großbritannienaufenthalts deutscher Wissenschaftler im 19. Jahrhundert. In F.-L. Kroll & M. Munke (Eds.), Deutsche Englandreisen (pp. 119-134). Duncker & Humblot. Krause, R. (1992). Die Gründungsphase deutscher Polarforschung, 1865-1875. Kamloth. Krause, R. (2010). Daten statt Sensationen: Der Weg zur internationalen Polarforschung aus einer deutschen Perspektive. Alfred-Wegener Institut für Polarforschung. LeMoine, G.M., Kaplan, S.A. & Darwent, C.M. (2016). Living on the Edge: Inughuit Women and Geography of Contact. Arctic 69 (1), 1-12. Lüdecke, C. (2005). East Meets West: Meteorological observations of the Moravians in Greenland and Labrador since the 18th century. History of Meteorology, 2, 123-32. MacDonald, J. (1998). The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore, and Legend. Royal Ontario Museum. MOSAiC. (2016). Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate. Science Plan. International Arctic Science Committee. Nippa, A. (2003). Ethnographie und Herrnhuter Mission. Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut. Powell, R.C. & Dodds, K. (2014). Polar Geopolitics? Knowledges, Resources, and Legal Regimes. Edward Elgar Publishing. Powell, R.C., (2015). The study of geography? Franz Boas and his canonical returns. Journal of Historical Geography, 49, 21-30. Rex, M. (2020). Eingefroren am Nordpol: Das Logbuch von der ‘Polarstern’. C. Bertelsmann. Robinson, M. (2006). The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture. University of Chicago Press. Robinson, M. (2007). Reconsidering the Theory of the Open Polar Sea. In K. R. Benson & H. Rozwadowski (Eds.), Extremes: Oceanography’s Adventures (pp. 15-29). Watson Publishing. Rozwadowski, H. (2018). Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans. Reaktion Books. Steinberg, P., Tasch, J. & Gerhardt, H. (2015). Contesting the Arctic. Politics and Imaginaries in the Circumpolar North. I.B. Tauris. Tammiksaar, E., Sukhova, N. G. & Stone, I. R. (1999). Hypothesis versus Fact: August Petermann and Polar Research. Arctic, 52 (3), 237-243. von Brescius, M. (2019). German Science in the Age of Empire: Enterprise, Opportunity, and the Schlagintweit Brothers. Cambridge University Press. Wilhjelm, H. (2013). Grönländer aus Leidenschaft: Das Leben und Werk von Samuel Kleinschmidt. Erlanger Verlag für Mission und Ökumene. Weber, M. (1919). Wissenschaft als Beruf. In M. Weber., Geistige Arbeit als Beruf. Vorträge vor dem Freistudentischen Bund. Erster Vortrag. Duncker & Humblot. Woitkowitz, J. (2017). The Northern Education of Lester B. Pearson. Zeitschrift für KanadaStudien, 37 (1), 77-98.

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Woitkowitz, J. (2019, December 5). From Herrnhut to the Arctic, and Back Again! Arctic Cultures Project Blog, https://www.arcticcultures.org/2019/12/05/from-herrnhut-to-the-arcticand-back-again/ Woitkowitz, J. (2021, February 11). Adrift in Ice and Time. Arctic Cultures Project Blog, https://www.arcticcultures.org/2021/02/11/adrift-in-ice-and-time/

Inuit perspectives on Canadian Arctic sovereignty and security


The Faroese Sub-State Unit’s Response to Arctic Political Development

Hallbera West

The Arctic is undergoing a process of political region building, including an institutional development of the Arctic Council. Also, the region is attracting attention from a multitude of actors and institutions, including the world’s superpowers. A country facing implications related to this development is the Faroe Islands. The increasing attention towards the Faroe Islands is familiar considering previous Cold War experiences. However, the de-facto autonomy and internal institutional development within the Faroese sub-state unit means that the situation today is different. Thus, Arctic development calls for political attention. This article focuses on the opportunities for the Faroe Islands not only as a sub-state unit but also as a micro sized political unit to conduct foreign policy activity related to Arctic development and to what extent the political system in fact is responding and addressing the development. The expectation is that considering the increase in the salience of Arctic related issues the Faroese political system to a higher degree prioritizes Arctic related issues compared to a decade ago. The article shows that despite formal limitations there still is room for foreign policy manoeuvres and despite limited capacity the political system still has prioritised to develop relevant competences to facilitate foreign policy related activity. The investigation shows that today the political system to a higher extent responds to Arctic development, especially on the governmental level, but also to some extent on the parliamentary level and even on the political party level.

Introduction For some time now the Arctic has been undergoing a process of political region building. This is for instance seen in the increasing institutionalization of the Arctic Council as well as the increasing interest for Arctic Council activity from a multitude of actors and institutions. Also, the world’s superpowers to a high degree prioritize attendance at political council meetings (Exner-Pirot, 2012; Olsen & Shadian, 2016). In addition, recent events show an increasing focus on security and military issues in the Arctic, though not within the Arctic Council.1 A country facing implications due to this development is the North Atlantic sub-state unit of the Faroe Islands.2

Hallbera West is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Faroe Islands.


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The Faroe Islands is in a key position related to new sea routes in the Arctic region3, and has experienced changes like increased activity at sea, which has been followed by challenges in the field of civil security (Jákupsstovu & Berg, 2012; Bailes & Jákupsstovu, 2013). Also, the so-called Taksøe-Jensen (2016) report about Danish foreign policy and security signalled a changed international reality by stating the North Atlantic and Arctic region as one of the main three strategic pillars for the Danish state. For the Faroe Islands, recent events with attention from the world’s superpowers related to trade and export, technology infrastructure as well as the ongoing case about establishing an air surveillance radar seems like a Deja-vu situation considering the resemblance to the cold war situation. This time, however, the Faroe Islands finds itself in a totally different situation considering the de-facto very high degree of autonomy and a completely different state when it comes to institutional development. Still, at the same time, the Faroe Islands is a very small actor in the world of international politics. The increased Arctic related international activity calls for political attention if the islands want some control of the implications for the Faroese sub-state unit, and this article focuses on if and how the Faroe Islands has been responding to these changes and increase in Arctic related international activity. Related to these changes and challenges, this article focuses on the external as well as internal dimension of the Faroe Islands’ sub-state unit. For the external dimension, the article focuses on the options for the Faroe Islands as a sub-state unit to conduct foreign policy and engage in Arctic related international activity. For the internal dimension, the article focuses on institutional conditions in terms of administrative capacity and “know how” required for the conduction of this type of activity. Thereafter, the article investigates to what extent and how the political system has and is responding to this development seen over a 10-year time-period. The expectation is that the Faroe Islands as not only a sub-state unit, but also a very small political unit measured in population size is challenged when it comes to the conduction of foreign policy related activity in general. Also, we know from previous investigations that political parties have not always agreed on the importance of the conduction of an independent Faroese foreign policy (Ólavsdóttir, Justinussen & Jákupsstovu, 2011). In addition, we know that the Faroese administrative traditions are still young (West, 2020), which questions the administrative capacity, and we also know that the salience of foreign policy issues typically are lower compared to other more distributional policy issues (Raunio, 2014), which to an ever-higher degree can be expected to apply for a sub-state unit. Nevertheless, the expectation is that the focus on Arctic related issues within the political system has increased as well as expanded across the different parts of the political system. This article first explores the role of sub-state units in the international system, and then considers the issue of administrative capacity and typical challenges relevant for micro size systems like the Faroese political system. Thereafter, the article presents the research design followed by the investigation of the Arctic focus in Faroese foreign policy, distinguishing between the governmental, parliamentary, and party level. The results show a clear Arctic focus at the governmental level, which was also to be expected, but also some Arctic focus in the foreign affairs committee on the parliamentary level and even on the political party level.

The Faroese sub-state unit and the external dimension In classical international politics and foreign policy there is not much focus on non-sovereign countries, and in the international system, states still are the actor unit par excellence. Nevertheless, West


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today, there is an increasing tendency for regional governments or sub-state units becoming actors on the international stage (Criekemans, 2020). There are the cases of sub-state units striving for independence to gain state sovereignty. Adler-Nissen and Gad (2014) refer to sovereignty games in the international system. Still, sub-state units do also conduct foreign policy activity based on their own distinct foreign policy agenda separate from their “mother” state, but not directly linked to an aim of becoming a sovereign state. In other words, regional governments promote and pursue their own distinct agenda in the international system. Some scholars refer to this type of activity as paradiplomacy (Ackrén, 2014; Wolff, 2007). Ackrén (2014) identifies three layers in paradiplomacy. The first layer is economic related issues, like attracting foreign investments and target markets for export. The second layer is international policy collaboration related to education, culture etc. The third layer relates to international activity that express a distinct identity separate from the central state, like separate representation in international organizations. Regardless, paradiplomacy is still activity that typically falls in a legal and constitutional grey zone (Ackrén, 2014: 45). Also, existing states and their governments view this type of activity with some suspicion, since it potentially undermines their sovereignty and undermines the pursuit of the broader state interest (Wolff, 2007). Related to this, in an Arctic Council context, there is the example of conflicts and resistance about efforts to compensate for the one formal Danish “seat” by bringing more “chairs” to the table (Jacobsen, 2019). The Faroe Islands is a sub-state unit with a high degree of autonomy (Adler-Nissen, 2014: 58; Aldrich and Connell, 1998: 46). Today, the Home Rule authorities handle most jurisdictions (West, 2020) and the autonomy on the internal dimension is extensive. Still, there are limitations, especially on the external dimension. Foreign-, security- and defence policy are for instance defined as Danish responsibility areas.4 Nevertheless, the ‘Foreign Policy Authority Act’ from 2005 still states how and when the Faroe Islands can act and conduct foreign policy related activity. The Faroese government can negotiate and enter international agreements related to Home Rule jurisdictions (§ 1), hire own foreign representatives, though formally linked to Danish foreign representations (§3), and obtain associated membership in international organizations (§ 4). In other words, there is ample room for activity within the previous mentioned first and second layer of paradiplomcy, while activity within the third layer is more constrained. Empirically, there are multiple examples of Faroese foreign policy activivty. There are examples of trade agreements and international fishery negotiations/agreements (NEAFC, NAFO and NASCO). There are also several examples of distinct memberships like in NAMMCO and in the tax related BEPS (within OECD) in their own name, in the Nordic Council as an autonomous area, associate membership in FAO, IMO, UNESCO, and from May 26, 2021, in WHO as well. Related to the EU, by necessity, the Faroe Islands (not EU member) conducts its own negotiations when dealing with the EU, since Denmark as a member cannot sit at both sides of the table. In addition to trade, the collaboration with the EU also includes policy collaboration since the Faroe Islands is a partner in the EU Horizon research framework.5 On the parliamentary level, the Faroe Islands participates in the Nordic Council, and in the West Nordic Council (WNC) as one of three member countries (together with Greenland and Iceland). It is, however, important to stress that Faroese international activity also took place before the 2005 framework, and that this formalization has been heavily disputed because of the constraints that the framework also implies. Bertelsen & Justinussen (2020) nevertheless stress the positive aspects of this formalization since foreign policy now to a higher degree figures as a policy area in Faroese politics (2020: 42). Cartography and the Legacies of Nineteenth-Century Arctic Science


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In other words, on the one hand there are many examples of Faroese distinct international activity, but on the other side the Faroe Islands still face a rather complex institutional reality. Ólavsdóttir, Justinussen & Jákupsstovu (2011) state that the task for the Faroe Islands is to find their place in the hierarchy and to figure out what the manoeuvring room is. Nevertheless, the Faroe Islands has been through all of the successive steps for subnational jurisdictions’ paradiplomacy according to Prinsen (2020). Also, the annual report from the Danish High Commissioner for the Faroe Islands states that the Faroese government today to a high extent are involved in Danish Realm international cases of special importance for the Faroe Islands (2021: 15). In other words, today the Faroe Islands has substantially more experience in the conduction of foreign policy compared to the Cold War situation.

Internal conditions and administrative capacity This section will address some within case institutional conditions of relevance for facilitation of foreign policy activity. Related to this, the section addresses typical challenges for micro sized political units. The Faroe Islands has a rather complete political institutional infrastructure consisting of a parliamentary system and government institutions, which previously have been treated (Sølvará, 2001; West, 2018). The administrative system and capacity, however, has received limited attention. The Faroese political unit is an example of a very small size,6 which means that one can expect that the system capacity to facilitate foreign policy related activity is limited. This section will, however, focus on the relative institutional capacity and development of relevant “know how” for the conduction of foreign policy in the Faroese case. For a sub-state unit, it seems plausible to assume that the higher degree of autonomy, the higher demands the administrative system faces related to being able to handle policy portfolio issues, including securing legislation and regulation. Institutional and administrative capacity is required to meet these demands. For the Faroese case, the very high degree of internal autonomy requires administrative capacity, but there might still be differences across policy areas to consider. Thus, the small size of the system necessitates a prioritization in the organization of public functions. Still, at the same time a complete abandonment of core functions is not an option, at least not for a state (Sarapuu & Randma-Liiv, 2020). Research shows that country/state size is a factor that shapes a national bureaucracy and affects performance and effectiveness. Negative factors for small units are lacking economies of scale and informal coordination mechanisms that are under-specialized and under-professionalized (Jugl, 2019: 119).7 Nevertheless, Corbett, Veenendaal and Connell (2021) refer to natural levels of informal coordination as a positive asset. On a somewhat different note, Baldacchino (2000) and Hovgaard & Bogadóttir (2020) state challenges like administrative capacity on the one side but at the same time point to innovative industry approaches that make actors in small units capable of developing successful strategies and becoming over achievers. Baldacchino (2000: 68) also questions the lacking economies of scales assumption by stating that a substantial part of the highest per capita income populations are micro-states. Prinsen (2020: 370) stresses that peoples in small subnational jurisdictions typically are more prosperous than small sovereign states. For the Faroe Islands figures show large increases and high levelsof per capita income. Regardless of economic performance and how to explain this, the small size of public organizations still limits the division of labour and specializations. Research states that this pushes towards multifunctionalism and tendencies for multi-functional ministries and that small administrations tend to West


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rely more on flexible, informal structures and communication, often characterized by the lack of machinery for formal coordination (Sarapuu & Randma-Liiv, 2020). Nevertheless, the Faroe Islands in the late 1990s implemented a multiple portfolio and individual minister responsibility system and have gradually strengthened the principles of sector specialization. The numbers of governmental departments vary, though typically ranges between 7 and 9 (West, 2020). The development of the Faroese administrative system shows a continuous effort to develop formal institutional procedures, to strenghten organizational performance, but also formal coordination (Interview 1). In other words, the Faroese case questions the assumption about the qualities of informal coordination in smaller administrative settings. Small units face the same technical complexities as larger countries and therefore face similar challenges of balancing specialization and the need of formal coordination. Still, the degree of specialization remains a constant challenge to be handled. According to the most recent Government report (2014), the total number of staff in the central administration is 146,8 where around 70% is academic staff (primarily economists, political scientists, and legally trained). The staff is allocated to different ministry departments. Compared to other Nordic countries, the Faroese central administration has by far the lowest number of staff in relation to number of ministers (Government report, 2014: 61). Yet there still is a substantial output to consider. For the 2013-2019 time-period, the annual average number of new legal rules was 173, and 84% was produced by the Faroese political system (West, 2020). According to the Head of Government’s department for legal control, the system has developed strategies to cope with the challenges of being a very small system facing the same legislative demands as much larger systems (Interview 2). The department has developed a substantial number of procedural guidelines and procedures to support the legal drafting process and produces annual review reports. Foreign affairs capacity and focus on Arctic issues The foreign affairs service was established in 1998 and the first foreign affairs representations abroad were established in Copenhagen (1993) and then Brussels (1998) (Jákupsstovu & Justinussen, 2021). From previous research (a survey), we, however, know that the political parties have not always agreed on the importance of a distinct Faroese foreign policy. The result showed that politicians from parties aiming for sovereignty to a higher degree were in favour of a distinct Faroese foreign policy compared to politicians from parties in favour of unaltered dependency to Denmark: 54.5 % compared to 21.4 % (Ólavsdóttir, Justinussen & Jákupsstovu, 2011: 114). The past decade, the life of the Faroese foreign affairs administration has been rather tumultuous (West, 2020). The short lived CEH 2008 coalition established the first independent foreign affairs ministry department, which was maintained by the 2008-2011 (ABCII) coalition. After this, the status as section was restored, while the affiliation since then has shifted several times, from being part of the Prime Minister department (2011-2015 coalition), to the Department for Trade (20152019 coalition) to the present affiliation to the Department for Culture and Education (2019coalition). Strangely enough the larger coalition parties for the two latest coalition periods have left the foreign policy portfolio to the small coalition parties, to the Progress Party in the 2015-2019 coalition and to the Centre Party in the present 2019- coalition. This indicates that foreign policy is not as high on coalition party’s portfolio priority lists as we know from other countries or that small parties want to be “paid” for securing the final seats for the majority coalition government.

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For the facilitation of activity, the number of staff in the foreign affairs service is important to consider. Compared to the total number of academic staff in the central administration there is a relatively high priority of this policy area. A staff overview shows that this administrative section consists of eleven academic positions and one coordinator. In addition, there are seven foreign representations (Copenhagen, Brussel, London, Reykjavík, Moscow, Beijing and Tel Aviv) that consist of seven academic staff from the foreign service and seven secretaries (typically 1 + 1 for each representative unit).9 For the question about foreign affairs institutional capacity, it is also worth considering the parliamentary level since the governing rule (Legal act no. 103 from 1994: § 54) states that government must consult the foreign affairs committee (seven MPs in committee) before taking decisions of foreign affairs importance. Thus, government must make sure that they have a mandate from parliament. The mandate system is, however, not followed by formal guidelines and examples are of discussions and partisan rivalry. Still, for trade agreements, fishery negotiations, and questions about membership in international associations a treatment practice has been developed.10 Still, government has the initiative, but one might still assume that government anticipates what issues the committee wants to be consulted on. Also, the committee (majority) has an alternative committee question/consultation option to use by its own initiative and hereby has a clear agenda setting instrument. The administrative resource on the parliamentary level is, however, low. A calculated value based on the total number of staff in relation to the number of MPs (33) leaves the value of 0.3. In comparison to the Icelandic parliament the value is 1.7 and for the Danish parliament 2.2. Still, most of the administrative resources in the Faroese case are, however, used to support committee activity (West, 2018: 92-93). In addition to institutional and administrative capacity, the question about policy issues or salience is expected to influence the degree of focus on foreign policy, including Arctic related issues. In general, foreign policy issues rank lower, since people are interested in issues that are close to them (Manza & Cook, 2002: 640-641). Supporting this, Aldrich et al. (2006) make references to low awareness on international issues according to Gallup’s “most important problem” measure. A typical expectation is that parliaments to a higher degree delegate foreign policy issue to government to deal with. Still, the degree of delegated discretion varies in relation to different types of foreign policy, being higher for security and military policy than for foreign economic policy. Thus, a typical expectation is that MPs favour policy issues that have internal distributional implications. Still, the increasing interdependencies between countries and states means that global and regional questions are becoming more salient and also have distributional implications (Raunio, 2014). Considering the development in the Arctic, the salience of Arctic regional related issues has and is increasing. In addition, as previously mentioned, the Faroe Islands is facing implications due to this development. Therefore, the expectation is that the Faroese political system to a higher degree today compared to earlier prioritizes to use the developed foreign policy capacity to focus on Arctic related issues in their foreign policyrelated activity.

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Research design The investigation is conducted as a study of the single Faroese political unit. Still, the case study design has spatial as well as temporal variation (Gerring, 2004). The investigation focuses on different within-units of the political system: the governmental, parliamentary, and party level; and the investigation focuses on changes over time. The main time-period in focus is the past 10-year period, which has consisted of different government coalitions with different unionist- and independence-oriented parties. The governmental level is the most likely setting for a focus on foreign policy, including a focus on Arctic related issues. The expectation for the parliamentary setting is more limited, but the investigation especially focuses on the foreign affairs committee where some Arctic related foreign policy activity is expected. The third level is the party level and the existence of Arctic references in election programs. Election programs relate to a party’s vote seeking activity par excellence and considering the typical low salience of foreign policy this is the least likely setting for political Arctic references. The data for the investigation is primarily different types of public documentary material. For the governmental level, the investigation focuses on government’s reports on foreign policy, specific Arctic strategy reports, newsletters, and information from ministry and other institutions’ webpages. For the parliamentary level, the investigation primarily focuses on the foreign affairs committee. For the committee focus, the investigation covers the mandate consultations for the 2011-2020 time-period11 and the total population of 14 foreign affairs committee questions/consultations. For the additional overall focus on the assembly, a general search was conducted for Arctic related parliamentary activity. The parliamentary data are accessible on the parliament’s homepage: www.logting.fo. For the party level, the investigation is based on election programs for the 2011, 2015, and 2019 Løgting and Folketing elections. The programs have been collected by contacting each respective political party.

The governmental level and the Arctic focus On the governmental level, there are several examples of government reporting to parliament on Faroese foreign policy priorities. Lately, this reporting activity has been more frequent compared to previously. The latest report was for the 2020 parliamentary year and before that for 2018, 2014, 2009, and 2000 (www.logting.fo). All the reports have content that refers to the Arctic and/or the Arctic Council. While the references in the 2000 reports are very general, the reports from 2009 and forward contain more detailed information about Faroese participation in Arctic Council related activity and address Faroese interests. Also, the oral presentation of the latest 2020 foreign affairs report in parliament in 2021, compared to the oral presentations of the 2014 and 2018, showed a stronger Arctic focus, since the Arctic was one of the main topics to be addressed (parliamentary cases FG-4/2014, FG-8/2018, FG-4/2020). In addition to the general foreign affairs reports, the Faroese government joined the Danish Realm Arctic strategy report in 2011 (“Kongeriget Danmarks Strategi for Arktis 2011-2020”) and in 2013 produced a distinct Faroese Arctic strategy paper (“The Faroe Islands – a Nation in the Arctic. Opportunities and Challenges”). For the presentation of the distinct strategy report in parliament in November 2013, the government stated that Arctic matters mainly relate to Faroese Home Rule jurisdictions and therefore a distinct Faroese Arctic strategy is required. The report presents a broad

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range of recommendations and covers topics like trade opportunities for industry actors, rights and regulation of Arctic fishery, research, emergency preparedness, risks of pollution etc. Politically, the strategy paper stresses the importance of participation in Arctic Council activity and to influence Arctic decision making (Parliamentary matter, F-3/2013). Still, compared to the Danish Realm strategy report the focus on international collaborationis limited. Yet, the present (2019-) coalition has announced that an updated version of the distinct Faroese Arctic strategy paper is underway. The governmental reporting activity has been followed up by different types of Arctic related participative activity. It is clearly a political priority to participate in political Arctic Council meetings and to state this participation in newsletters, like for the 2013 Kiruna Arctic Council meeting (N1), the 2015 Iqaluit minister meeting (N2), the 2017 Fairbanks meeting (N6), the 2019 Rovaniemi meeting (N8), and the 2021 Reykjavík meeting (N11). Overall, Faroese representatives have taken active part in ministerial meetings since 2011, and Faroe Islands participates in Senior Arctic Officials forum (SAO), in different working groups, and have in their own name signed the three treaties Search and Rescue (2011), Oil and Spill (2013), and Arctic Scientific Cooperation (2017).12 Other examples of Arctic related activity are political participation in the Arctic Circle conference in for instance 2015 and 2016 (N3, N5), and hosting of the 2018 Arctic Circle related event the Arctic hubs (N7). Also, the minister of education participated in a US White House meeting about Arctic research related to the US Arctic Council chairmanship (N4). Lately, on the governmental level, in addition to reports and participation, steps have been taken to conduct some institutional changes related to Arctic development. The present (2019-) government has established a new Faroese security council within government specifically related to the development in the Arctic (N10). Also, on the Danish Realm political meeting level, Arctic related challenges and opportunities have been addressed and recently a new Danish Realm council has been established. The council consisting of ministers from the three respective governments will meet annually to treat issues related to foreign affairs, including security and defence (N12). The announcement specifically refers to the increased attention from the worlds’ superpowers towards the North Atlantic countries and the Arctic. Interestingly, the announcement publicly addresses the need of a stronger collaboration and coordination within the Danish Realm. In other words, overall on the governmental level, there is Arctic related activity for the whole time-period. Lately, activity seems to have increased and also to change form. There is more frequent reporting activity, different types of meeting activity, and now also institutional changes in form of newly established councils related to Arctic regional development.

The parliamentary level and the Arctic focus In parliament, the foreign affairs committee besides regular cases treats mandate cases as well as committee questions/consultations. In the assembly, the 33 MPs have the option to address Arctic related issues by raising parliamentary assembly questions. In addition, there is the transnational parliamentary collaboration to consider. The level of activity in the foreign affairs committee has been rather stable since the establishment of the foreign affairs service, considering the average number of 22 annual meetings compared to the general average of 24. For an overview of the variation in the committees’ meeting activity, see figure 1.

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Figure 1. Committee activity level: annual number of committee meetings for the seven standing committees13

COMMITTEE MEETINGS, NO. 1997-2018 Finance Committee Business Committee

Foreign Affairs Committee Social and Health Committee

Oversight Committee Culture and Education Committee

60

50

40

30

20

10

0 1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

The average annual number of foreign affairs regular cases is, however, substantially lower, considering the average annual number of only ten compared to the general average of 22. This is, however, not surprising since foreign policy to a lesser extent relates to legal proposals. Instead, the foreign affairs committee has the additional mandate system consultations as well as the committee questions/consultations. There are 3 - 8 annual mandate consultations in the 2011-2020 time-period, the total number being 62. The investigation of the focus for these mandate consultations shows that almost every second consultation is about fishery negotiations. Moreover, a substantial part, eleven of the consultations, relate to trade. This leaves an impression of a very strong focus on distributional related foreign affairs issues in the committee. Four of the fishery consultations relate to the Arctic and focus on the ongoing multilateral process to regulate Arctic fishery (Íshavið). Nevertheless, there are also four consultations about other Arctic related issues. One is about the Arctic Search and Rescue agreement, another about the Arctic Scientific Cooperation Agreement, a third about the new edition of the distinct Faroese Arctic strategy , and the most recent one is about security and relates to the air surveillance radar case. In other words, there has been some room for Arctic related issues in the mandate consultation system, including very recent activity. These results are displayed in table 1.

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Table 1: Overview of minister mandate consultations in the foreign affairs committee 2011-2020, in numbers, divided by theme 2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total

Fishery: negotiations

1

2

3

2

2

2

4

3

2

3

24

Arctic: fishery negotiations

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

4

Trade

0

1

2

0

2

1

1

2

2

2

13

Policy collaboration

1

1

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

5

Territory:

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

5

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

4

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

3

Other

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

0

4

Total

5

4

8

3

8

8

7

7

6

6

62

Cont. shelf Relations: Arctic International participation/ membership

Source: Minutes (Gerðabók), Foreign Affairs committee, parliamentary years 2011-2018. For 2019-2020: case overview.

For the committee question/consultation option, where the committee is the agenda-setter, it is important to stress that the general activity level for this question type is very low in the Løgting compared to assembly question types. Still, the foreign affairs committee uses this option more frequent compared to the other committees, since they have raised 14 of the total of 29 questions since 2008 when this question type was introduced. Again, the committee focus has a strong distributional focus since most questions relate to fishery negotiations (9/14). There is no direct reference to Arctic cases but some of the questions relate to changes in the Arctic geopolitical situation, considering the consultations about the Chinese embassy visit and Huawei/5G digital infrastructure case. For an overview of the committee questions, see table 2.

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Table 2: Overview of consultations/questions in the foreign affairs committee 2008-2021, in numbers, divided by theme 2008-2010

2011-2013

2014-2016

2017-2018

2019-2021

Total

Fishery negotiations

4

4

0

0

1

9

Dk relations

0

1

0

0

1

Foreign representatives

0

2

0

0

2

Technology infrastructure

0

0

0

0

2

2

Total

4

7

0

0

3

14

Source: case overviews, consultation/committee questions, collected 09-09-2021.

The additional investigation included a general search on the parliamentary webpage, which revealed some meeting activity between the foreign affairs committee and the Danish minister of foreign affairs with the Arctic on the agenda (on September 2, 2020)14 and a limited number of three assembly questions (Parliamentary cases: 52-044/2012, 52-049/2012, 52-042/2014). The search, however, also revealed that the Løgting hosted a transnational parliamentary debate with Arctic themes on the agenda between Faroese, Greenlandic and Danish MPs on November 9, 2020. Faroese MPs also participate, as previously mentioned, in transnational parliamentary collaboration, which is a rather common part of Arctic governance (Luszczuk, 2015). Faroese MPs have seats in the Nordic Council, but more importantly in the West Nordic Council (WNC), which in 2017 achieved observer status in the Arctic Council (N13). Arctic development was, however, not the original focus for the council (Luszczuk, 2015, Eythórsson & Hovgaard, 2018). According to the WNC administration most of the activity and council recommendations still relates to West Nordic countries’ cultural and industry interests but Arctic issues are though a vital concern. WNC political representatives participate in Arctic related conference activities and host workshops, for instance in the annual Arctic Circle.15 The fact that the WNC recently has established a specific Arctic Committee within the council supports this.16 Summing up, even though there is a very dominant focus on distributional related issues in the foreign affairs committee, especially fishery negotiations, there still are traces of Arctic related parliamentary activity. There is some activity in the foreign affairs committeeand some activity related to transnational parliamentary activity.. Nevertheless, there are no signs of institutional changes on the parliamentary level like an ad-hoc committee or Arctic delegation related to treatment of Arctic issues as is seen on the government level.

The political parties and Arctic references Political parties present election programmes ahead of elections where they state their political goals and focus. As previously stated, the expectation is that compared to the governmental and parliamentary level it is least likely to find an Arctic focus in this type of vote seeking party level activity. The investigation includes election programs for the Løgting and Folketing elections for 2011, 2015, and 2019.18

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The election programmes show a limited degree of Arctic references since there are no references in the programmes for neither the 2011 nor the 2015 elections. However, for the most recent 2019 election, four of the political parties make references to the Arctic in their programs. For the results, see table 3. This indicates an increase in the political salience of Arctic related issues since this was the least likely level to include an Arctic focus. Table 3. The presence of Arctic related references in election programs for 2011, 2015 and 2019 (1/0) Year

Political parties

Arctic references

2011

2015

People’s Party (A)* Unionist Party (B)

0

Social Democratic Party (C)

0

Republican Party (E)

0

Progress Party (F)

0

Centre Party (H)

0

People´s Party (A)

0

Unionist Party (B)

0

Social Democratic Party (C)

0

Republican Party (E)

0

Progress Party (F)

0

Centre Party (H)

0

People´s Party (A)

0

Unionist Party (B)

1

Social Democratic Party (C)

1

Republican Party (E)

1

Progress Party (F)

1

Centre Party (H)

0

2019

The content of the different references in the 2019 election programmes shows, however, some variation in the political parties’ Arctic focus. While the Republican Party (E) and the Progress Party (F) focus on the importance of distinct representation in terms of independent Faroese

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membership in the Arctic Council, the Unionist Party (B) states the importance of international collaboration and more influence in Arctic matters, though without specifying in what way. Also, the Social Democratic Party (C) makes clear Arctic references for the Folketing election and state the importance of overseeing the development but refer to the Danish Folketing as the arena to achieve this aim. The People’s Party (A) – the fourth of the larger parties - makes no Arctic references but still clearly states the importance of a distinct Faroese foreign affairs strategy. Another related document type is the coalition agreements. For this document type, there are no Arctic related references in the 2004, 2008, 2008(2), or the 2015 coalition agreements, but for the 2011 and the 2019 documents there are Arctic references. The content of these references relate to the political goal to develop a distinct Faroese Arctic strategy (the 2011 coalition), and rescue issues combined with the goal to establish a Faroese maritime centre related to Arctic Sea activity (the 2019 coalition). In other words, the investigation shows that political parties recently have started making Arctic references. This confirms the expectation that the salience of Arctic issues is higher today compared to previouslyin the past 10-year time-period.

Conclusion This article has focused on the Faroese substate’s opportunities and institutional capacity to respond to the political development in the Arctic region and has investigated to what extent and how the political system in fact has responded, seen over a 10-year time-period. The expectation was that the increase in salience of Arctic related themes means that the political system today to a higher degree addresses Arctic related issues compared to earlier. The expectation was that the governmental level is the most likely level for Arctic related activity and less expectations were for the parliamentary level, while the party level was the least likely level for an Arctic focus. Overall, the investigation shows a rather clear Arctic focus, especially on the governmental level as expected. Still, there has been some room for Arctic related issues in parliament´s otherwise very distributional orientated foreign affairs committee, and there are even some Arctic references on the party level, in the most recent 2019 election programmes. Therefore, it seems clear that the salience of Arctic related issues has increased and is higher today than previously. Also, the results show that the Faroese unit in fact has a distinct Arctic related foreign policy agenda and that the sub-state unit conducts activity to promote this agenda. On the governmental level there are also recent signs of institutional and procedural changes considering the establishment of councils to facilitate treatment of Arctic related issues. Nevertheless, the investigation also shows that MPs could step up the activity on the parliamentary level and to broaden their focus by including more varied issues and to counterbalance the dominant distributional orientation in the foreign affairs committee. This case study of the single Faroese political unit with spatial as well as temporal variation first and foremost provides information about the Faroese case and the changes and development in the political response to the Arctic regional development. Nevertheless, the study also provides some general insights. The study questions some typical assumptions about natural coordination verses formal coordination for micro sized units and argues in favour of developing strategies and finding ways for micro units to build administrative capacity based on the principle of specialization, formal coordination and formal institutionalization in general. This is also relevant in a specific Arctic context, where the ongoing development is raising a multitude of issues related

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to multiple policy areas. To be able to coordinate the different types of activity and respond in an efficient way is an important capability, also for micro sized political units.

Notes 1. The increasing military and security focus in the Arctic was for instance addressed at the Arctic Futures Symposium 2020. 2. The Faroe Islands consist of 18 islands that make up 1,396 km2 of landmass and is surrounded by a large sea area of 274,000 km2. The islands are positioned in the North Atlantic Ocean at 62º latitude North and 7º longitude West. 3. Eythórsson and Hovgaard (2018) refer to a definition of the Arctic region by AHDR 2004, Nordregio. 4. Stated in the 1948 Home Rule arrangement and in the ‘Takeover Act’, no. 79 from 2005: §1,2. 5. Sources: Danish High Commissioner, Annual report, 2021: section 2.1, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture webpage: www.ummr.fo. 6. The use of the term size in this context is rather ambiguous. One example is Anckar´s (1999) study uses the population measure and classifies populations of less than a million as microstates and states that of the world’s 200 independent states 43 are microstates. Another example is Prinsen (2020: 364) who refers to the distinguishing size of 500,000 for small subnational island jurisdictions, which gives a result of around one hundred islands. 7. The investigation also shows negative effects for larger units (an inverse u-shaped effect). 8. The Faroese case is an example of a Nordic welfare state with a large public sector that occupies a substantial part of the Faroese workforce. For 2020, 37% of the 27,148 wage earners worked in the public sector. For the 2000-2020 period, the proportion has varied between 32 and 39% (Source: Statistics Faroe Islands, AM03030). 9. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture: https://www.ummr.fo/fo/um-radid/starvsfolk/, visited June 1, 2021. 10. Source: Løgtingið, foreign affairs committee secretary, Rannvá Sólheim, November 5, 2020; Ministry director, foreign affairs, Gunnar Holm-Jacobsen, December 1, 2020. 11. The years refer to a parliamentary year, which starts on July 29 and ends on July 29 the following year. 12. Source: Hanna í Horni, Foreign Affairs Service, November 18, 2019. 13. Source: parliamentary overviews and minutes (Gerðabók). 14. There is, however, no overview of meeting activity for the Løgting and the Løgting doesn’t publish annual reports as we know it from other parliaments. 15. Source: WNC: Steen Løgstrup Nielsen, advisor, e-mail September 9 and 10, 2020. 16. Source: KVF, Faroese public service media institution, www.kvf.fo, 22.09.2019 (13.28 PM): “Býta oddasessin millum sín”. 17. Source: Folketinget, https://www.ft.dk/da/internationalt/delegationerne/den-arktiskedelegation/medlemsoversigt, visited August 15, 2019. 18. Missing election programs: People´s Party 2011 elections and the 2015 Folketing election; Progress Party 2011 and 2015 Folketing election. The small crisis inflicted Autonomist party (D) was not included.

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Government report. Kjakupplegg – um bygnaðin í landsfyrisitingini. Føroya Landsstýri. Mars 2014. Taksøe-Jensen, Peter. 2016. Danish Diplomacy and Defence in Times of Change –A Review of Denmark’s Foreign and Security Policy. The Faroe Islands – a Nation in the Arctic. Opportunities and Challenges. Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Service. 2013. Newsletters (N) Newsletter (N1), May 15, 2013, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/foroyar-undirritad-arktiska-samstarvsavtalu-umoljutilbugving, visited December 19, 2019. Newsletter (N2), April 25, 2015, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/logmadur-a-radharrafundi-i-kanada/, visited June 20, 2019. Newsletter (N3), October 17, 2015, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/vit-skulu-skapa-inntokur-ur-oktu-skipaferdsluni-kringforoyar/, visited September 14, 2021. Newsletter (N4), September 27, 2016, Ministry for Culture: https://www.ummr.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/rigmor-dam-i-hvitu-husunum/, visited September 30, 2021. Newsletters (N5), October 9, 2016, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/roda-foroyar-gerast-partur-av-cop21-sattmalanum/, visited September 30, 2021. Newsletter (N6), May 12, 2017, Ministry for Trade and Foreign Affairs: https://www.uvmr.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/foroyar-undirrita-samstarvsavtalu-um-gransking-iarktisk, visited September 30, 2021. Newsletter (N7), April 11, 2018, Ministry for Trade and Foreign Affairs: https://www.uvmr.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/arctic-hubs-i-nordurlandahusinum-8-og-9-mai/, visited September 30, 2021. Newsletter (N8), May 7, 2019, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: https://www.uvmr.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/arktiskur-radharrafundur-i-finnlandi/, visited June 20, 2019. Newsletter (N9), January 7, 2020, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/stjornarleidararnir-i-rikisfelagsskapinumvidgjort-stoduna-i-arktis/, visited September 14, 2021. Newsletter (N10), February 10, 2021, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/betri-innlit-i-trygdarpolitikk/, visited September 14, 2021.

Cartography and the Legacies of Nineteenth-Century Arctic Science


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Newsletter (N11) May 19, 2021, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/logmadur-a-fund-i-arktiska-radnum/, visited September 14, 2021. Newsletter (N12) June 11, 2021, Prime Minister’s Office: https://www.lms.fo/fo/kunning/tidindi/nyggjar-tidir-i-rikisfelagsskapinum/, visited September 14, 2021. Newsletter (N13), May 12, 2017, West Nordic Council: https://www.vestnordisk.is/ukategoriseret/vestnordisk-raad-er-nu-observator-i-arktisk-raad/, visited 7 November 2019.

West


Arctic Interests and Policy of Turkey: Dilemmas, Approaches and Initiatives Onur Limon

To date, Turkey has been cautious with its Arctic policy creation and enforcement. In so many ways, this is not surprising in that its regional role is rather low due to being a non-Arctic state. However, in recent years, Turkey’s interest in the region has increased. Turkey, following the logic of some other non-Arctic countries, is not positioning itself as a “near-Arctic” state or a “vertical Arctic nation”. The main arguments for Turkey’s interest in the Arctic may be associated to Turkey’s geographic location, culture and history. In addition, Turkey’s interest in the Arctic entails five main elements: (1) international cooperation and science diplomacy, (2) climate change and the environment, (3) Arctic Council observer membership, (4) economic opportunities, and (5) security. Turkey’s policy towards the Arctic is divided into three periods: (1) from the foundation of the Republic to the end of the Second World War; (2) from the beginning to the end of the Cold War, when Turkey was a member of NATO; and (3) the post-Cold War era. Turkey is interested in the Arctic for scientific, political, and economic reasons. The article aims to examine the reasons for Turkey’s Arctic policy and interests. The importance of Turkey’s participation in the region is discussed from a historical perspective. During the preparation of the article, comprehensive research was carried out on documents from the Presidency State Archives.

Introduction Although most of a state’s daily activities in the international arena are responses to the actions of other countries, each nation tries to implement consistent, comprehensive, long-term strategies to serve its national interests. While some countries publicly announce their national policies and strategies about a certain area or subject (space, the North and South poles, defense, etc.), many other countries, such as the Republic of Turkey (Turkey) either avoid this as a principle or simply do not do so (Aydın, 2020: 209). However, it is possible to identify the strategies of various countries from the actions and explanations of decision-makers. It is not easy to locate an Arctic policy in Turkey’s general foreign policy, to create a specific framework for it, or to identify a coherent factor of continuity in it. Considering that Turkey is not an Arctic coastal state, at first glance, its participation and interest in the region, as well as its Arctic policy, could be seen as surprising. If we focus on scientific studies only, it is possible to limit this

Onur Limon is General Staff in the Turkish Armed Forces. He received his PhD from Trakya University in 2020.


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within the last 15–20 years. In this case, participation and interest in the region, and Turkey’s Arctic policy, could be viewed as a consequence of its efforts to achieve greater political penetration on a global scale. This article examines the complex relationships underlying Turkey’s interest in the Arctic region and focuses on its essence rather than on its visible aspects alone. Documents in the state archives, including the minutes of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), historical scientific publications, newspapers, and the explanations of policymakers, reveal a historical overview of Turkey’s participation and interest in the Arctic. One key purpose of this article is to posit the following: • • •

Hypothesis 1: Turkey’s geographic features, historical and cultural ties to the region are a driving force behind its interest in the Arctic. However, there is a very limited link. Hypothesis 2: Turkey’s Arctic policy has varied slightly over time, the unifying feature is that it has difficulty adopting a holistic approach to the region. Hypothesis 3: Turkey’s reasons and areas of implementation for the Arctic are associated with international business collaboration and science diplomacy, climate change and the environment, Arctic Council observer membership and the Svalbard archipelago, economic opportunities, and security.

This article asserts that in recent years, Turkey’s Arctic policy has aimed to diminish the effects of climate change and to contribute to scientific activities in the Arctic rather than to gain a political zone of influence in the region. The study’s period of interest begins in 1923, the year that modernday Turkey was founded, and extends through to the present. This article utilizes qualitative research methods. In the course of researching this article, a sixmonth comprehensive study was carried out to identify a body of archival documents to be analyzed, re-evaluated, and brought together. In accordance with the archive’s system and its size, a ranking system based on date and place information was preferred. Details concerning issues that appear as a research gap in the content of the article were obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), the Marmara Research Center (MAM), the research assistant Sinan Yirmibeşoğlu from the Circumpolar Research Institute (KARE), the Turkish Shipbuilders Association (GISBIR), and Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot via written communications (e-mail). In accordance with the article’s scope and purpose, the characteristic features of the Arctic are defined. Next, the triggering elements of power regarding Turkey’s interest in the region are explained. Finally, Turkey’s Arctic policy is addressed in different periods, and the reasons for Turkey’s interest in the Arctic, as well as the areas of implementation, are explored.

Characteristic features of the Arctic Four prominent aspects of the Arctic are defined here: The Arctic as a region; security and geopolitics; natural resources and Arctic sea routes; and unresolved legal issues and regional and international cooperation. These four sets of factors provide a strong incentive to increase Turkey’s relations with Arctic states and the Arctic region. •

Limon

Factor 1 – The Arctic region, which is geographically bounded by the northern borders of the Arctic states, has no real political boundary (AMAP, 1998). The region experiences extreme climatic conditions (cold, wind, permafrost, winter darkness, etc.), and its


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population is sparse. Around four million people currently live in the region, which has a very sparse population (Bogoyavlensky, 2004: 27; Heleniak and Bogoyavlensky, 2014: 101; Young, 2004: 18). Factor 2 – Security and geopolitics: Many potential geopolitical changes hinge on changes in Arctic security (Heininen, 2020: 123–125). The transition from military conflict to international cooperation was accelerated by the end of the Cold War, a unique period in the international political system, and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact (Heininen, 2020: 123–124). With the end of the Cold War, the Arctic region was transformed from a military theater to a “zone of cooperation and peace” (Heininen, 2013: 102).

Changes in the security and geopolitical structure of the Arctic, the contemporary need for environmental action and scientific research, and increasing economic optimism about the region have drawn Turkey’s attention to the Arctic. •

Factor 3 – Natural resources and Arctic sea routes: The increasing accessibility of the Arctic Ocean due to rapidly shrinking sea ice has led to increased interest in the use of the region’s natural resources. These are mainly related to hydrocarbon and mineral resources, Arctic navigation, and fishing.

Turkey depends on the import of oil, gas, and most minerals, and therefore, the resources in the Arctic region are important and may allow Turkey to diversify its import sources. The reduction of Arctic Ocean sea ice and, Turkey’s use and experience with Arctic sea routes, offers ample opportunities for the Turkish shipbuilding industry (icebreaker, fisher, private yacht, etc.) and Turkish ships. It also allows the region to develop trusting relationships with the coastal Arctic states and the Indigenous peoples of the North for in order to access its resources. •

Factor 4 – Unresolved legal issues and regional and international cooperation: It is possible to define the Arctic region as a peaceful region with pragmatic/collaborative relations between actors (Padrtova, 2020: 34). Turkey has long had a strong desire to increase its relations with Arctic states and the Arctic region, especially since the 2000s.

Turkey contributes to maintaining political stability in the Arctic and protecting the Arctic environment and takes part in scientific research and international collaborations on climate change.

Turkey’s interest in the Arctic The driving forces behind Turkey’s interest in the Arctic can be grouped into two categories. The first of these relates to the geographic features of Turkey, while the second relates to the regions’ intertwined cultures and histories. A striking feature of Turkey is its central geographical location. Turkey occupies a middle ground among Old-World lands, nearly equidistant from the Equator and the North Pole. The Mediterranean, which is a branch of the Atlantic Ocean, penetrates deeply into these lands, and Turkey is surrounded by bodies of water on three sides (the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas) (Darkot, 1972: 3–4). In terms of landforms (elevation), Turkey can be characterized as a highaltitude country, with an average elevation of 1,130 meters, which is not only 3.5 times higher than the average altitude of the European continent (330 meters) but exceeds even the average altitude

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of Asia (1,050 meters) (Darkot, 1972: 6). Of course, Turkey does not follow the logic of some other non-Arctic states by positioning itself as a “near-Arctic state” like China (Government of China, 2018) or “vertical Arctic nation” like Switzerland (Arctic Council, 2017). The elevation of its territory compared to Europe and Asia makes Turkey a “third pole,” much like the Himalayas or the Alps (Arctic Council, 2020; Tonami, 2016: 109–110), but such a definition is not needed. Turkey inevitably focuses on the polar regions of the world to address its climate problems. In addition, being situated in the path of south-north and east-west migration due to its geographical location forces Turkey to engage fully with its near (the Middle East, Mediterranean, etc.) and distant (the Arctic, EU, etc.) neighbors. The cultural and social structure of the Arctic is dynamic and has changed over time. A common feature for most of the Indigenous communities in the Arctic is that they have already undergone substantial changes due to the introduction of globalized, Western ways of life, state policies, modern transportation, and a mixed economy. Turkey has multifaceted connections and cultures, including Asia, the Middle East, and the West. Turkey shares cultural ties with Arctic Indigenous peoples through those who broke away from Central Asia and Siberia thousands of years ago and crossed to the Americas via the Bering Strait (Grenoble, 2011: 15; Laguna, 1972: 213; Park, 2014: 1004-1005). Similarities in linguistic patterns and traditional lifestyles confirm this. The similarities between some words, the use of fire, many kinds of tools (the sledge, stone tools, the harpoon the simple bow, combs, nets, and basketry), and shamanist beliefs and practices provide several examples (Kaya, 1986: 661). These similarities reveal more of a cultural bond than people’s historical movements. The connections between the linguistic families of Turkey and the Arctic are quite strong. Although shamanistic beliefs have become less prominent in Turkey, they continue to exist. Despite these similarities, there are no shared cultural activities between Turkey and the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic today; the subject is almost unheard of in state-level discussions. However, a small number of academics are interested in establishing such cultural connections.

Turkey’s Arctic policy and its implementation Turkey’s Arctic policy can be divided into two periods, the period from the foundation of the Republic to the end of the Cold War era (1923–1991) and the post-Cold War era. Each period contained elements (internal and external) that, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively, affected Turkey’s Arctic policy. From the foundation of the Republic until the end of the Cold War era (1923–1991) It is possible to subdivide this era into two periods, the first of which took place from the foundation of the Republic to the end of the Second World War. During this period, the principles of “full independence and national sovereignty” prevailed in Turkish foreign policy (Oran, 2010: 143–153). These principles dictated noninterference in countries’ internal affairs. The steps that Turkey took in its policies toward the Arctic region would strengthen its bond with the Western alliance and were developed in hopes of defining a place for Turkey in the balances of power (England-France, Germany-Italy, and the Soviet Union) that emerged in the international system before and during the Second World War (Oran, 2010: 235). The second half of this era was defined by the Cold War. The security and geopolitical features of the Cold War period affected and limited Turkey’s Arctic policy. It can be said that Turkey, which was caught between the blocks, had difficulty producing a policy toward the Arctic region in this period. Turkey’s concern about Limon


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political isolation, especially after the Second World War, the threat of aggression by the Soviet Union, Turkey’s West-friendly foreign policy, and the desire to continue receiving the military and economic aid from the United States (Oran, 2010) led to Turkey becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1952. Turkey’s Arctic policy became security-oriented due to the combination of NATO’s strategic bases in the Arctic and the alliance’s perception of a threat. However, since Turkey was a “wing country” bordering the Soviet Union (the enemy), it did not worry about entering a conflict in the Arctic due to its NATO membership. There was no expectation or concern in this direction in the NATO strategies of 1952, 1954, and 1969 (NATO, 1952, 1954, 1969). Post-Cold War era In the early 1990s and 2000s, Turkey’s participation in the Arctic region was quite limited. This situation is both compatible and contradictory with the change in security and geopolitical structure of the Arctic region. The most important reason for its compatibility is NATO’s decreasing interests in the region. The other reason is Turkey’s focus on its close environment (Middle East, Caucasus, etc.) (Bağcı & Bal, 2004). The most important factor for its incompatibility is Turkey’s neglected regional and international cooperation initiatives in the Arctic in the course of this period. Regarding this, for Turkey, the Arctic region after the post-Cold War era was seen as a nonprioritized foreign policy area for an extended period. This situation is similarly described in academic writings as well. With the effect of decreasing interest in the Arctic, the structure of the international system and increasing interest for environmental concerns seem to have turned attention to Antarctica, where Turkey can have the most trouble-free activities in terms of both scientific and political accessibility (Algan, 2013: 1). Turkey acceded to the Antarctic Treaty in 1995 (BCA, 1995). However, Turkey did not attend any meetings of the Consultation of Antarctic Treaty until 2013 (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018; Öztürk, 2015). Turkey signed the Madrid Protocol in 2017 (signed on October 4, 1991 and entered into force in 1998), known as Antarctic Treaty Environment Protection Protocol (Official Newspaper, 2017). At this point, initiatives that were commenced by Turkey between 1995-2017 specific to Antarctica can be seen as obviously disconnected. This is influenced by the indifference of policy makers due to Turkey’s failure to establish an institutional structure in or outside of any ministry (as in the case of South Korea, Japan, and Switzerland), especially in Antarctica (Algan, 2013: 1).1 This situation has been changing rapidly in recent years with the contributions of scientific and academic studies, Turkey’s interest in the Arctic has increased and it has become an institutional structure. Three stages of this institutionalization process can be mentioned as follows (Yavaşoglu, 2021: 14): • • •

The Polar Research Center (PolReC) within Istanbul Technical University (ITU) was established in 2014. Starting in 2017, PolRec was started running its polar programs under the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Technology. In 2019, TUBITAK Marmara Research Center (MAM) Polar Research Institute (KARE) was established, and the polar coordination task was transferred from ITU PolReC to KARE.

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The institutionalization process shows subjective and functional rationality in terms of human values and objectives. The National Polar Science Program (2018-2022), which was published in 2018, is important in that it is the first official document published by Turkey directly about the poles from the Republic to the present day (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018). From this document, which can be defined as a vision document rather than a strategy document (or as a program, as it describes itself), it is clear that Turkey’s primary interest is Antarctica. However, it is crucial to use the concept of polarity in the document and determine its main objectives, strategies, and priorities for the Arctic region. In the Arctic, the following goals are given (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018: 10): • • • •

“Turkey has a say in the future of Antarctica and the Arctic and the protection of the poles.” “Establishing a roadmap for Turkey’s accession to the Arctic Council.” “Increasing the effectiveness of our country in this field by providing membership of our country to international organizations related to polar regions.” “Raising awareness of global climate change issues.”

This document is valuable in that it is a program that has been published for the first time. However, a number of shortcomings and uncertainties are clearly visible. First of all, it is not clear how Turkey will have a say in the future of Antarctica and the Arctic. It is also unclear how to raise awareness of climate change issues and whether new initiatives or mechanisms will be established with local and international communities. In this context, Turkey’s interest in the Arctic is more straightforward than the reasons for its interest. Today, the essence of Turkey’s Arctic policy can be defined as “it would be related to a good global citizen in the effort to mitigate climate changes, and its participation in Arctic science” (personal communication, Exner-Pirot, 23 April 2019). In this context, Turkey’s interest, causes, and application areas for the Arctic region, based on the historical experience of the National Polar Science Program and Turkish foreign policy and apart from the elements of driving forces (geographical, historical, and cultural dimension) that enable it to deal with the Arctic, can be gathered in five headings: international cooperation and science diplomacy; climate change and the environment; Arctic Council observer membership and Svalbard archipelago; and economic opportunities and security. Turkey’s Arctic interests and applications International cooperation and science diplomacy In today’s rapidly changing world, problems on a global scale, such as environmental issues, safety and energy, epidemics, and poverty, need solutions that require a global perspective. Therefore, the methods of making policy decisions in international and global dimensions has had to diversify, and new tools such as science diplomacy have been included.2 Countries are in constant communication with each other in polar research, where international cooperation is important in scientific studies. Turkey first participated in international scientific cooperative efforts in the Arctic during the Second International Polar Year (IPY-2, in 1932–1933) (Krupnik, 2011: 13). However, 17 years later, in 1950, a bibliography of approximately 2,000 IPY2 publications was published (Laursen, 1951). There is no information on which activities Turkey participated in IPY-2. Of all IPY initiatives, the third IPY in 1957–1958 (known as the International Limon


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Geophysical Year due to its global geographical coverage) has the best-documented chronology (Krupnik, 2011: 14). The General Directorate of State Meteorology Affairs of Turkey participated in IGY studies with data from 18 high weather synoptic meteorology stations, five of which were equipped with electronic devices, and 14 synoptic ground stations (TBMM, 1958: 986). First of all, IPY-2 and IGY enabled Turkey to develop its informational and technological capacities in the polar regions and contributed to its international visibility. It may be said that Turkey’s later participation in the 2007–2008 IPY also revealed the elements of international cooperation and scientific research in its Arctic policy (Calder & Krupnik, 2011: 555). Countries are in constant communication with each other in polar research, where international cooperation is important in scientific studies. Turkey continues to deliver its own scientific studies to the poles under the roof of KARE and within the scope of the National Polar Science Program and in cooperation with other countries (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018; Yirmibeşoğlu et. al, 2019; https://kare.mam.tubitak.gov.tr/tr). Within the scope of international cooperation, it aims to take part in the activities of scientists in foreign polar bases/expeditions, to organize joint activities with foreign countries, and to create membership and exchange/internship programs for international organizations and associations (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018: 16). In 2016, the Turkish Antarctic Research Expedition, organized in cooperation with the Ukrainian National Antarctic Science Center and led by PolReC, was Turkey’s first international (UkrainianTurkish cooperation) Antarctic science expedition (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018: 8). From 2017 to the first quarter of 2021, five expeditions (Turkish Antarctic/Arctic Scientific Expedition-TASE) were carried out within the scope of the National Polar Science Program, four times in the Antarctic and once in the Arctic (Özsoy, 2021: 3), and a total of 62 international scientific publications have been prepared since 2017 with the work carried out during these expeditions involving more than 90 researchers (https://kare.mam.tubitak.gov.tr/tr). Turkey’s first Arctic expedition on July 11-26, 2019, carried out 15 projects by more than 40 researchers. The expedition, which began in the Svalbard archipelago, also included studies in the Arctic Ocean (PolRec, 2019). During the expedition, Turkish scientists visited science bases in Norway, Poland, Russia, India, and South Korea, and Turkey made initiatives on the ground to develop bilateral cooperation with each individual country (Yirmibeşoğlu et al., 2019; PolRec, 2019). In addition, in KARE coordination, bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding continue with countries with significant investments in the poles. For example, “Memorandum of Understanding-MoU” agreements are carried out in the polar areas with countries such as Bulgaria, South Korea, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Belarus, while consultations are underway with many other countries such as Japan, Chile, and Spain to reach an agreement (personal communication, Yirmibeşoğlu, 28 May 2021). Turkey’s polar project calls are funded by KARE, enabling scientists to carry out both national and bilateral cooperation at the poles. Delegations consisting of KARE and related Ministries representing Turkey in international meetings and scientific organizations meet with representatives of countries developing critical scientific studies at the poles and take the necessary steps to increase and develop bilateral cooperation https://kare.mam.tubitak.gov.tr/tr). As a result of its scientific work in cooperation nationally and internationally, Turkey became a member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (Ministry of Industry and Technology, 2018: 8) in 2017 and the European Polar Board (EPB) in 2020 (EPB, 2020). Turkey demonstrates that it has the vision of contributing to the sustainability of the world in the context Arctic Interests and Policy of Turkey


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of the “continuum of urgencies” that stood out during the Vienna Dialogues (2017) and is committed to carrying out activities in this direction (Caymaz, 2021: 46). Climate change and the environments of Turkey and the Arctic The environmental, economic and social effects of a changing Arctic climate are being felt in Turkey and across the globe. Climate change is expected to displace millions of people worldwide in the coming decades. Approximately 150 to 300 million people will be displaced due to climate change by 2050 (Challe, 2018). Although there has been little systematic research on the potential displacement of Arctic peoples, scientists have long estimated that one of the biggest effects of global warming will be human displacement (Ferris, 2013). As in the first Arctic expedition, Turkey is continuing to conduct research to understand climate change and its effects on the environment of the Arctic. Turkey is expected to be greatly affected by climate change due to generally increasing air temperatures and decreasing precipitation levels. Although Turkey does not yet have a policy in place on this subject (apart from the document entitled “Scientific Basis of Climate Change and Impacts on Turkey” issued by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation), it is understood that, except for the Mediterranean coastal zone and the Taurus Mountains, today's climatic conditions will become hotter and drier in the future. The probability of future droughts is high for the southern and mid-southern regions, which already experience low precipitation, very hot and dry summers (with drought conditions effectively prevailing from late spring to mid-autumn), and seasonal and inter-year precipitation variability. Climate change threatens to cost the Turkish economy millions of dollars a year by 2100 (McKinsey Global Institute, 2020). In addition to the general decrease in crop yields that is expected (Bozoglu et al., 2019; Dudu et al., 2009), thousands of people will face drought, flooding, and migration (McKinsey Global Institute, 2020; Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, 2011). Turkey has launched various initiatives to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but it is also necessary to analyze and understand the mechanisms of how environmental changes will affect its work. The responses Turkey crafts to these challenges should be shared with the international community. The Arctic Council and the Svalbard Treaty The increasing global interest in the Arctic region has also increased interest in the Arctic Council, which has become a natural discussion forum and has drawn a number of applications for observer membership status. Since the foundation of the Arctic Council, because all of the member countries of the Arctic Council have agreed that the Council needs reinforcement, there have been no restrictions or obstacles to membership other than the requirement for unanimous decisions about which countries will be accepted as observer members (Arctic Council, 2016). In 2015 Turkey applied for observer membership of the Arctic Council for the first time. This application not only did not enjoy much support from Turkish public opinion (almost none) but was also not accepted (Knecht, 2015; İnam et al., 2018: 41-43).3 There is no document explaining why the Arctic Council rejected Turkey’s application. However, two fundamental problem areas should be mentioned here concerning the acceptance of observer membership status. The first is the political disagreements between the states which applied for observer membership status of the Arctic Council. Second, the prospective observers made their applications for observer membership without improving or developing their concrete interests (scientific, economic, etc.) in the Arctic region. Even when a state or organization applying for observer membership status in the Arctic Council meets the criteria for membership, the application may be refused (Arctic

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Council, 2016; Arctic Council, 2021). At this point, it should be observed it is not clear whether Turkey is currently qualified to demonstrate its “Arctic interests and specializations relating to Arctic studies” (Knecht, 2015). In 2018 it was decided that it would be appropriate to coordinate the process by which the benefits provided by being a party to the Svalbard Treaty would be revealed in the membership application of Turkey to the Arctic Council, in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the studies carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Technology (İnam et al., 2018: 41-43). However, the fundamental mistake here is to associate the membership application process and the Svalbard Treaty with each other, and to ignore the opportunities of being a party to the Svalbard Treaty. In addition, there is no direct correlation between being a party to the Svalbard Treaty and the observer membership status of the Arctic Council, or with the observer membership criteria specified by the Arctic Council (Arctic Council, 2016; Arctic Council, 2021). In the long run, Turkey’s participation in international scientific cooperation has been more important than its role in the Svalbard Treaty in terms of Turkey's Arctic policy. Economic opportunities The growth rate in the entire Arctic region between the years 2012 and 2018 was 0.8%, compared to a growth rate of 2.2% in the non-Arctic regions of Arctic states during that timeframe. Exports of minerals, oil, and fish drove this growth. All of these indicators show that the slow growth rate pioneered by Arctic governments will remain the preference of the region in general (Glomsrød & Wei, 2021: 41-46) because state-centered investments are still dominant in the Arctic. The increased accessibility of the Arctic region due to the recession of sea ice caused by global climate change has created increasing interest in the use of the Arctic’s natural resources, mostly hydrocarbon, mineral resources, Arctic navigation, and fishing. This situation has created economic opportunities that Turkey is willing to exploit, namely the production of the “ice-class” or “polar-class” vessels that are used in the region and the use of sea routes, dependent upon an examination of their feasibility. In addition, these opportunities could be conducted so as to create sustainable economic activity in the Arctic region while respecting the lives of the Indigenous people. The Turkish shipbuilding industry is the seventh largest builder of new ships and the third largest builder of yachts in the world (personal communication, GISBIR, 4 June 2021). There is no economic policy and specific Governmental support or incentive for ice class vessels. Today, there are 84 active shipyards in Turkey. The Turkish shipbuilding industry has the ability to build various types of “ice class/polar class” ships, including research vessels for the Arctic and Antarctic Regions. Turkish Shipyards have already delivered many ships that have “ice class” notation in compliance with the requirements of clients and classification societies. The shipbuilding and delivery of “innovative and environment-friendly” ships for the Nordic countries, Russia and the EU continue (personal communication, GISBIR, 4 June 2021).4 Some of these projects are the “world’s-first projects”.5 When compared to competitor countries, the Turkish shipbuilding industry has many advantages: infrastructure and technology, delivery period and production capacity, active shipyards (both for new building and repair and maintenance capacities), a wide range of products, qualified personnel, iron-steel industry support, a convenient geographical position (52 nations within a three-hour flying distance), and the Turkish shipbuilding recycling industries (personal communication, GISBIR, 4 June 2021). Arctic Interests and Policy of Turkey


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An examination of the feasibility of Arctic sea routes is of considerable importance for Turkey. However, given the importance of diversified communication and these sea routes’ positive or negative influence on the use of other strategic waterways, the private sector and policy-makers in Turkey will have to collaborate in evaluating the future potential of these routes. According to data from TUIK (Turkish Statistical Institute), nearly 88% of the volume of Turkey’s foreign commerce is maritime (TUIK, 2020). As maritime opportunities develop, increasingly active discussions are being carried out on the subjects of ensuring navigation security and shipping’s influence on the maritime environment. It is therefore important that Turkey use its specializations in science and technology to develop effective new technologies that will ensure navigation security in the Arctic Ocean. Security dimension Arctic security is a multidimensional issue. Five of the eight Arctic states are NATO members, and Finland and Sweden are enhanced opportunity partners of NATO (NATO, 2021a, 2021b). Russia is considered an aggressive state by NATO and, in particular, by the USA (NATO, 2019; Sengupta, 2019). It may be said that Russia views the situation in reverse (CRS, 2020: 2; Konyshev & Sergunin, 2014: 83). Turkey’s position can be described as follows: taking into consideration the fact that the nuclear systems owned by the USA and Russia retain important contact points in the Arctic region, the continuing simulations of nuclear emergencies present a constantly volatile situation under the guise of military security. Other military security issues take much more theoretical forms in comparison with the changes taking place in the Arctic Ocean due to the influence of climate change (melting ice, the opening of new sea routes and resources, etc.) (Wæver, 2017: 122). Considering that developments in the Arctic region will affect the international security environment not only for the Arctic region but also for a far-ranging community of states, including Turkey, and that coordination is limited on strategic issues affecting the interests of NATO member states (defense expenditures, Syria, Libya, climate change, etc.), the tasks and responsibilities that NATO, led by the USA, may have to undertake in the future against Russia and China in the Arctic region could create a complicated and challenging situation for Turkey.

Conclusion Although Turkey’s Arctic policy has changed periodically, its common thread is that it has difficulty in adopting a holistic approach to the region. Turkey has been cautious about establishing and enacting an Arctic strategy or policy to-date. It is not easy to locate Turkey’s Arctic policy within its general foreign policy or to find an element of continuity in it. This may be one reason why the Arctic Council rejected Turkey’s application for observer member status. Turkey’s historical ties to the region are a driving force behind its interest in the Arctic. The reasons for this interest and its areas of implementation are compatible with the characteristics of the region. However, there is a very limited link. Especially today, no cultural activities take place between the Indigenous peoples of Turkey and the Arctic. It is almost impossible to discuss a statelevel interest in this direction. Given this context, Turkey tends to take a nuanced and measured approach to Arctic policy, one that is institutionalized, that takes into account security and geopolitical trends in the Arctic, and that attaches importance to scientific cooperation. However, deficiencies and uncertainties remain in this approach.

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Turkey lacks clear policies on how to mitigate the effects of climate change locally and nationally, increase scientific cooperation, create sustainable economic activity, and promote international cooperation. Turkey lacks clear policies on how to mitigate the effects of climate change, increase scientific cooperation, create sustainable economic activity, and promote international cooperation in the Arctic.

Notes 1. Five ministers changed in the Ministry of Environment between 1995 and 1998 and three between 1999 and 2003, the Ministry of Environment became the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2003 and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs in 2011 (Algan, 2013:4). 2. Generally considered, science diplomacy is the use of science and international scientific cooperation to improve the foreign policies and international relations of countries and solve common global problems (Ruffini, 2017:13). 3. The EU, Switzerland, Mongolia and Greece are the other countries/organizations which made observer membership applications to the Arctic Council but were refused in the same year (Knecht, 2015). 4. Ice-class tugboat built by Turkish Shipyard delivered to Romania which is an European Union country, and also an icebreaker, built by Turkish Shipyard, delivered to Norway could be an example. Ice-class tugboat built by Turkish Shipyard also delivered to Finland. In addition, there are icebreaker ships that the Turkish Shipyards are currently building and will be delivered to Russia (personal communication, GISBIR, 4 June, 2021). 5. Summary of ship types: fishing vessels (the world’s first battery-LNG-fueled purse seiner trawler and the world’s largest live fish carrier), ferries (zero-emission battery powered, hybrid, LNG-fueled ferries), tugboats (the world’s first all-electric harbor tug, the world’s first remotely-operated commercial vessel and LNG-fueled escort tug), naval ships and coast guard boats (approx. 100 naval ships/boats, with experience in complex ship design and construction), energy ships (innovative floating supply of energy from ship to shore for non-developed countries), offshore supply vessels, research vessels, mega yachts and yachts (third in yacht building), oil tankers and asphalt tankers, chemical tankers (first in small-tonnage chemical tankers 2002–2012), bulk carriers and containers, heavy-lifting ships, and multipurpose vessels (personal communication, GISBIR, 4 June, 2021).

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Responsible International Citizenship and China’s Participation in Arctic Regionalization Liisa Kauppila & Sanna Kopra

This paper analyses the normative underpinnings of China’s participation in processes of Arctic regionalization. Building on Gareth Evans’ concept of responsible international citizenship, it argues that China’s Arctic engagement is chiefly motivated by the government’s efforts to promote the wellbeing of Chinese citizens – a state of affairs that the current regime equals with the ideal of social stability. As a responsible international citizen, China should, however, advance this “enlightened selfinterest” vis-á-vis other members of the Arctic international society, that is, either internalize the established practices that organize the Arctic region or mold them in peaceful ways. In the empirical parts of the paper, we first identify three concrete aims that drive forward China’s participation in Arctic regionalization – creating wealth through more “green” growth, mitigating the effects of climate change on China, and promoting a unifying ideology. We then suggest that China has not directly violated any of the key organizing principles of the Arctic international society, but it has found distinct ways to act out these concrete goals and advance the wellbeing of its citizens. Such means include somewhat challenging the dominant interpretation of these norms and refraining from advocating stricter environmental standards.

Introduction In line with its rising global power, China has become increasingly interested in partaking in economic, social, and political processes that constitute the Arctic region within and outside the Arctic Council (AC), the principal regional intergovernmental forum. Unsurprisingly, an extensive literature examining China’s Arctic interests has emerged (e.g. Kobzeva, 2019; Koivurova & Kopra, 2020; Su & Huntington, 2021). Yet, an ideational basis for China’s Arctic activities has not been elaborated. In this paper, we seek to fulfill this gap by analyzing the normative underpinnings of China’s participation in processes of regionalization. Since the existing literature indicates that China’s rise will alter the future of regions globally (Kavalski, 2009; cf. Dent, 2016; Zhang, 2005), this knowledge is also relevant to broader audiences. Theoretically, we contribute to constructivist work on regionalism by studying the roles of interests, values and other ideational aspects of social life in processes of regionalization; this is an approach that has gained a prominent place in theories of regionalism in recent years (Söderbaum, 2016: 45– 48). We define the Arctic as a socially constructed region that is being made and unmade by various Liisa Kauppila is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science, University of Turku, Finland, and a PhD Candidate at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku. Sanna Kopra is a Senior Researcher in the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law of the Arctic Centre at University of Lapland, Finland, and a Senior Fellow at The Arctic Institute – Center for Circumpolar Security Studies in Washington D.C.


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“regionalizing actors” (Söderbaum, 2016) within and outside the traditional geopolitical boundaries of the region. We view these processes as working through historically contingent intersubjective meanings, norms and practices; hence they are inherently normative and shaped by states’ ideas and values, including notions of responsibility. Based on the assumption that all states seek to define international rights and responsibilities in a way that supports the realization of their national needs and greeds, we utilize the concept of responsible international citizenship as a lens to study China’s involvement in Arctic regionalization. Needless to say, this does not mean that we somehow seek to advocate China’s notions of responsibility in the Arctic or elsewhere. Instead, we presume that states’ key responsibility is to enable and maintain the wellbeing of their citizens, and their participation in processes of regionalization is also therefore guided by this duty. As there is no universal understanding of what “wellbeing” means in practice, the ways in which states seek – or can – advance their citizens’ wellbeing depends on the context. In this article, we ask: what are the ways in which China’s participation in Arctic regionalization seeks to advance the wellbeing of Chinese citizens? Obviously, the concept of responsible international citizen does not suggest that states can do whatever they want to advance the needs of their citizens but they must reconcile their policies with those of others. As responsible international citizenship “involves constructive and balanced endeavours” in a regional context (Evans, 1990), we also ask: Does China balance its Arctic policies with the existing norms of Arctic regionalization, or does it seek to somewhat challenge them? If so, does it do it in a peaceful manner? In the following section, we explain our constructivist approach and argue that states’ responsibility to facilitate the wellbeing of their citizens is a principal driver of their participation in global processes of regionalization. In the empirical sections, we demonstrate that three particular notions of wellbeing explain China’s willingness to participate in Arctic regionalization: “green” growth, mitigation of climate change related risks in China, and bringing the people together through a unifying ideology. Our data include China’s official documents, speeches, state media and journal articles written by Chinese scholars. Finally, we conclude that China has not directly violated any of the key organizing principles of the Arctic region, but it has found distinct ways to interpret them in its urge to advance the wellbeing of its citizens.

Regionalization and notions of responsibility No region exists in a vacuum, and regionalization – processes of social, political and economic cooperation, integration and cohesion “by which regions are made and unmade in various fields of activity and at various levels” (Söderbaum, 2016: 54) – is never untouched by “outside” transformation. Acknowledging this, scholars of New Regionalism have studied the relationship between globalization and regionalization, and emphasised that globalization drivers forward processes of regionalization and spawns various kinds of regional forms (e.g. Hettne, Inotai & Sunkel, 1999; Hettne & Söderbaum, 1998; Söderbaum, 2016). Although regionalization is inherently a political process, meaning that it entails discursive struggles over interests, values and norms, New Regionalism pays little attention to the normative dynamics of regionalization. This is rather unsurprising given that International Relations (IR) theory has not traditionally paid much attention to normative aspects of world politics: realists have stated that a state’s responsibility stops at the national border while neorealists and neoliberalists have maintained that states carry responsibilities only if it is in their national interests. Kauppila & Kopra


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Arguably, an analysis of regionalizing actors’ national interests cannot offer us sufficient information of dynamics of processes of regionalization: notions of responsibility matter in the creation of regions. It is widely accepted within IR that organizations such as states, corporations and institutions are moral agents (e.g. Erskine, 2003). Yet, apart from the draft Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts compiled by the International Law Commission in 2001, there is no international agreement on state responsibility. From the constructivist perspective, however, this does not matter: responsibilities of states (or any other agent) are not given or static but they are socially constructed in time and place. Hence, they are contingent on international balance of power, material and ideational changes, unexpected events, etc. While national interests undoubtedly shape the social construction of responsibilities, they should not be understood in narrow terms of self-interests; rather, we must investigate their deeper ideational and normative basis to fully understand a state’s notions of legitimate conduct at home and abroad. From a constructivist perspective, the concept of responsible citizenship offers a fruitful lens to analyze states’ notions of responsibility. It was coined by Senator Gareth Evans, Australia’s then Minister for Foreign Affairs, in a series of foreign policy speeches in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Evans stated that ethical standards of conduct are essential if states are to practice responsible foreign policy. Yet he noted that “good international citizenship is not an idealistic distraction or a quixotic quest”, nor “is it the foreign policy equivalent of boy scout good deeds” (Evans, 1990). Hence, good international citizenship means “no more – and no less – than the pursuit of enlightened self-interest” (ibid.). Evans’ concept emphasizes that responsible states do not have to sacrifice their domestic interests (however they are defined) but they must shoulder responsibilities to both their own population and international society as a whole. In modern times, thus, sovereignty can be defined as the “authority to be a member of the international community” (Perrez, 2000: 332), and such authority “inherently includes a duty or responsibility: the duty and the obligation to fulfill the tasks of a state, i.e. to enable and maintain wellbeing of its people, and to participate as a responsible member in the solution of common problems of the international community” (ibid: 335). In the Arctic, the Chinese government has not traditionally been considered a regionalizing actor because China does not possess sovereignty above the Arctic Circle. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the Arctic has globalized in many ways (e.g. Finger & Heininen, 2019), meaning that the space and time compression (Harvey, 1989) has altered the social construction of the region so radically that it can no longer be defined as a geographic and cultural-historic region exclusively projected by the states in the region. Today, many international standards and treaties, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), play a role in Arctic governance, while the Arctic Council continues to be the key platform for regional dialogue. Clearly, China, which in June 2017 officially added the Polar Silk Road (冰上丝绸之路) to President Xi Jinping’s flagship project the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and published its firstever Arctic strategy in January 2018 (State Council of the PRC, 2018b; Xinhua, 2017; State Council of the PRC, 2021), is not the only external actor that seeks to increase involvement in the Arctic. In addition to China, which was accepted as an observer in the AC in 2013, twelve other nonArctic states and a number of international and non-governmental organizations take part in the Council’s work. Their growing regional interest has greatly invigorated globalization and informal

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processes of regionalization in the Arctic, i.e. those activities that take place outside the formal institutional structures.

Pursuit of domestic wellbeing as a driver of China’s participation in Arctic regionalization By now, it is apparently clear that we do not regard the pursuit for power as a key motivator of China’s Arctic engagement. While acknowledging that power struggles cannot be completely dismissed in international politics, we suggest that China’s involvement in the Arctic is chiefly motivated by the government’s “pursuit of enlightened self-interest” to provide wellbeing for its citizens: a task that the current regime equals, to a large extent, with that of maintaining social stability – a state of affairs that corresponds with the age-old Confucian ideals and the needs of the ruling party (cf. Kallio, 2016). In this section, we identify three concrete means through which the Chinese government pursues to advance the wellbeing of Chinese citizens in the Arctic context: creating wealth through more “green” growth, mitigating the effects of climate change on China and promoting a unifying ideology. Ultimately, all these aspects promote social stability in distinct ways that are further elaborated below. Before proceeding into the actual analysis, a note should be made on the timespan of China’s Arctic visions. Arguably, China’s Arctic strategy is based on the high likelihood that the material importance of the region will increase in the future, especially as the last frontier of fossil fuels and a scene of alternative shipping routes. For this reason, China’s participation in Arctic regionalization illustrates that future-oriented politics are essential if states want to ensure their capability to fulfil their national responsibilities in the decades to come. What is more, the Arctic case illustrates very well the paradoxical nature of contemporary international politics: states are ready to support extremely costly, ambitious, and risky economic projects in far-away places to provide material wellbeing at home, although such schemes may compromise the wellbeing of others – and even their own people, if the long-term consequences of fossil economy are considered. Promoting growth and greenifying the Chinese economy Since the economic reforms started in 1978, China has transformed from a relatively self-sufficient – but poor – economy to a rather open middle-income country that has managed to improve the basic living conditions of its citizens by creating employment, eliminating absolute poverty, and increasing disposable incomes across the country. Generally, this has contributed to the overall satisfaction of the citizens, which is a crucial precondition for social stability and wellbeing. Over the past few decades, the Chinese people have, however, become much more aware of the nexus between growth, pollution and health problems, which has resulted in a growing dissatisfaction (Shapiro, 2012). In a post-totalitarian society, where people are harder to control and order is more challenging to force, these concerns are voiced in numerous protests (Albert & Xu, 2016), which inevitably carries the risk of shaking social stability. Despite the party-state’s ability to control such outbursts much more effectively than democratic societies could or would because of their constitutional liberties (e.g. freedom of speech and assembly), the government is compelled to take drastic actions to “greenify” the economy. Given this two-fold aim to maintain growth and take steady steps towards a low-carbon future in China, it is clear that the state continues to be dependent on overseas resources and partnerships Kauppila & Kopra


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in promoting wellbeing. In practice, the government seeks to make use of imported natural resources and technology transfer in lifting China to the status of an advanced high-income economy that no longer heavily relies on the manufacturing sector but gradually catches up with the West technologically and develops into a “knowledge power” (cf. Mayer, 2012). The overall development of China’s science sector is also in a crucial role in this task: science is the key to both enhancing productivity and mitigating emissions of economic activities. All together, these aims constitute the primary rationale for China’s global outreach and the current strategy through which it is executed: President Xi’s BRI (cf. Kauppila, 2022). Against this backdrop, it is unsurprising that the Chinese government advances its idea of the Polar Silk Road, and thus takes increasingly part in economic processes that seek to utilize Arctic natural resources – and which greatly contribute to the social construction of the Arctic region itself. In addition to the exploration and extraction of natural gas and oil – fossil fuels that are hard to replace with renewables in some critical functions of Chinese society (e.g. air travel) – the government has already supported the development of the Arctic shipping lanes, whose gradual emergence for wider-scale utilization makes it possible to manage energy transportation-related risks (e.g. Beveridge et al., 2016). More specifically, the Sino-Arctic economic activities that already stand to shape the dynamics of the Arctic region on a more frequent basis include sailings on the Northeast Passage (NEP) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the Russian Arctic. The NEP, which is the most prospective of the three Arctic sea routes known to the Chinese as the Polar Silk Road1, runs through waters north of Russia and offers Chinese stakeholders a shorter route to the European markets and helps the government to alleviate its “Malacca dilemma”. LNG is the least environmentally harmful fossil fuel that offers a chance to diversify China’s energy portfolio and reduce its dependence on coal, which accounts for 58 percent of China’s energy consumption (BP, 2019). What is more, the two Arctic LNG projects in which China takes part, the Yamal LNG Project and the Arctic LNG 2, are not only schemes that add on to the Russia-China flows of LNG but also scenes on which state-of-the-art technology and knowledge are needed, providing a fruitful chance for Chinese companies to gain insights from leading global actors, especially on engineering, energy production and transportation in challenging Arctic conditions (Kauppila, 2022). In addition, Chinese actors have expressed their strong intent to gain a foothold in the extraction of Arctic minerals and rare earth elements as well as in Arctic fisheries. Minerals and rare earth elements have several uses in both energy (e.g. nuclear electricity generation) and technology (e.g. clean tech) sectors in China, whereas the fishing industry contributes significantly to China’s GDP and constitutes an important element of Chinese traditions. The polar science projects, in turn, offer a fruitful chance to develop China’s science sector in a highly international environment. Mitigation of the effects of climate change on China Wellbeing in China is also threatened by climate change, whose effects culminate in the Arctic. According to recent studies, the Arctic climatic changes are linked to extreme weather events, winter cold weather in East Asia (Kim & Kim, 2018), air pollution and flooding in Eastern China (Wang, Chen & Liu, 2015), and problems in China’s agricultural production. All the abovementioned issues are potential sources of general citizen dissatisfaction and triggers for protests and social unrest. For these reasons, the government funds scientific research on Arctic climate change, which is, for example, conducted together with the Russians on polar expeditions and

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under the auspices of a joint research institute, and partakes in Arctic governance – and this way contributes to those social and political processes that reconstruct the Arctic region. Promoting a unifying ideology In addition to the two above-mentioned material acts, bringing the people together through spiritual means is an effective way to enhance social stability. A unifying ideology can instil a sense of belonging and mental affinity towards a collective in a multiethnic and multicultural country. In recent decades, however, finding such a shared system of ideals has become a challenge for the leadership because economic and political reforms have eroded the role of socialism as the guideline of the Chinese society. As a response to this “spiritual and ideological vacuum” (Kallio, 2016: 52), state-nationalism (爱国主义) has emerged as an officially accepted, pragmatic belief system that instills a sense of collective pride by emphasizing the glorious performance of the party in China’s return to the great power status – instead of hailing shared attributes that not all Chinese can relate to (Zhao, 2004). In President Xi’s national rejuvenation (民族复兴), national prowess in such fields as science and technology have emerged as a core theme of the nationalist story. Over the past two decades, the Arctic science collaboration, expeditions and ambitious economic projects have served to fuel nationalist sentiments by constructing an image of a “polar great power”, a militarily, economically and scientifically capable modern country whose influence extends over both poles (Brady, 2017). For example, the National Museum of China portrays pictures of the ice-breaker Xuelong and the Arctic Yellow River Station magnificently in line with the country’s space program; in a similar vein, the museum at the Polar Research Institute of China emphasizes China’s task to become a “great polar expedition country” (“成为极地考察大国”). Although China’s Arctic science engagement is definitely not only motivated by these nationalist aspirations, it is important to recognize them in analyzing China’s role in processes of Arctic regionalization.

China’s enlightened self-interest and the (re)organization of the Arctic region Apparently, the contemporary liberal international order may constrain the Chinese government’s efforts to maintain social stability at domestic level. Therefore, not only China’s capability but also its motivation to reform the building blocks of international order may increase in line with its rise to great power status. To be a responsible international citizen, however, China has to refrain from posing a threat or using force in rewriting international rules and norms so that they correspond with its own values and interests. As Evans (1990) underlines, responsible international citizens pursue “enlightened self-interest” (italics added by the authors), meaning that China should exercise its growing power prudently by reconciling its policies and actions with the established international rules to maintain international peace and order. In this section, we ponder the extent to which China has, so far, conformed to and sought to mold international practices that organize the Arctic region in acting out its responsibility to provide wellbeing to its citizens. While acknowledging unique characteristics of the Arctic, we do not subscribe to the idea about the Arctic as an exceptional region. Hence, we build on a premise that the Arctic is organised by the same set of practices – territoriality and sovereignty, diplomacy, harm prevention and environmental stewardship, international law, and nationalism (e.g. Buzan, 2004) – as the contemporary international society at large, and study China’s contribution to those practices. Kauppila & Kopra


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Territoriality and sovereignty To a large extent, the minimum requirement for China to participate in processes of Arctic regionalization would be that it accepts two norms constitutive of Arctic regional society: sovereignty and territoriality. Although these two international practices substantially hinder China’s attempts to utilize Arctic natural resources for creating growth and greenifying the Chinese economy, it cannot take actions that violate them for two reasons. First, as a non-Arctic country, China is dependent on partnerships in utilizing the region’s resources. For example, around 84 percent of Arctic fossil fuel deposits are located offshore north of Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland (U.S. Geological Survey, 2008), in locations belonging to the Arctic states or their exclusive economic zones (EEZ), that is, sea areas over which they have jurisdiction according to the UNCLOS. Second, China can only benefit from Arctic resources if the region is a conflict-free and stable scene of coexistence. Insofar as direct violations of territorial integrity or making of sovereignty claims count as ultimate infringements of these norms, China has certainly refrained from breaching territoriality and sovereignty in the Arctic. It has not used force against the political independence of the Arctic states or made any sovereignty claims over the Arctic land and waters. Although four Chinese navy vessels reportedly entered the US EEZ near Alaska’s Aleutian islands in late August 2021, they did remain in international waters and cannot be seen to have violated the US sovereignty (e.g. Schreiber, 2021). Moreover, China has relied on cooperation and established partnerships that allow Chinese companies to participate in Arctic energy and mineral extraction. For example, the government’s investment vehicle Silk Road Fund became directly engaged in a pioneering Arctic LNG project in Russia’s Yamal Peninsula in 2016. Through this move, the government supported a Russo-French-Chinese joint venture in which the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation is a 20 percent shareholder (Yamal LNG Project, n.d.). Chinese participation in the mega project has not only provided the country’s economy with notable volumes of LNG since July 2018, when the first shipment to China took place (Novatek, 2018), but also given Chinese companies a chance to develop skills needed in future projects in the region, including possible oil drilling schemes. A similar project with equal benefits to the Chinese economy is currently launched in Gydan Peninsula, as Novatek’s second LNG project, Arctic LNG 2, is gradually starting its operations. Yet, at the same time, China does somewhat seek to shape the organization of regional order by challenging the norms of territoriality and sovereignty through more subtle methods. Notably, China promotes an idea of the Arctic region that somewhat downplays territoriality as its constitutive practice. As China’s Arctic strategy puts it, “The Arctic situation now goes beyond its original interArctic States or regional nature, having a vital bearing on the interests of States outside the region and the interests of the international community as a whole, as well as on the survival, the development, and the shared future for mankind” (State Council of the PRC, 2018b). In a similar vein, China has adopted a self-identification as a “near-Arctic state” (近北极国家). Unsurprisingly, this discourse has been interpreted as a hawkish claim in more realist (mostly American) analyses – despite the fact that many other non-Arctic states, such as France and India, view and portray their position in a similar manner (cf. Heininen et al., 2019). To support the non-territorial definition of the Arctic region, China also highlights the global nature of the region’s governance structure – a viewpoint that somewhat downplays the role of the

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AC. For example, it has emphasized the importance of international law as an instrument of responsible Arctic governance in major Arctic-related statements over the past few years. The government has repeatedly emphasized the stipulations of the UNCLOS, which outline that external actors possess certain rights to conduct research, navigate and explore resources in the world’s oceans (State Council of the PRC, 2018b). Chinese scholars have also sought to frame some of the natural resources of the Arctic as global commons (e.g. Yan & Li, 2009; Yang et al., 2015). Moreover, some Chinese researchers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the exclusiveness of the existing Arctic governance structure by stating that it does not allow nonArctic countries to take part in its decision-making, even when it deals with “global issues” (Guo & Yao, 2015). Despite the lively debate in Chinese academia, the government, however, refrains from outright criticism of the Arctic Council in official contexts. In this way, it avoids spurring speculation as to whether the country is truly committed to acting out its pledge not to intervene in the Arctic countries’ internal issues, that is, to respect the organizing principle of sovereignty. International law International law directly enables China to participate in those processes of Arctic regionalization that allow the country to create economic growth and conduct science activities to mitigate climate change related risks in China. The UNCLOS, in particular, not only guarantees China the right to ship in the Arctic waters but also provides the right to practice scientific research in certain parts of the Arctic. In a similar vein, the Treaty of Svalbard, which China signed in 1925, has enabled China to set its own research station, Yellow River Research Station (黄河站) in Norway’s Svalbard. Recently, China has also contributed to the development of new regulations concerning the Arctic. In 2015, China was invited by the Arctic Ocean coastal states, together with other major fishing nations (Japan, South Korea, and Iceland) and the EU to take part in negotiations on a legally binding agreement on preventing unregulated fishing in the high seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean until sustainability of such activities can be guaranteed. As a result, the 2018 Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean was adopted. After China ratified the agreement in May 2021, it entered into force. In addition, China took part in the formulation of the IMO’s Polar Code, a standard that sets tightened regulations for shipping in the Arctic (and Antarctic) waters. Although it has become common to almost “expect” China to behave in a manner that violates the stipulations of the UNCLOS based on the quarrels in the South China Sea (cf. Lanteigne, 2021), China has, so far, largely internalized the norms of international law in the Arctic context. As mentioned above, Chinese navy vessels did not break international law in late August 2021 as they did not enter the US territorial waters. Only on one occasion has China – possibly – interpreted international law in a manner that has been questioned by the Arctic states. In 2017, Xuelong sailed through the Northwest Passage under a research permit issued by the Canadian authorities, but based on the stipulations of the UNCLOS. According to the Chinese state media, the test sailing was also utilized for gaining insights for commercial sailings (cf. Fife & Chase, 2017) – something that the research permit does not allow one to do. However, there is no concrete evidence of such actions being taken; in fact, it may well be that Xinhua’s interpretation of the expedition was rather a nationalist show targeted at the domestic audience than a report of its true nature.

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Diplomacy Adhering to the norms of diplomacy has been crucial for China to be able to participate in Arctic regionalization and thus advance its enlightened self-interests. While China’s Arctic strategy does not pay much attention to the role of the AC in regional governance, it confirms that “China is committed to improving and complementing the Arctic governance regime” (State Council of the PRC, 2018b). Currently, bilateral interaction between China and the Arctic countries constitutes one of the most concrete domains of the country’s Arctic diplomacy. China has, for example, strengthened its “bilateral” relations with the Nordic countries under the model of 5+1 diplomacy, on issues ranging from science and technology to transport and energy extraction (cf. SverdrupThygeson et al., 2018). Diplomacy has also facilitated the above-mentioned energy projects in Russia and advanced Chinese economic visions in the Arctic more generally: without strong diplomatic ties, managed by the highest leadership, Sino-Russian business collaboration in developing energy resources and shipping lanes would not be possible. In addition to allocating funding to the actual projects, the governments and leaders of the two countries have eased informal barriers to investments, participated in the negotiations of both new and older deals, made field visits, signed Memorandums of Understanding etc. in the spirit of state capitalism. Notably, the Western economic sanctions, imposed on Russia in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 strengthened the Sino-Russian Arctic partnership: they created a diplomatic and economic vacuum which China could fill (cf. Gabuev, 2016). The practice of diplomacy is, however, sometimes at odds with China’s urge to access Arctic resources. In 2010, China froze its diplomatic ties with Norway as a response to the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Economic sanctions with Chinese characteristics soon followed: new veterinary inspections were introduced to control the Norwegian exporters’ access to the Chinese market. As a recent gravity model study evaluates, during the period of 2011-2016 this resulted in a 92% drop in the value of Chinese imports of fresh and chilled salmon from Norway – as compared with a non-sanction environment that would have given the Norwegians a chance to expand their business in China (Blomfeldt Mathisrud, 2018). It is, however, unsurprising that the Chinese desire for presumably safe and clean Arctic salmon was soon satisfied with imports from other Northern areas (e.g. Faroe Islands) – some of which traded salmon of Norwegian-origin (Chen & Garcia, 2016). Another related example is the case of Sweden: the Swedish reaction to the captivity of Gui Minhai, a Swedish dissident of Chinese origin, has resulted in diplomatic tensions that have, for example, indirectly led to China setting official warnings against travelling to Sweden and imposing sanctions on a Swedish researcher. Although numerical estimations on the actual economic impact of these diplomatic frictions are not yet available, it is fair to say that Sweden has, overall, become less of a potential destination for Polar Silk Road related investments. These cases illustrate that although overseas resources contribute to growth and wellbeing, most Arctic opportunities are not vitally important for Chinese economic development and business certainly does not continue “as usual” if the social conditions for wellbeing are at risk. Put differently, glorifying the work of dissidents poses a more pressing risk to social stability than freezing or cooling diplomatic relations with small Arctic countries. China has also adhered to the norm of diplomacy in seeking to mitigate the domestic risks of climate change as a member of the Arctic regional society. It has sought to utilize both formal and informal forums of Arctic governance to advance its own agendas and voice its concerns. Despite the rather restricted scope of action of the Arctic Council observers, and the fact that China is not Responsible international citizenship and China’s participation in Arctic regionalization


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committed to the Council’s work to reduce black carbon emissions, it is important for China to be able to participate in the climate discussions that are held under its auspices. Interestingly, the Chinese government also partakes in another, yet emerging setting focusing on mitigating the effects of Arctic climatic changes. Three East Asian observer members of the Arctic Council (China, Japan and South Korea) have organized trilateral meetings on Arctic collaboration since April 2016 – a rare move in the historically tricky context of East Asia. Through this arrangement China seeks to make its voice better heard in the growing mass of Arctic Council observer states and enhance research collaboration among its neighbors (Second Trilateral High-Level Dialogue on the Arctic, 2017). In a similar vein, China has become an active participant in large annual meetings located between track II and track I diplomacy. Particularly, the Arctic Circle Assembly has become an important forum for China to influence the Arctic community. In May 2019, China organized the first-ever Arctic Circle China Forum in Shanghai, giving an opportunity for the Chinese officials to build trust among the Arctic community – a key purpose of the practice of diplomacy. Harm prevention and environmental stewardship Despite the wide-spread criticism that China has faced with regard to its environmental practices globally, China has refrained from violating the key norms of harm prevention and environmental stewardship in the Arctic. From China’s perspective, adhering to these norms has both allowed China to mitigate the effects of climate change on China and build trust within and outside the AC, which is needed to advance its economic visions in the future. Yet, this is not to say that China would have, in any way, sought to advance their more ambitious implementation – although taking such an initiative could greatly strengthen its status as a legitimate member of the region and truly allow it to take a driver’s seat in processes of Arctic regionalization. As mentioned above, China has been favorable towards two legal standards that seek to prevent harm and protect the environment in the region. As for the Polar Code, China participated in the initial correspondence group and gave its own proposals calling for less strict stipulations (Eiterjord, 2020), but in the end did not oppose the final draft. Although the fisheries agreement hinders the Chinese fishing industry from gaining access to the Arctic high sea fisheries, being part of the agreement can be seen as an investment in the future: aligning with the Arctic states builds trust, which is needed for more important schemes, such as energy deals. It should, however, be noted that Arctic climatic changes largely result from global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, if China, the largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world, is truly to tackle the domestic risks created by Arctic climatic changes, the first and foremost way of doing so would be to mitigate its own emissions. In September 2020, China indeed announced an ambitious goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 (Xi, 2020). Although China has neither managed to halt the growth of its emissions nor taken part in the Arctic Council’s work to reduce black carbon emissions, recent developments regarding China’s overseas investments have been promising. In July 2021, Guidelines for Greening Overseas Investment and Cooperation were issued by the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and in September 2021, at the UN General Assembly, President Xi announced that China would no longer invest in building coal power abroad. At the same time, especially the lack of concrete environmental engagement in the work of the Arctic Council stands as a clear contradiction of the fact that China’s pursuit of

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wealth through Arctic fossil fuels itself is a significant source of pollutants causing Arctic environmental change. Nationalism The organizing practice of nationalism carries a great potential to both hinder and advance China’s participation in those processes of Arctic regionalization that allow China to promote wellbeing through Arctic resources. Particularly, the highly controversial case of Greenland illustrates both the constraints and potential of nationalism from China’s perspective. Some Greenlandic politicians have welcomed Chinese investments in rare earth and uranium resources because it gives the autonomous country economic freedom from Denmark. For the Danish government, however, Chinese involvement poses risks, not least because Greenland’s new economic development opens the door for the island’s independence (e.g. Gad et al., 2018). Furthermore, Greenland’s northwest coast hosts a US Air Force military base, Thule Air Base, which makes Sino-Greenlandic collaboration a matter of concern for the US. These reasons have already affected China’s ability to do business in Greenland. The establishment of China’s science and satellite stations in the Arctic has also fueled “China threat theories” (cf. Broomfield, 2003) and nationalist sentiments in Arctic countries. Currently, China has these outposts in three Arctic countries: Norway’s Svalbard, Iceland and Sweden. In addition, it has expressed interest in establishing an establishment in Greenland (Cui, 2017) – though so far without success. Several key reports, including those produced by the US and Danish governments (e.g. Office of the Secretary of Defence, 2019; Reuters, 2019), have recently noted that these stations could be used for military purposes, i.e. collecting satellite data for the armed forces and monitoring more than just northern lights and indicators related to climate change. These sentiments may possibly become a major hindrance in China’s urge to utilize Arctic resources to promote wellbeing in China – even if no actual dual-use would be detected.

Conclusions This paper took a departure from the mainstream approaches to IR, which presume that states’ regional conduct is par excellence motivated by struggles for power. We sought to demonstrate that China’s participation in Arctic regionalization is guided by its notions of responsibility. By investigating the normative underpinnings of China’s Arctic policy, we also hope to increase intercultural understanding, which is necessary to secure a resilient future – both in the Arctic and globally. Our purpose was not to assess China’s regional engagement in moral terms. If one wants to evaluate whether or not China’s notions of responsibility are ethically acceptable, it is useful to look at whether China is doing something that could be viewed as irresponsible. In other words, we may gain a better understanding of Chinese practices, perceptions and objectives by highlighting what China does not do in the Arctic. Our analysis demonstrates, for example, that China has not violated the sovereignty of Arctic states or questioned their economic rights. In addition, it has not sought to establish an alternative regional governance model to the AC, although it has, in general, taken a more global approach to regional affairs. Conversely, peaceful socio-economic development of the Arctic is a precondition for China’s goals to promote wellbeing of its citizens. Yet, the purpose of this paper was not to compile a list on what China, or any other state, should Responsible international citizenship and China’s participation in Arctic regionalization


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do to be recognized as a responsible international citizen. This would be a difficult task to do: at the age of increased uncertainty and manufactured risks – or a risk society, as Ulrich Beck puts it – it is increasingly difficult to define what it means to be a responsible international citizen. What is clear, however, is that responsibilities and risks go hand in hand: responsible international citizens forecast and manage risks that may prevent them from acting out their duties.

Acknowledgements Liisa Kauppila wishes to thank the Joel Toivola Foundation and the Academy of Finland (project no. 338145) and Sanna Kopra wishes to thank the Academy of Finland (project no. 315402) for supporting their research for this article.

Notes 1. The other two are the Northwest Passage and the Transpolar Passage.

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Sverdrup-Thygeson, Bjørnar, Lindgren, Wrenn Yennie & Lanteigne, Marc (Eds.) (2018). China and Nordic Diplomacy. Routledge. Söderbaum, Fredrik (2016). Rethinking Regionalism. Macmillan. Su, Ping & Huntington, H.P. (2021) Using critical geopolitical discourse to examine China’s engagement in Arctic affairs. Territory, Politics, Governance, DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2021.1875035. U.S. Geological Survey (2008) Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal: Estimates of Undiscovered Oil and Gas North of the Arctic Circle. http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3049/fs2008-3049.pdf. Wang Hui-Jun, Chen, Huo-Po & Liu, Jiping (2015). Arctic Sea Ice Decline Intensified Haze Pollution in Eastern China. Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters, 8(1), 1–9. Xi, Jinping (2020). Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China at the General Debate of the 75th Session of The United Nations General Assembly. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/zyjh_665391/t1817098.shtml. Xinhua (2017, June 20). Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-06/20/c_136380414.htm Yamal LNG Project (n.d.). Yamal LNG Project. http://yamallng.ru/en/ Yamal LNG Project (2018, March 5). Yamal LNG Ships First Million Tons of LNG. http://yamallng.ru/en/press/news/36264/ Yan, Shuangwu & Li, Mo (2009). 北极争端的症结及其解决路径——公共物品的视角。[The crux of the Arctic dispute and its solution – the perspective of global commons]. 武汉学报 [The Journal of Wuhan University] 6. Yang, Zhengjiao, Liu, Xuexia & Xin, Meijun. (2015). 我国增加在北极地区实质性存在的实现 路径研究。[The research of realised path to enhance China’s substantive presence in the Arctic]. 太 平洋学报 [Pacific Journal] 23(10). Zhang, Tie Jun (2005). China: Towards Regional Actor and World Player. In Farrell, Mary & Hettne, Björn (eds.) Global Politics of Regionalism: Theory and Practice. Pluto Press, 237–251. Zhao, Suisheng (2004). A Nation-State by Construction. Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism. Stanford University Press.

Responsible international citizenship and China’s participation in Arctic regionalization


The Role of Technology in China’s Arctic Engagement: A Means as Well as an End in Itself Camilla T. N. Sørensen & Christopher Weidacher Hsiung

China wants to ensure its role as a major stakeholder in the Arctic, and improving Chinese technological capabilities play a prominent albeit complex role in this endeavour as a means both to strengthen China’s attractiveness in the eyes of the Arctic states and stakeholders and to ensure that China is able to establish a presence in the region and access its resources. However, development and application of Chinese technology in the Arctic is also an end in itself. Beijing defines the polar regions, the seabed and the outer space as “new strategic frontiers” (zhanlüe xin jiangyu) understood as the most challenging – but also most rewarding – areas to operate in, which relates not narrowly to the tangible Arctic resources to be extracted, but also to the pressure Chinese entities in the region are under to advance their knowledge and improve their technological capabilities and solutions. This further links China’s Arctic engagement with its national development strategy, where ensuring China a frontrunner position within new technologies is a key priority, as well as with China’s broader geo-strategic visions and plans. The article has two main contributions. Firstly, it scrutinises the role of technology in China’s Arctic engagement and shows how it is best viewed as a long-term process. Secondly, the article highlights how the intensifying US-China great power rivalry in recent years has led to a pragmatic adjustment in China’s approach and tactics in the region, characterised by what we call Chinese “tactical retreat”. Following the “China’s Arctic engagement as a long-term process” argument, the key point is that establishing Chinese presence and influence in the Arctic will continue to be a persistent Chinese priority, but Beijing is able and willing to scale down and keep a lower profile when assessed as strategically beneficial. This underscores how China’s Arctic engagement has become more confident and sophisticated over the recent decade.

Introduction This article examines the role of technology in China’s Arctic engagement, which so far remains an underexplored topic in the literature on China and the Arctic (e.g. Brady, 2017; Hong, 2020; Kopra, 2020). We set out to highlight how China’s determination to ensure the country a leading role in the development and application of new technologies is linked in complex ways with China’s efforts to establish an Arctic presence. As we show below, Chinese technological advancement in the Arctic is to be seen as a means to help establish China as an Arctic stakeholder, which the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders see interests in engaging with. Chinese knowledge and technology can for example contribute to strengthen understanding and mitigation of the rapid climate change taking place in the Arctic. Chinese technological advancement is thus part of Christopher Weidacher Hsiung is a Researcher, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). The author is solely responsible for the content of this article, which does not necessarily reflect the views of the Swedish Defence Research Agency. Camilla T.N. Sørensen is an Associate Professor, Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC).


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Chinese efforts to build comprehensive relationships in the region and present China as a valuable partner for dealing with the challenges facing the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders. This implies that technology is a means in China’s Arctic strategy. Technological advancement is, however, also an end in itself for Beijing. In China, the polar regions (i.e. the Arctic and the Antarctic), together with the deep seabed and outer space, are seen as very challenging areas to operate in, resulting in a constant urge for Chinese researchers, engineers etc. to advance their knowledge and improve their technological capabilities and solutions (e.g. Xinhua, 2015). Being able to conduct research and other activities in the Arctic is therefore valued in Beijing also for the way it contributes to promote and raise the overall level of innovation and technology in China, which constitutes a key priority in China’s national development strategy for restructuring and upgrading its economic model. Such emphasis on the Arctic as a crucial frontier for increasing China’s technological level implies that ensuring Chinese access to the Arctic is a means in China’s national development strategy and the development and application of new technologies in the Arctic thus becomes an end in itself. The intensifying US-China great power competition has entered the Arctic in recent years resulting in growing efforts by Washington to decrease China’s manoeuvring space in the region. This includes heightened US concerns over China’s development and application of new technologies in the Arctic, often viewed as having dual-use purposes with potential for military usages. Several of the other Arctic states are also becoming more hesitant in cooperating with Chinese stakeholders in the region (Olesen & Sørensen, 2019). This has led to a pragmatic adjustment in China’s approach and tactics in the Arctic, where China seeks to tone down its Arctic ambitions while reemphasising cooperative policies and how engagement with Chinese stakeholders, including access to Chinese knowledge and technology, can benefit Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders. We suggest that such pragmatic adjustment is best understood as a Chinese “tactical retreat”. Following our emphasis on how technology plays a role in China’s Arctic engagement as a means and as an end in itself, the key point is that establishing Chinese presence and influence in the Arctic will continue to be a persistent Chinese priority. It thus links up with key domestic objectives and plays into China’s long-term visions and plans about how to ensure its role as a leading great power. However, Beijing is able and willing to scale down and keep a lower profile when assessed necessary and prudent. This underscores how China’s Arctic engagement has become more confident and sophisticated over the recent decade. This article thus has two main contributions. First, it scrutinises China’s Arctic engagement focusing on the role of technology. Here we demonstrate how technology plays a role in China’s Arctic engagement as a means as well as an end in itself, which further leads us to emphasise how China’s Arctic engagement is best viewed as a long-term process. China wants to ensure its position as an Arctic stakeholder and the improvement of Chinese technological capabilities plays a prominent albeit complex role in this endeavour as a means to strengthen China’s attractiveness in the eyes of the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders. However, we suggest that for Beijing this is not narrowly a question about ensuring Chinese access to tangible Arctic resources and shipping routes. It is more broadly about ensuring Chinese access to operate in the region , expecting in the process to develop crucial knowledge and new technologies that link up with key domestic objectives and play into China’s long-term visions and plans about how to ensure its role as a leading great power. Second, the article contextualises such developments in China’s Arctic

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engagement in the intensifying US-China great power competition by discussing how Beijing has sought to adjust its approach and tactics in the Arctic in recent years. The article therefore proceeds as follows. We first outline how technological advancement is increasingly emphasised in China’s Arctic engagement, including in key strategic documents and policy statements regarding the region. We then conduct an analysis of the role of technology in China’s Arctic engagement as it manifests itself in practice in three specific areas: (1) scientific research, (2) natural resource extraction and infrastructure development; and (3) digital communication and satellite navigation. These two sections enable us to show how technology plays a role in China’s Arctic engagement as a means as well as an end in itself, which we do in the following section. Next, we discuss how the intensifying US-China great power competition is impacting China’s manoeuvring space in the Arctic and how China is adjusting its approach and tactics. Our main point is that because the Arctic plays a key role in China’s determination to ensure that the country has a leading role in the development and application of new technologies, Chinese interests in the region are persistent and long-term. Therefore, the Chinese manoeuvring in the region in recent years is best understood as a “tactical retreat”. In the end, we elaborate on our main findings and address some policy implications thereof, where a main concern is how the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders can continue to engage China and thus ensure access to Chinese knowledge and technology beneficial in dealing with the challenges they face in a rapidly changing Arctic, without coming into conflict with the US or assisting unwanted Chinese activities in the region (Conley & Wall, 2021; Devyatkin, 2021).

The growing emphasis on technology Over the recent decade, China has substantially increased its focus on and presence in the Arctic (e.g. Brady, 2017; Doshi, Dale-Huang & Zhang, 2021). China officially defines itself as a “nearArctic state” (jin beiji guojia) and has underlined how it sees itself as having legitimate interests and rights in the region, notably in relation to conducting research, natural resource extraction and shipping alongside issues pertaining to regional governance. In its Arctic Policy White Paper published in January 2018, Beijing thus highlights how the Arctic should not be regarded as a demarcated region, referring specifically to how climate change in the region has global implications and international impacts (State Council, 2018). The Chinese position therefore is that it is not up to the Arctic states alone to establish the rules and norms for the future development of and access to the region and its resources. Beijing is, however, keenly aware that China not having any Arctic territory depends on the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders seeing benefits in having China present and involved in the region and in further developing their relations with Chinese stakeholders. Therefore, China focuses on establishing strong and comprehensive relationships with the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders and on gradually increasing China’s presence and influence in Arctic institutions and mechanisms. In order to do this, China seeks to propose benefits to the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders. The focus thus is on knitting China into the region – on multiple levels – through offers and agreements regarding for instance research, resource extraction and infrastructure development. Chinese technological advancement plays a growing role in such efforts. It is challenging on many fronts to operate in the Arctic region – most obvious is the harsh and complex physical environment. High levels of knowledge and sophisticated technological equipment are therefore required to operate and to conduct research as well as natural resource extraction and development of needed infrastructure to facilitate

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improved and viable Arctic shipping routes. Improvement of knowledge and technology are therefore always in demand among Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders, and there is a room to manoeuvre here for China in the region . In recent years, the Chinese government has made it clear that it wants to raise the level of its Arctic knowledge and technological capabilities, evidenced in key strategic documents and policies. For instance, in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (covering the period 2016–2020), the Chinese government called for strengthening the country’s activism in the polar regions. It, among other things, designed a program for expanding China’s polar scientific capacity, including improving innovation and technological advancement to achieve these goals (Compilation and Translation Bureau, 2016: chapter 41). In the latest plan, the 14th Five-Year Plan (covering the period 20212025), the Chinese government called for even greater engagement in the Arctic Ocean region and Antarctica while also explicitly incorporating the active development of the “Polar Silk Road” as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (Lanteigne, 2021). In the Arctic Policy White Paper, Beijing also clearly envisioned an increasingly important role of science and technology in its Arctic engagement both in order to better understand the Arctic environment and its global effects, and in order to develop the Arctic through, for example, the utilisation of resources such as oil, natural gas and fisheries (State Council, 2018). Significantly, the Chinese government defines the polar regions, the deep seabed and outer space as crucial frontiers or rather as “new strategic frontiers” (zhanlüe xin jiangyu) for increasing Chinese technological level (e.g. Xinhua, 2015). Chinese interests in the Arctic and the important role given to technology are also spelled out in the authoritative document related to China’s BRI plans. After some years of uncertainty, the Arctic is now formally part of the BRI, officially labeled as the Polar Silk Road. For instance, technological advancement is highlighted as an important component in the Arctic maritime domain, notably in the “Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative”, a jointly issued strategy document by the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Ocean Administration (SOA) in 2017. The document declares the Arctic a “blue economic passage”, which calls for strengthening “common maritime security for mutual benefits”, including initiatives such as maritime search and rescue, maritime monitoring and management, sharing ocean navigation results, and building ocean observation and network systems (Xinhua, 2017). Moreover, the document states “China is willing to work with all parties in conducting scientific surveys of navigational routes, setting up land-based monitoring stations, carrying out research on climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic, as well as providing navigational forecasting services” (Xinhua, 2017). Again here, it is emphasized how China with its technological advancements have something to offer in the Arctic. The emphasis on the Arctic in China’s push for digital connectivity as envisioned in its “Digital Silk Road” (DSR) – an increasingly crucial component in China’s overall BRI plans – is also growing (e.g. Jüris, 2020; Tillman, Yang & Nielsson, 2020). Generally, Beijing foresees that the DSR can promote Chinese technical solutions, standards and norms and facilitate Chinese efforts to influence global standards for global digital connectivity (Triolo, Allison, Brown & Broderick, 2020). According to the “Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative”, the Chinese plan is a harmonization of standards and improved information networks with countries participating in the BRI by “jointly building a system with broad coverage for information transmission, processing, management and application, a system for information standards and specifications, and a network security system, thus providing public platforms for information Sørensen & Weidacher Hsiung


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sharing” (Xinhua, 2017). As will be further demonstrated below, the Arctic plays into such Chinese planning. In sum, according to several key strategic documents, the need to apply and develop advanced knowledge and technology to safeguard and move China’s Arctic engagement forward are clearly articulated. Furthermore, it also links up with key domestic objectives focused on restructuring and upgrading the economy as well as with China’s long-term visions and plans about how to ensure its role as a leading great power. That Chinese technological advancement in the Arctic has such double focus or role becomes clearer if we include analysis of how the various Chinese stakeholders include technologies in their Arctic projects and cooperation.

Use of technology in China’s Arctic engagement In this section, we turn to examine the role of technology in China’s Arctic engagement as it manifests itself in practice in three specific areas. These areas are: (1) scientific research, (2) natural resource extraction and infrastructure development, and (3) digital communication and satellite navigation. The role of technology in China’s scientific research in the Arctic Scientific research on climate change and its impact in the Arctic constitutes a core focus in China’s Arctic engagement.1 Climate change directly affects China. For instance, many of its coastal areas are at risk of experiencing rising sea levels and the country’s agricultural production is also expected to be adversely affected (Jakobson, 2015; Devyatkin, 2021). It is therefore of vital importance for China to improve its scientific understanding of the Arctic, which includes enhancing its technological capacity to conduct the necessary expeditions and experiments, and acquire the necessary data. As understanding and mitigating the rapid climate change taking place in the region is a core objective of all Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders, any Chinese progress in this area would be met with strong interest and China would be able to utilise such progress to also strengthen its relationships in the region. Looking in particular at how China seeks to strengthen its scientific research in the Arctic, specifically as it relates to technology, there are three main ways. First, China aims to establish and run research stations in the region. Since 2004, China runs a research station, the Yellow River Station (huanghe zhan) in Norwegian Svalbard, that is operated by the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC). The research station conducts research on sea ice, glacial monitoring and the atmosphere. While the focus is on climate change research, the research also helps China to develop knowledge and technological skills that can advance its overall ability to utilize any future Arctic opportunities. For instance, improved glacial monitoring can mitigate challenges for more reliable navigation for Chinese shipping companies wanting to use the Arctic waters. The China-Iceland Arctic Science Observatory established in 2018 fills similar functions. The observatory is to monitor climate and environmental changes in the Arctic and is managed by PRIC and Iceland’s Institute of Research Centres (e.g. Schreiber, 2018). Moreover, China and Finland are jointly developing the China–Finland Arctic Monitoring and Research Centre between China’s Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth and Finland’s Arctic Space Centre. The main objective is to collect, process and share satellite data to support environmental monitoring, climate change research and Arctic navigation (Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2018). This can clearly assist China’s “Digital Silk Road” in the Arctic, as well as more broadly.

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Second, China conducts scientific expeditions in the Arctic with its two icebreaker vessels Snow Dragon (Xuelong) and Snow Dragon 2 (Xuelong 2) with a growing emphasis on using advanced technology. The newest icebreaker vessel, Snow Dragon 2, constructed in 2019 has been jointly designed with Finnish Aker Arctic and is China’s first indigenously manufactured icebreaker vessel, marking a significant technological advancement. Snow Dragon 2 is equipped with oceanographic survey and monitoring apparatus enabling exploration of the physical oceanography, biodiversity, and atmospheric and environmental conditions in the Arctic. Furthermore, it enables conducting fishery resources surveys (Zhao, 2019). In addition, China is seemingly also building its first nuclear powered icebreaker vessel, which will be a technological leap for China’s scientific and commercial aspirations in the Arctic, and in the broader polar regions (Goldstein, 2020). Since some years back, China has notably begun to conduct increasingly sophisticated scientific experiments as part of its Arctic expeditions that include acoustic and bathymetric surveys to produce navigational charts (Martinson, 2019). During China’s 9th Arctic expedition in 2018, China for the first time independently deployed unmanned observational equipment such as an unmanned ice station and climbing marine profile buoys. It also deployed a Chinese produced autonomous underwater glider (haiyi) used to conduct deep-sea environment observation in vast areas (Zhou, 2020). According to a research report, activities such as these have greatly enhanced China’s ability to observe and monitor the Arctic environment (Wei et al, 2020). In September 2019, China successfully launched its first polar observation satellite. The satellite, called BNU-1, will monitor sea ice drift and ice shelf collapse and is expected to improve China’s remote sensing capability and help expand Arctic shipping (Brady, 2019). In 2021, the satellite started its Arctic mission after first having completed its Antarctic mission, sending back more than 1000 images of the south polar region (Xinhua, 2021). During China’s 11th Arctic expedition in 2020, several advanced scientific experiments and surveys were conducted, for instance obtaining recordbreaking sediment core sample in the Arctic Ocean (China News Service, 2020). Third, China aims at developing closer scientific collaboration with Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders, both bilateral and multilateral. Since 2012, there has been a Sino-Russian bilateral dialogue, subsequently followed by similar bilateral dialogues with, for instance, Canada. A particular successful example is the China Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC) established in 2013, which gathers scientists, entrepreneurs and politicians from China, Norway, Kingdom of Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finland well as Russian and US observers (Ping & Mayer, 2018). In addition, as an observer member in the Arctic Council (obtained in 2013), China is involved in the scientific working groups in the Arctic Council (Zhang et al, 2019). China has moreover expressed interest in further developing its role in the scientific working groups in the Arctic Council (e.g. State Council, 2018). The role of technology in China’s natural resource extraction and infrastructure development in the Arctic Aiming to ensure Chinese access to the economic potential of the Arctic, most notably natural resource extraction and usage of Arctic shipping routes, Beijing has a focus on both presenting Chinese companies and other Chinese stakeholders as attractive partners, and on influencing institutional and legal frameworks (State Council, 2018; Doshi, Dale-Huang & Zhang, 2021). However, it is also clear that when Chinese stakeholders seek cooperation with others on natural resource extraction and infrastructure development in the region, it is also aimed at gaining access Sørensen & Weidacher Hsiung


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to knowledge and technological capabilities. Chinese energy companies for example still lag technologically behind many of their Western peers, and therefore their participation in Arctic natural resource extraction is viewed as an opportunity to learn and improve their technological expertise (Hsiung, 2016). However, Chinese experts remain confident that China can, over time, make a valuable contribution with capital and investment, but also as an emerging leading provider of technological equipment (Yang, 2018). Chinese stakeholders have in fact become involved in certain energy and infrastructure projects, where Chinese technology has been utilized. The most developed Arctic energy project with Chinese participation is the Yamal LNG project in Russia’s Northwest Siberia, run by Russia’s Novatek together with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and French Total. The Yamal project is operational and serves European and Asian customers, China included, with LNG. Broadly speaking, Chinese investments have been crucial for the project with Chinese stakeholders providing up to 60 percent of the financing (Sørensen & Klimenko, 2017). However, Chinese energy companies have also played a role in providing technical equipment such as Arctic modules for the liquefaction process of the LNG terminal, albeit most of the crucial knowhow and technology were provided by French Total. According to Chinese accounts, their participation results in learning as well as enhancement of Chinese technical skills to operate in the Arctic (Hsiung, 2016). The Chinese energy companies CNPC and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) are also involved in the initial phase of developing a new LNG project – the Arctic LNG 2 at the Gydan Peninsula just across from the Yamal Peninsula, which could provide another opportunity for Chinese companies to learn and acquire advanced technology for complex and challenging energy operations. CNPN and CNOOC have each acquired a 10 percent share respectively alongside the main shareholder Novatek with 60 percent, Total ¨with 10 percent, Mitsui Group with 5 percent and Jogmec with the remaining 5 percent. The Arctic LNG 2 project is expected to begin LNG production in 2023 (Nilsen, 2021). Beyond this, Chinese energy companies have also been engaged in oil exploration surveys, most often in cooperation with Russian partners. In addition, COCSO’s engineering subsidiary China Offshore Oil Engineering Co. through its oilfield service subsidiary China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) has conducted geophysical surveys and provided marine support in the Arctic (Hsiung & Røseth, 2019). While this suggests still modest Chinese activities, it indicates how there is a growing level of Chinese technological involvement and performance in Arctic natural resource extraction. In other words, Chinese companies and other Chinese stakeholders are applying their own knowledge and technology, but are also developing this and are learning from companies and partners that have longer experience operating in the Arctic, and hence have acquired more Arctic-specific knowledge and technology. The same ‘pattern’ is seen in relation to China’s contribution to the development of shipping infrastructure in the Arctic. The proclaimed benefits of using Arctic shipping routes for trade and commerce between China and Europe via the NSR often tend to be overly optimistic, and indeed actual transits remain quite low (Moe & Stokke, 2019). Nonetheless, China’s long-term strategic calculus indicates a growing interest. As mentioned, China wants to involve Arctic shipping routes as part of its BRI, defined as the Polar Silk Road. China is working especially close with Russia to improve the NSR. More specifically, China has shown interest in the construction of two sea ports, the Zarubino port and the Arkhangelsk deep-water port. The Zarubino port is located close to Vladivostok near the Chinese border and is to aid transportation links in China’s northeast regions The Role of Technology in China’s Arctic Engagement


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and assist in the development of the Russian Far East. China’s Jilin province and China Merchants Group have provided support and capital to the project. Regarding the Arkhangelsk deep-water port, reports note how China Poly Group in 2016 signed an agreement of intent to invest about five billion USD, and also China’s large state-owned shipping company China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) has declared interest in the project (Nilsen, 2017). That said, the project seems currently to have come to a halt and future involvement of Chinese stakeholders remain unclear (Moe, 2021). Related to this, China also aims to compete within construction for Arctic-water going vessels. While still lagging behind more advanced nations such as South Korea and Japan, China is learning quick and investing in research and development. China has already gained certain experience in building large ice-vessels, for instance constructing a fleet of seven ice-class 1A container vessels with Maersk, a Danish shipping company, and the Arc7 condensate gas carrier Boris Sokolov for the Yamal LNG project (The Arctic Institute, 2020). In 2019, China’s COSCO and the Silk Road Fund together with Sovcomflot, the Russian state-owned shipbuilding company, and Novatek established a joint venture, the Maritime Arctic Transport, with the goal to manage an ice-breaking tanker fleet of Arctic ice-class vessels to transport LNG from existing and projected LNG projects (Sovcomflot, 2019). Chinese shipbuilders have also put in a bid to build a 220-meter-long floating dock catered to Russia’s new nuclear icebreaker fleet (Staalesen, 2021a). As with natural resource extraction projects, China uses the technology and equipment that have already been developed – often not specifically for polar conditions – but also learns and further improves the technology and equipment in the process. The role of technology in China’s digital communication and satellite navigation in the Arctic The third area relates to digital communication and satellite navigation. The Chinese expect that improved satellite navigation technology in the Arctic can make the country’s commercial shipping activities in the region more predictable and safe, and thus also commercially more viable. China already issued its first Arctic navigation manual in 2014, and in 2016, together with Russia, signed an agreement on cooperation regarding the NSR, which has subsequently been further advanced through the two sides’ formal agreement to jointly develop the NSR as part of China’s BRI (Hsiung & Røseth, 2019). Moreover, in 2022, China plans to launch an imaging satellite to monitor Arctic shipping routes, using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology, the first Chinese satellite to use such technology (Zhou, 2020). More broadly, China has long aimed at developing its own global navigation system, the so-called Beidou-system, to limit any dependency and vulnerabilities connected with relying on the US GPSsystem. China has conducted several experimental probes in the Arctic to test its communication capabilities. For instance, in a 2019 evaluation, China assessed a number of technologies, including Very High Frequency (VHF) radio connectivity, medium-frequency Navtex systems, and the DSC system part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (Humpert, 2019; Chan, 2019). In 2020 China completed its full navigation satellite system with a total of 35 satellites on three different orbit heights making the system operational (Jones, 2020). China and Russia are also working on increasing the compatibility and interoperability of their national navigation systems (Russia with its GLONASS) (Hsiung, 2021).

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As noted above, Beijing has incorporated the Arctic in the Digital Silk Road, and Chinese stakeholders seem to express especial interest in the so-called Arctic Connect, which is a project run by an international consortium involving mainly the Finnish state-owned company Cinia Oy in partnership with Russian telecommunications provider Megafon, as well as Norwegian and Japanese partners. The aim is to connect Europe and Asia through a 13,800 km long submarine communication cable along the NSR, but also to develop a system to serve local communities in the Russian Arctic. Chinese stakeholders, notably China’s Telecom, has announced interest in the project (Shagina & Buchanan, 2021). Moreover, HMN Technologies (formerly Huawei Marine and responsible for undersea telecom cable communication) has been selected to provide technical platforms in the construction of the Arctic Connect (Jüris, 2020). Participation in the build-up of Arctic information technology solutions is aimed at benefitting Chinese companies commercially and making them more globally competitive, but it is also to try out and improve Chinese technology under the harsh and challenging conditions in the Arctic. Presently, however, it seems that Megafon has decided to temporarily put a halt to the project in order to reassess the structure and economy of the project (Staalesen, 2021a). To summarize, the above examination shows how Chinese researchers, companies and other Chinese stakeholders are increasingly applying and developing their knowledge and new technological equipment and solutions in their Arctic engagement. They aim to take advantage of the new opportunities opening up in the region, but it should not be only narrowly understood as getting access to Arctic resources and shipping routes. It is also a broader focus on taking advantage of the opportunities that the harsh and challenging conditions give for testing and improving Chinese knowledge and technology. This also partly comes with the opportunity for cooperation with researchers and companies from other countries that are more experienced in the Arctic, such as, for example, the cooperation with Finnish counterparts on the design and building of the Chinese icebreaker, the Snow Dragon 2. This way, China gains access to advanced knowledge and new technologies that are also highly valuable for China in other non-Arctic areas or sectors. This underlines how technology plays a role in China’s Arctic engagement as a means as well as an end in itself, as we further elaborate on in the next section.

Linking up with key domestic objectives and long-term visions and plans As we have shown in the two previous sections, technological advancement takes up a growing role in China’s Arctic engagement. The Chinese themselves often present their contribution to developing Arctic science and technological solutions in the region as a means to establish China as an Arctic stakeholder (e.g. Zhang et al, 2019). In addition, the Chinese highlight how sharing their knowledge and technological capacity and strengthening their cooperation with Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders, can help increase the attraction and legitimacy of China as an Arctic stakeholder (e.g. Sun, 2018). However, in addition to this more widely shared view of technology as a means for China’s Arctic engagement, China’s technological involvement in the Arctic links up with key domestic objectives and plays into China’s long-term visions and plans about how to ensure its role as a leading great power. Technology is a key component in China’s national development policies and more broadly core features of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s strategy for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” (Zhonghua minzu weida fuxing), which aims to elevate the country to great power status on par with the US (Xinhua, 2018). While innovation and technology have long been key focal points

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in Beijing’s efforts to reform and develop the Chinese economic structure – for example as pillars in Deng Xiaoping’s “four modernisations”2 – the importance of technology has been elevated even further since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012. Especially in the context of developments in the international system in recent years, where Beijing perceives the trend moving towards more uncertainty and increased hostility, particularly between China and the US, the need to build China’s own independent and resilient economy and technological prowess has been amplified (Pei, 2020). Indeed, recent key strategic plans, such as China’s latest Five-Year Plan, or the so-called “Made in China 2025”3, strategy have formulated clear priorities for China to become a leading technological power in a wide range of technological sectors, and to ensure self-sufficiency in order to reduce dependency on foreign technologies and markets. China is particularly keen on advancements in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), digitalisation, and intelligent manufacturing (Gill, 2021). The domestic incentives play a crucial role – Chinese leaders are keenly aware that raising the ability to innovate and develop cutting-edge technologies are critical to restructure, upgrade and diversify its economic structure away from the previous export-manufacturing based model to a more sophisticated knowledge and service-based structure. One of the greatest tasks facing China is how to overcome the so-called “middle-income gap” (Glawe & Wagner, 2017). Broadly speaking, China will need to implement several crucial economic reforms to switch the prior heavy focus on capital-intense and low labour cost strategies to improved efficiency and higher productivity. A special focus is on innovation and advanced technology as the driver for China’s future economic structure. Ultimately, sustaining economic growth and prosperity constitutes a core priority for Beijing, because it is a fundamental requirement in order to ensure continued domestic stability, and thus the domestic legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China (Dickson, 2016). The Chinese focus on ensuring access for its researchers, companies and other Chinese stakeholders to the Arctic, and the emphasis on Chinese technological advancement in the region, have to be viewed in this broader context. Technology thus plays a role in China’s Arctic engagement as an end in itself – or put in another way, the Arctic as a crucial frontier for increasing Chinese technological level implies that ensuring Chinese access to the Arctic is a means within China’s national development strategy. The emphasis on technological advancement in China also has implications for the modernisation of the Chinese military and links up with Beijing’s ambition to develop a world-class Chinese military by 2049 (e.g. Fravel, 2020). This dual-use approach to technological developments is encapsulated in the so-called “military-civil fusion” (MCF) strategy (Kania, 2019). Ensuring Chinese access to the Arctic is also in this context seen as important – again, various Chinese activities in the region can help China acquire important knowledge and experience and push for development of Chinese technology that also have potential military applications. Generally, technology plays an important role for states that aim to enhance their military presence and improving military operational capacity in the Arctic. For instance, the Russian Navy has relied heavily on research on oceanography and meteorology, and the US has made significant research investments and efforts in similar fields, which have resulted in improved operational and tactical awareness for the US Navy (Pedersen, 2019). Sørensen & Weidacher Hsiung


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While China’s military presence in the Arctic so far is limited, it is clear that China’s technological advancement in the Arctic such as its Beidou system can benefit the Chinese military as it gains a domestic Chinese system for guidance and weapon targeting, and for increasing situational awareness. As we will discuss in the conclusion below, such a dual-use approach presents challenges for Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders in their cooperation with China in the Arctic. First, however, we turn to examine the Chinese response to the growing constraints and challenges – their reduced manoeuvring space – in the Arctic.

Access to the Arctic as a persistent priority – ‘tactical retreat’ In the context of intensifying US-China great power competition, the US as well as several of the US allies, including the ones in the Arctic such as Kingdom of Denmark, Canada and Norway, are increasingly sceptical regarding China’s Arctic engagement. Fundamentally, the US views China as its main great power competitor (The White House, 2017). In his speech at the Arctic Council in 2019, former US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo warned of Chinese revisionist behaviour in the Arctic and made it clear that the US now also views the Arctic as a venue for US-China great power competition (Pompeo, 2019; Sørensen, 2019a). While the Biden administration has taken a more traditional diplomatic approach, the basic contours of the US-China great power competition persist, and it will likely only further increase in the years, if not decades, to come. In the Arctic region, this US-China great power competition has manifested itself with an increasingly active US trying to decrease China’s presence and influence in the region. For instance, Washington has tried to halt Chinese involvement in Greenland, including attempts by China to buy an old naval base and to construct new airports in Greenland (Sørensen, 2018). Beyond this, the US is also boosting its own Arctic capabilities such as, for example, its plans to acquire new icebreakers (Humpert, 2020). Technology constitutes a core issue in the US-China great power competition. A case in point is how the US has embarked on a full-scale effort to limit China’s ambitions to take the lead in the next generation of telecommunication technologies, exemplified by the heated controversy over Chinese telecommunication company Huawei and its global 5G network ambitions. The US has implemented stricter export controls, investment restrictions and is urging US companies and US allies and partners, including in the Arctic, to restrict their business engagement with China (Segal, 2019). Often the US highlights the above-mentioned dual-use application of Chinese knowledge and technologies, including the Chinese knowledge and technologies applied and developed in the Arctic. For instance, in its annual report to Congress, the US Department of Defense stated that China’s “civilian research could support a strengthened Chinese military presence in the Arctic Ocean, which could include deploying submarines to the region as a deterrent against nuclear attacks” (US Department of Defense, 2019: 5). The Chinese response to the US offensive toward China in the Arctic has so far been rather measured and cautious. There are indications of a kind of Chinese “tactical retreat” with reduced Chinese activities in the Arctic states that are allied to the US and are NATO members such as Greenland (Kingdom of Denmark), Iceland and Norway, while China has increased the priority given to Russia (Sørensen, 2019a). The “knitting China into the region” approach mentioned above is increasingly difficult in the context of the intensifying security tension and heightened mutual strategic mistrust between China and the US. The Chinese are therefore seemingly adjusting their approach and tactics.

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However, establishing presence and influence in the Arctic is – as elaborated above – a persistent Chinese priority that links up with China’s ability to succeed in the ongoing restructuring and upgrading of the Chinese economy, and plays into China’s long-term visions and plans about how to ensure its role as a leading great power. Despite toning down its ambitions and reducing its activities, the Chinese therefore continue to follow developments in the region closely and seek to identify opportunities for China to engage without huge disproportionate risks of backlash and costs. A case in point is the two recent Chinese Arctic expeditions – the 11th and the 12th in the autumn of 2020 and 2021 respectively – which seem to have operated exclusively in international waters likely in order to decrease the risk of rejection and negative coverage if China had to apply for permissions to conduct activities in the exclusive economic zones of the Arctic coastal states (Feng, 2020; Staalesen, 2021b). In many ways, such careful and calculated Chinese reaction is a continuation of the more confident and sophisticated Chinese engagement in the Arctic that has developed over the recent decade (Sørensen, 2019b). In addition, it is further probable that the growing US opposition to China’s presence and activities in the Arctic, including US efforts to mobilize the other Arctic states, causes Chinese companies and businesses to reassess their options in the region. In Greenland, there have been incidents pointing to such broader Chinese reassessment and restraint, for example when the Chinese state-owned construction company, China Communication Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC), chose to withdraw its bid for the construction of airports in Greenland in June 2019 referring to political and practical barriers and challenges (Gustafson, 2019).4

Conclusion In this article, we have set out to highlight how China’s determination to ensure the country a leading role in the development and application of new technologies is linked in complex ways with China’s efforts to establish an Arctic presence. We demonstrate how technology plays a role in China’s Arctic engagement as a means as well as an end in itself. It thus goes beyond the question of ensuring access for Chinese researchers and companies to tangible Arctic resources. It is also a question of ensuring access for them to operate in the Arctic, where they then in the process expect to apply and develop knowledge and technology crucial both for the domestic efforts to restructure and upgrade the Chinese economy and for realising China’s long-term visions and plans about how to ensure its role as a leading great power, including developing a world-class Chinese military. As such, technological engagement in the Arctic is part of China’s effort to ensure the country is in a leading position in the domains of innovation, science and technology. We use this to underline how the Chinese priority of the Arctic is persistent and long-term. Therefore, we suggest that the adjustment in China’s approach and tactics in the Arctic in recent years is best understood as a “tactical retreat”. China has toned down its Arctic ambitions but continues to closely follow developments in the region and will engage when it is assessed as viable, such as when it does not bring China in direct opposition to the US and involves huge disproportionate risks of a backlash and costs. In other words, the focus and intensity of China’s Arctic engagement is turned up and down depending on cost-benefit assessments in Beijing that are especially influenced by US policy towards China’s role in the region. Beijing, however, continues to discretely engage with Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders emphasising how cooperation with Chinese stakeholders, including access to Chinese knowledge and technology, are to their benefit.

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What are the implications of our findings for Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders? China is investing heavily and are developing knowledge and technology that Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders have interests in as they have to deal with the challenges they face in a rapidly changing Arctic. The challenge for them, however, is how to engage with the various Chinese stakeholders without coming into conflict with the US or assisting unwanted Chinese activities in the region. It is difficult, and it will be increasingly difficult going forward. We suggest that the focus for Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders engaging in cooperation and projects with Chinese stakeholders has to be on identifying and managing – or mitigating – vulnerabilities and risks. It requires building knowledge and intelligence on China within the Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders, such as on Chinese politics and economic statecraft, in order to be able to carefully analyze the stakeholders and methods involved in each Chinese activity, and to assess the potential vulnerabilities and risks engendered. Such a thorough analysis is also a good starting point for designing useful legal and institutional mechanisms or frameworks, for example in relation to investment screening. As pointed out above, it is a particularly complex challenge to deal with the dual-use purpose – the potential parallel civilian and military use – of Chinese knowledge and technology in the region, including as it relates to Chinese research expeditions and stations, satellite stations, resource extraction and infrastructure projects (e.g. Humpert, 2019). China continues to have a Leninist one-party state, where the party is ever-present and involved – but to different degrees – in all matters of Chinese politics, economics and society. There are thus always complex relations and overlaps between the party-state, the military, universities, state-owned national and provincial companies, private companies and other Chinese entities, which amplifies the challenge of categorizing Chinese activities and assessing the potential vulnerabilities and risks they bring (Sørensen, 2021). Hence, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly whom you are dealing with and what the driving motives are. Ideally, one has to look into each of the Chinese activities in the Arctic, such as concrete projects and agreements, in order to assess the level of party involvement and control, as well as to gauge the potential military use and value. Besides being able to identify the Chinese stakeholders involved, it is a question of analyzing the methods used. The danger is that all Chinese activities in the Arctic are characterized as dual-use or as entailing too high vulnerabilities and risks preventing any scientific and technological cooperation with China on Arctic-related issues. This is not helpful for dealing with the challenges materialising in a rapidly changing Arctic. One way to go about this is also to put more efforts into identifying key topics and sectors, and proactively formulate rules and regulations for engagement with Chinese stakeholders. Another way is to seek to integrate Chinese research activities, including research stations, into a broader international collaborative setting (Conley, 2018: 11). So far, Arctic states and other Arctic stakeholders have tended to deal with Chinese activities in the region in a reactive and ad hoc manner, often also resulting in growing tension within the Arctic states between stakeholders with different interests. There is no easy way around this – China is emerging as a leading knowledge and technology provider and in order to deal with the challenges in the Arctic, in particular climate change, all knowledge and technology need to be mobilised and combined (e.g. Devyatkin, 2021). The overview and assessment of the role that technological advancement plays in China’s Arctic engagement, which we have provided in this article, linking it also with China’s national development strategy, is hopefully of value in such efforts.

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Notes 1. It is worth noting that China’s Antarctic scientific research activities remain more comprehensive. For instance, China has five permanent research stations in Antarctic and has conducted 37 Antarctic research exhibitions compared to 12 Arctic research exhibitions as of September 2021. 2. The other three were agriculture, industry and defense. 3. The strategy was announced in 2015 by China’s premier Li Keqiang – the “Made in China” strategy identifies nine priority tasks and ten core industries where China aims to lead innovation and development and created globally competitive businesses. 4. CCCC in particular referred to difficulties obtaining visas for their employees, so they could travel to Greenland and do the initial onsite surveys. The issuing of visas also to Greenland is administered in Copenhagen.

References Brady, Anne-Marie (2017). China as a Polar Great Power. UK: Cambridge University Press Brady, Anne-Marie (2019, December 10). Facing Up to China’s Military Interests in the Arctic. China Brief, 19:21. Retrieved from Facing Up to China’s Military Interests in the Arctic Jamestown Chan, Minnie (2019, June 20). China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system breaks underwater barriers, naval shipbuilder says. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3015265/chinas-beidou-satellitenavigation-system-breaks-underwater. China News Service (2020, September 17). China's polar icebreaker heading home from Arctic expedition. Retrieved from http://www.ecns.cn/news/2020-09-17/detailihaaeqyp8471195.shtml. Chinese Academy of Sciences (2018, April 17). Zongfen qianding beiji kongjian guance lianhe yanjiu zhongxin hezuo xieyi [China and Finland sign China and Finland sign a cooperation agreement on Arctic Space Observation Joint Research Center]. Retrieved from http://www.radi.cas.cn/dtxw/rdxw/201804/t20180417_4997963.html. Conley, Heather A. (2018) China’s Arctic Dream. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved from China's Arctic Dream (csis-website-prod.s3.amazonaws.com) Conley, Heather A. and Colin Wall (2021). Hybrid threats in the Arctic: Scenarios and policy options in a vulnerable region. Hybrid CoE Strategic Analysis, No. 28. Retrieved from 20210826_Hybrid_CoE_Strategic_Analysis_28_Hybrid_Threats_in_the_Arctic_WEB.pd f (hybridcoe.fi) Compilation and Translation Bureau (2016). The 13th Five-Year Plan for the Economic and Social Development of The People’s Republic of China (2016-2020), Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Beijing, China. Devyatkin, Pavel (2021, April) Science cooperation with the show dragon: can the US and China work together on the Arctic Climate Crisis? The Arctic Institute. Retrieved from Science Cooperation with the Snow Dragon: Can the U.S. and China work together on the Arctic Climate Crisis? - The Arctic Institute Sørensen & Weidacher Hsiung


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Dickson, Bruce (2016). The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Survival. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Doshi, Rush, Alexis Dale-Huang and Gaoqi Zhang (2021, April) Northern Expedition. China’s Arctic Activities and Ambitions. Brookings. Retrieved from Northern expedition: China's Arctic ambition and activism (brookings.edu) Feng, Shuang (2020, September 17). China's polar icebreaker heading home from Arctic expedition, Xinhua. Retrieved from http://www.ecns.cn/news/2020-09-17/detailihaaeqyp8471195.shtml Fravel, Taylor M. (2020). China’s “World-Class Military” Ambitions: Origins and Implications, The Washington Quarterly, 43:1, 85-99. Gill, Bates (2021, March 22). China’s quest for greater technological self-reliance. Melbourne Asia Review, Edition 6. Retrieved from: China’s quest for greater technological self-reliance | Melbourne Asia Review Glawe, Linda and Helmut Wagner (2017). The People’s Republic of China in the Middle-Income Gap. ADBI Working Paper 749. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute. Goldstein, J. Lyle (2020, March 16). China Is Building Nuclear Icebreakers To Seek Out A “Polar Silk Road”. National Interest. Retrieved from https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/chinabuilding-nuclear-icebreakers-seek-out-polar-silk-road-132417 Gustafson, Oskar (2019, August 14). A Touch of Frost: Danish Concerns over Chinese Investments. ISDP Voices. Retrieved from https://isdp.eu/danish-concerns-chineseinvestment-greenland/ Hong, Nong (2020), China's Role in the Arctic. Observing and Being Observed. New York, USA: Routledge. Hsiung, Christopher Weidacher (2016). China and Arctic energy: drivers and limitations. Polar Journal, 6(2), 1-16. Hsiung, Christopher Weidacher (2021). China’s Technology Cooperation with Russia: Geopolitics, economics and regime security. The Chinese Jounrnal of International Politics, 14:3, 447-479. Hsiung, Christopher Weidacher and Tom Røseth (2019). The Arctic dimension in Sino-Russian Relations. In Jo Inge Bekkevold and Bobo Lo London (eds.) Sino-Russian relations in the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan, 167-187. Humpert, Malte (2019, September 2019). China Looking to Expand Satellite Coverage in Arctic, Experts Warn of Military Purpose. High North News. Retrieved from https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/china-lookingexpand-satellite-coverage-arcticexperts-warn-military-purpose. Humpert, Malte (2020, July 14). U.S. Looking to Acquire 10 Additional Icebreakers, Possibly from Finland. High North News. Retrieved from https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/uslooking-acquire-10-additional-icebreakers-possibly-finland. Jakobson, Linda (2015). China’s security and the Arctic. In Lowell Dittmer and Maochun Yu (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Chinese Security. London: Routledge, 155-166. Jones, Andrew (2020, February 28). China to complete its answer to GPS with Beidou navigation satellite launches in March, May. SpaceNews. Retrieved from https://spacenews.com/chinato-complete-its-answer-to-gps-with-beidou-navigation-satellite-launches-in-march-may/. Jüris, Frank (2020, March 7). Handing over infrastructure for China’s strategic objectives: Arctic Connect and the Digital Silk Road in the Arctic. Sinopsis. Estonia: International Center for

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Defense and Security (ICDS).Retrieved from Handing over Infrastructure for China’s Strategic Objectives: ‘Arctic Connect’ and the Digital Silk Road in the Arctic - ICDS Kania, Elsa B. (2019, August 27). In Military-Civil Fusion, China is Learning Lessons from the United States and Starting to Innovate. The Strategy Bridge. Retrieved from https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2019/8/27/in-military-civil-fusion-china-islearning-lessons-from-the-united-states-and-starting-to-innovate. Kopra, Sanna (2020, June 18). China and its Arctic Trajectories: Final Remarks. The Arctic Institute. Retrieved from China and its Arctic Trajectories: Final Remarks | The Arctic Institute. Lanteigne, Marc (2021, March 12). The Polar Policies in China’s New Five-Year Plan. The Diplomat. Retrieved from https://thediplomat.com/2021/03/the-polar-policies-in-chinas-new-fiveyear-plan/. Martinson, Ryan D (2019, December 20). The Role of the Arctic in Chinese Naval Strategy. China Brief. Retrieved from https://jamestown.org/program/the-role-of-the-arctic-inchinese-naval-strategy/ Moe, Arild (2021) En kinesisk jernbane til Arktis? Historien om Belkomur – så langt. Nordisk Østforum 35, 126–143. Retrieved from En kinesisk jernbane til Arktis? Historien om Belkomur – så langt ('A Chinese Railway to the Arctic? The Story of Belkomur – so Far') - FNI Moe, Arild and Olav Schram Stokke (2019). Asian Countries and Arctic Shipping: Policies, Interests and Footprints on Governance. Arctic Review on Law and Politics, 10, 24–52. Nilsen, Thomas (2017, December 28). Governor Orlov confirms China as key Arctic partner. The Barents Observer. Retrieved from https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-andenergy/2017/12/governor-orlov-eyes-china-key-arctic-partner. Nilsen, Thomas (2021, May 30). World’s largest LNG construction yard taking shape in Belokamenka. The Barents Observer. Retrieved from World’s largest LNG construction yard taking shape in Belokamenka | The Independent Barents Observer (thebarentsobserver.com) Pedersen, Torbjørn (2019). Polar Research and the Secrets of the Arctic. Arctic Review on Law and Politics, 10, 103–129. Pei, Minxin (2020, December 16) China’s Fateful Inward Turn: Beijing’s New Economic Strategy as Spelled Out by the Resolution of the CCP Central Committee’s 5th Plenum. China Leadership Monitor, 66. Retrieved from Pei | China Leadership (prcleader.org) Ping, Su and Maximilian Mayer (2018). Science Diplomacy and Trust Building: ‘Science China’ in the Arctic. Global Policy, 9:23, 23-28. Pompeo, Michael R. (2019, May 7). Remarks at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/remarks-at-the-arcticcouncil-ministerial-meeting-2/. Segal, Adam (2019, October 23). Geopolitics and Technology – A Conflict Without End? The US-China Tech War. RSIS Commentary, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. Retrieved from Geopolitics and Technology – A Conflict Without End? The USChina Tech War | RSIS Schreiber, Melody (2018, October 31) A New China-Iceland Arctic science observatory is already expanding its focus. Arctic Today. Retrieved from A new China-Iceland Arctic science observatory is already expanding its focus - ArcticToday

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Shagina, Maria and Elizabeth Buchanan (2021, January 17). China enters the Arctic Digitalization Race. The National Interests. Retrieved from https://nationalinterest.org/feature/chinaenters-arctic-digitization-race-176541. Sørensen, Camilla T. N. (2018). China is in the Arctic to Stay as a Great Power: How China’s Increasingly Confident, Proactive and Sophisticated Arctic Diplomacy Plays into Kingdom of Denmark Tensions. In Lassi Heininen and Heather Exner-Pirot (eds), Arctic Yearbook 2018. Retrieved from 3_AY2018_Sorensen.pdf (arcticyearbook.com) Sørensen, Camilla T. N. (2019a). Intensifying great power politics play into the Arctic – implications for China’s Arctic strategy. In Lassi Heininen, Heather Exner-Pirot and Justin Barnes (eds), Arctic Yearbook 2019. Retrieved from Microsoft Word - AY2019 Sorensen FINAL.docx (arcticyearbook.com) Sørensen, Camilla T. N. (2019b). The ice dragon – Chinese interests in the Arctic. Strategic Analysis, 5, 2019. The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats. Retrieved from https://www.hybridcoe.fi/news/strategic-analysis-5-2019-the-ice-dragonchinese-interests-in-the-arctic. Sørensen, Camilla T. N. (2021). China and the Arctic: Establishing presence and influence. In Paul Dickson (ed.), The Arctic and Hybrid Threats. The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (forthcoming). Sørensen, Camilla T. N and Elena Klimenko (2017). Emerging Chinese–Russian Cooperation in the Arctic. SIPRI Policy Paper, 46. Stockholm: Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute. Retrieved from Emerging Chinese–Russian Cooperation in the Arctic: Possibilities and Constraints (sipri.org) Staalesen, Alte (2021a, May 28). Megafon halts trans-Arctic cable project Arctic Connect. The Barents Observer. Retrieved from https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2021/05/megafon-halts-its-trans-arctic-cableproject. Staalesen, Alte (2021b, August 12). Chinese icebreaker sails to North Pole, explores remote Arctic ridge. The Arctic Today. Retrieved from Chinese icebreaker sails to North Pole, explores remote Arctic ridge - ArcticToday State Council (2018, January 26). China’s Arctic Policy. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China. Retrieved from https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/188/159/234/1516941033919.html. Sovcomflot (2019, June 7). Sovcomflot, NOVATEK, COSCO, Silk Road Fund sign joint venture agreement. Press release. Retrieved from http://sovcomflot.ru/en/press_office/press_releases/item101590.html. Sun, Yun (2018). The Intricacy of China’s Arctic Policy. Policy Paper. Stimson Center. Retrieved from Microsoft Word - Stimson - The Intricacy of China's Arctic Policy - Yun Sun The Arctic Institute (2020, June 19). China (country information). Retrieved from https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/countries/china/. The White House (2017). National Security Strategy of United States of America. Tillman, Henry, Jian Yang and Egill Thor Nielsson (2018). The Polar Silk Road: China’s New Frontier of International Cooperation. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, 14:3, 345-362

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Triolo, Paul, Kevin Allison, Clarise Brown and Kelsey Broderick (2020, April 8) The Digital Silk Road. Expanding China’s Digital Footprint. Eurasia Group. Retrieved from Digital-Silk-RoadExpanding-China-Digital-Footprint-1.pdf (eurasiagroup.net) US Department of Defense (2019). Annual Report to Congress. Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019. Washington D.C. Office of the Secretary of Defense. Wei, Zexun, Hongxia Chen, Ruibo Lei, Xiaoguo Yu, Tao Zhang, Lina Lin, Zhongxiang Tian, Yanpei Zhuang, Tao Li and Zhuoli Yuan (2020). Overview of the 9th Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition. Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters, 13:1, 1-7. Xinhua (2015, June 24). Guojia anquan fa caoan ni zengjia taikong deng xinxing lingyu de anquan weihu renwu. [The draft national security law will increase security in space and other new areas. Retrieved from http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2015/06-24/7363693.shtml Xinhua (2017, June 6). Full text: Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201706/20/c_136380414.htm. Xinhua (2018, May 29). China Focus: Xi calls for developing China into world science and technology leader. Retrieved from http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201805/29/c_137213175.htm Xinhua (2021, June 16). China’s polar observing satellite starts Arctic mission. Retrieved from http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-06/16/c_139143622.htm, Yang, Jian (2018). Zhongguo de Beiji zhengce jieshi [An Interpretation of China’s Arctic Policy]. Pacific Journal, 26:3, 1-11. Zhang, Lulu, Jian Yang, Jingjing Zang, Yuhong Wang and Liguang Sun (2019). Reforming China’s polar science and technology system. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 44:3-4, 387401. Zhao, Lei (2019, September 30). Icebreaker, satellite and stations bridge polar research gap”, China Daily. Retrieved from https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201909/30/WS5d9178efa310cf3e3556e5cf.html. Zhou, Laura (2020, December 10). China planning to launch satellite to monitor Arctic shipping routes”, South China Morning Post. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3113376/china-planninglaunch-satellite-monitor-arctic-shippingroutes?fbclid=IwAR1zEE49gGyvdP5Hi9wNfMMFIbdUDzxDh4uadrdZvB2M5C7lFfMTlFEY7c.

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Section III: Mapping Russian Arctic Development


Strategy, Competition, and Legitimization: Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation Sergey Sukhankin, Troy Bouffard & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

In late October 2020, President Vladimir Putin approved the “Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period through 2035.”1 Although the casual observer might dismiss this document as yet another Arctic strategy recasting old ideas with fresh rhetoric, the importance of the timing and substance of this Russia strategy is not lost on Arctic observers. The Russian government sequentially released three major Arctic national documents in 2020 that lay out direct requirements and intent across political, military, economic, social, and environmental security sectors. Concurrently, the Kremlin decisively arranged its Arctic political leadership and national advisory groups. Throughout, Russian leadership effectively scripted Arctic national priorities and developed them into narratives, which were synchronized across relevant sectors. How should Western analysts read the Arctic in Russian domestic and foreign policy discourse under Putin, who has “set the task to restore the development and controllability of Russia’s Arctic territories and raised … AZRF development to the level of a national project”?2 French analyst Morgane Fert-Malka has observed that “Russia’s Arctic policy and postures are often misunderstood, overblown, or underrated because they take place in a complex regional context and result from complex internal politics.”3 Thus one might wonder if Russian motivations, core interests, and strategic priorities changed substantively in the face of newly emergent challenges, or is Russian Arctic policy “evolutionary and largely consistent,” as political scientist Maria Lagutina suggests?4 The three key policy documents in Russia’s updated plan for the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF) (see Figure 1), when read together, provide essential insights into Russia’s broader Arctic strategy. In this article, we consider areas of Russian Arctic national priority, Sergey Sukhankin is a Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation. Troy Bouffard is a Faculty Instructor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. P. Whitney Lackenbauer is a Professor at Trent University.


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contextualize the Kremlin’s latest strategic documents, and provide perspectives on current and near-term opportunities for Russia with respect to Arctic strategic policies and behavior. We observe a continued emphasis on economic development, particularly as tied to the Northern Sea Route (Sevmorput), and to improving quality of life for Russians living in the AZRF. These considerations inform dual messaging with respect to its international agenda, which promotes the Arctic as both a region of peace and stability and as a space where Russia must expand its military capabilities to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is frequently read in the West as a sign of Russia’s growing assertiveness and potential danger. Russian strategic interests cannot be explained by a simple “hard power” or “soft power” dichotomy5 – they are driven by both. We also note that, while Russia seeks to enhance private sector investment in the Arctic, internal and external drivers constrain these plans. Therefore, it would make sense to adopt a balanced approach that avoids extremes when forecasting the practical results of Russia’s current initiatives. Figure 1. Map of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

Source (and hi-resolution version): https://www.uaf.edu/casr/publications/other/

Literature review Russian experts dedicated to the problems of the Russian Arctic and Kremlin’s regional strategy fall into three distinct, yet partially interdependent, schools of thought. The first school, which we conditionally defined as the “geopolitical school,” is comprised of a broad and diverse group whose opinions do not always converge. These experts are, however, connected in their vision of the Arctic as a “geopolitical battlefield” between great powers. When referring to the region, many of these experts actively employ anti-Western vocabulary, featuring ideas about “conquest”, “great game”, “greatness”, “struggle”, “sovereignty”, “increasing conflict potential”, and “confrontation.” Sukhankin, Bouffard & Lackenbauer


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This points to their conceptual vision of the Arctic as an arena for competition, not a platform for inter-governmental dialogue. The fundamental idea that connects members of this school are postulates (clichés) about a “worsening military-political situation” in the region and “growing competition for Arctic resource,” as well as the desire of non-Russian actors to “undermine Russia’s dominating regional position.” Although these authors consider competition in the Arctic as a part of a larger geopolitical game (and despite ongoing militarization of the region), they general concur that regional competition is unlikely to lead to major military conflict. The most prolific writers in this school include Alexander Khramchihin, who sees the Arctic as a potential field of competition between Russia, China, and the US, but who argues that Moscow and Ottawa have many common and few dividing lines in the Arctic.6 Another noteworthy expert, Valery Zhuravel, the head of the Centre for Arctic Research at the Institute of Europe under the auspices of the Russian Academy of Science, sees the US, China, Japan, and Finland as posing a primary threat to Russia in aiming to internationalize the status of the Northern Sea Route.7 Other authors – primarily former military officers and military thinkers – believe that military-political competition will grow in the future,8 with NATO posing the main challenge to Russia and its national interests.9 A second, “nationalist” school is understudied in the West. Consequently, their role and influence on the Kremlin is misunderstood. This school is primarily grouped around authors coming from the ultra-conservative nationalistic Izborsk Club. Insisting on Russia’s need to increase Russia’s military buildup in the Arctic, this group includes such prominent conservatives and influential thinkers as Leonid Ivashov, Vladislav Shurygin, and Alexey Podberezkin10 who draw clear “red lines” for foreign actors seeking to undermine Russia’s sovereignty in the Arctic. Many members of this school of thought also extend their assertion, underscoring not only the strategic but also the sacred place of the Arctic region in Russia’s statehood and its fundamental meaning for Russia as the new centre of greater Eurasia, which means that Moscow has to embark on expansionist policies in this region. Alexander Dugin, Alexander Mazharov (deputy governor of the YamalNenets Autonomous Region), Vyacheslav Shtyrov (former Head of the Sakha Republic), and devoted Stalinist Alexander Prokhanov are prominent members of this school,11 which envisages the Arctic region as “the northernmost part of the Russian World.”12 A third school of “institutionalists,” consisting of experts from different political orientations, describes Russia’s Arctic strategy as pragmatic and commensurate with its national interests. They see military buildup and other Russian behaviour – which they acknowledge is sometimes questionable by international standards – as motivated by a combination of internal factors, such as Russia’s political culture and negative experience in dealing with the West in the 1990s, as well as external circumstances. They also argue that, despite what Western commentators interpret as aggressive Russian moves in Ukraine, Georgia, and Syria, Russia does not aim to undertake similar actions in the Arctic. Alexander Sergunin, Valery Konyshev, and Dmitry Trenin13 are key representatives of this “institutionalist” school. Foreign writers, experts and thinkers analyzing Russia’s Arctic strategy are conditionally divided into two large schools of thought. First, the “neorealists” pursue a hardline approach toward Russia, which they cast as a rogue and increasingly assertive power (alongside China) that seeks to disrupt the existing balance of power in the Arctic, and generally call on the United States and its NATO allies to confront Russia in the region. According to the neorealist school, Moscow’s actions in the region are primarily driven by geopolitical competition in a zero-sum game. Therefore, Western allies must confront Russia using all means necessary to prevent it from Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation


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expanding its control in and over the region. Keir Giles, Pavel Baev, Stephen Blank, and Paul Goble are prominent analysts within this school. In general, these authors – and like-minded experts – do not see room for the West to engage in constructive dialogue with Russia in the Arctic owing to the Kremlin’s growing assertiveness and violation of international law as demonstrated in other parts of the world. Similar ideas are expressed by Canadian political scientist Rob Huebert, who argues that “Canada could find itself pushed to the margins in the New Arctic Strategic Triangle Environment (NASTE)” as a result of growing Russian and Chinese assertiveness in the Arctic.14 A second school of thought, the “neoliberal institutionalists,” recognizes that Russia – by far the largest player in the Arctic – has internationally-recognized sovereign rights and special interests in this region and, therefore, has a right to protect them. These experts also argue that the probability of military conflict emanating from regional disputes is highly unlikely and that Russia, despite investing in re-building its military capabilities in the region after allowing them to degrade substantively in the 1990s, is not likely to violate international law through military coercion in the Arctic. Thus far, these authors observe, Russia has remained a stalwart promoter of an institutionalist approach in the region, adhering to international legal norms through the UN and other major multilateral forums. Furthermore, the Arctic region remains a strategic source of economic dividends for Moscow, which makes the prospect of military escalation highly undesirable. Two of the authors of this article (Troy Bouffard and Whitney Lackenbauer) fall within this school, which also includes Elana Wilson Rowe, Andreas Østhagen, Mathieu Boulègue, Elizabeth Buchanan, Kari Roberts, and Marlène Laruelle, all of whom emphasize that Russia faces significant challenges that constrain its ability to fully dominate the region. On this basis, Russia is likely to seize opportunities to highlight its Arctic developments and priorities in carefully crafted language during its 2021-23 chairmanship of the Arctic Council, with a goal of expanding and enhancing its self-defined position in the Circumpolar North. It has set the major pieces in place to pursue a legitimizing campaign, and international audiences should expect clear messaging that emphasizes the Arctic’s importance for Russia and the centrality of Russia in circumpolar affairs. Optimistically, this is part of an overarching strategy that does not seek to revise Arctic governance structures or undermine regional peace but represents Russia’s strategic ‘center of gravity’ for the Arctic, designed to showcase the importance of its northern priorities and interests. Pessimistically, such goals could easily be undermined by a combination of internal factors (such as scarce funds and expanding military expenditures) and heightened competition with the West.15

Russian Arctic strategy in context: Updating Russia’s strategic plan for the AZRF Russia has solidified development of its comprehensive strategic plan for the Arctic region over the past year. In March 2020, Putin signed the “The Foundations of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic through 2035”16 which outlines key goals and Moscow’s Arctic agenda, including a focus on exploitation of natural resources.17 Following this direction, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic submitted a draft implementation strategy for the government’s consideration in May 2020.18 The third document, released on 26 October, outlines the mechanisms to realize the ‘State Policy’ and ‘Socio-Economic Development’ plans in the Arctic. “Most of the challenges tabled in terms of developing the Russian Arctic are indeed domestic in nature,” political scientist Elizabeth Buchanan observes, which is predictable given Sukhankin, Bouffard & Lackenbauer


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that the strategic document is dedicated to developing Russia’s Arctic zone.19 The documents provide both bureaucratic guidance as well as the primary content from which internal actors can develop and deliver consistent narratives. In an authoritarian state with significantly centralized powers, Putin and the Kremlin face little governmental resistance or social interference when enacting core strategies. Unlike the democratic West, Russia does not need civic buy-in and public deliberation, only the illusion of it. Nor does the illusion of election concerns and consequences matter the same way that they do in liberal democracies. For the West, inclusivity remains the hallmark of a healthy relationship between society and government. Embracing viewpoint diversity and dissent can impede strategic coherence and cohesiveness, however, particularly when multiple strategies must be synchronized across various stakeholder groups to achieve optimal national objectives. By contrast, even when autocratic leaders pursue the wrong course of action, they can publish new strategies to adjust course while their subordinates suffer the brunt of blame. With regard to Russia’s new Arctic strategy, members of Duma (депутаты Госдумы) reportedly were not consulted or given opportunity to deliberate or contribute to development.20 In 2019, veteran analyst Pavel Baev of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) observed that Russia’s two-track Arctic policy pursues “poorly compatible tracks of expanding military activities and committing to international cooperation.” Russian commentators would likely point to similar dynamics in the regional policies of the other Arctic states as well. Similarly, they might apply Baev’s observation that “Russia’s Arctic policy, as it is officially formulated and interpreted in mainstream Russian commentary, [features] an astounding amount of exaggeration and inflated threat assessment.” Baev’s evidence, however, identifies specific hallmarks of Russian narratives that were subsequently reflected in their 2020 strategic documents: The volume and value of natural resources on the Arctic shelf, particularly hydrocarbons, is grossly overestimated without meaningful Russian data, so that the only reference point even for informed Moscow experts is the appraisal of US Geological Survey from 2008, which is habitually misinterpreted. The appetites of international oil companies are perceived as insatiable, and the struggle for resources, as well as for access to transport routes, is identified in the Foreign Policy Concept (2016) as a key driver for escalation of global tensions. Expeditious growth of international shipping in the Northern Sea Route (Sevmorput) is confidently predicted, despite the miniscule volume of transit traffic in the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 navigations. The most dramatic of all exaggerations, however, is about the intensity of external military threats to Russia’s interests in the Arctic.21 Baev’s nuanced critique also explains why Moscow’s “oscillating” commitment to circumpolar cooperation “should not be taken for a mere camouflage for Russia’s military buildup in the High North.” Stakeholders such as Gazprom and Rosneft understandably seek to promote Arctic exceptionalism that brackets out regional relationships from resurgent strategic competition between Russia and NATO and brings an end to sanctions hindering cooperation with Western energy companies. Industry also tends to avoid doing business under circumstances that involve unresolved regional and international issues, especially any that include aspects of territorial rights and/or sovereignty. Furthermore, Russian investments to promote the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as a major international transportation artery would not benefit from increasing geopolitical

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uncertainty in the region.22 Russia’s strategic documents thus reflect two-track messaging promoting both international cooperation and the perceived need for robust national defences.23

Domestic priorities On 26 October 2020, President Vladimir Putin formally adopted the “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security until 2035” which situates the region in the country’s broader socio-economic development and national security goals.24 Specifying clear development objectives, implementation stages and mechanisms, and expected results, the strategy represents the refined, collective goals developed, pursued, and tested over several years. Explicit goals include a reiteration of Russia’s commitment to comprehensively develop seaport infrastructure and shipping routes in the waters of the NSR and the Barents, White, and Pechora Seas. The policy mentions several significant threats and challenges that create risks for the development the AZRF, including intensive climate change, decreasing birth rates and migration to the region, poor access to public services, and higher risk of diseases. The strategy is comprised of a series of lists that articulate demographic, economic, social, political, and security priorities and objectives. It begins with a statement of Arctic exceptionalism from a Russian national perspective, emphasizing specific characteristics that demand “special approaches to its socio-economic development” in the AZRF and to “ensure national security in the Arctic”: a) extreme natural and climatic conditions, extremely low population density and low development of transport and social infrastructure; b) high sensitivity of environmental systems to external influences, especially in the places of residence of the minority Indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as “Indigenous peoples”); c) climate change contributing to the emergence of both new economic opportunities and risks for the economy and the environment; d) stable geographic, historical and economic ties with the Northern Sea Route; e) uneven industrial and economic development of certain territories of the Arctic Zone, focus of the economy on the extraction of natural resources and their shipment to industrially developed regions of the Russian Federation and export; f) high resource intensity of economic activity and essential services for the population, their dependence on the supply of fuel, food and other vital goods from various constituent entities of the Russian Federation; g) growing potential for conflict in the Arctic.25 This lays the foundation for Russia to build its case for why the AZRF is important for socioeconomic development and national security, with a deliberate emphasis on oil and gas resources (both terrestrial and on the continental shelf), expectations of heightened demand for the NSR “as a transport corridor of global importance,” climate change effects on the environment and security, the presence of Indigenous peoples, and Russia’s positioning of strategic deterrent forces in the region. Most of the actions specified in the 26 October strategy document revolve around the Northern Sea Route (NSR)—which Russia boasts is the shortest, least expensive, and safest way of reaching Sukhankin, Bouffard & Lackenbauer


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northern and western Europe from Asia by sea. While this narrative downplays persistent physical environmental constraints, Russia leveraged the Ever Given incident (which blocked the Suez Canal in March 2021) to promote the NSR for safety and convenience, especially in contrast to the Indian Ocean and Rea Sea. Russia views the NSR simultaneously as a source of income and a means of strengthening its partnership with China.26 Specifically, the strategy commits to the following measures by 2035: • • • •

Development of general marine infrastructure (seaports and transportation routes/lanes), primarily in strategic junctures of the NSR: the Barents, White and Pechora Seas; Establishment of “headquarters on marine/sea operations and management of naval transportation” along the entire NSR; Digitalization of services (particularly in the realm of cargo transportation and delivery), although ‘Arctic Connect’ plans have been suspended until further assessment;27 Building of five Project 22220 and three Leader-class icebreakers, in line with Russia’s “Icebreaker Diplomacy,” which seeks to rely on its icebreaker fleet in the Arctic as a means of strengthening Moscow’s regional superiority28 – a position established and maintained since the late 19th century; Increasing navigation capabilities via the White Sea–Baltic Canal in general and the basins of the Onega, Northern Dvina, Mezen, Pechora, Ob, Yenisey, Lena and Kolyma rivers in particular. In effect, this draws on yet another aspect of the “Icebreaker Diplomacy” approach specifically concerned with upgrading navigation in Russia’s High North areas (rivers adjacent to the Arctic Ocean). Harboring plans on creating/strengthening land-based transportation infrastructure as an addition to the NSR.29

Taken together, these measures are expected to enhance the navigability of the NSR and facilitate the rapid transportation/delivery of Russia’s energy resources to Asian markets.30 The strategy document also emphasizes that a dramatic improvement in local socio-economic conditions is essential to preserve Russia’s standing in the region and to effectively exploit its natural resources. By creating “a special economic regime, stimulating a transition toward a circular economy,” and paving the way toward economic and ecological sustainability, the Kremlin hopes to curb out-migration and Arctic depopulation trends by attracting human capital to the region.31 Accordingly, the strategy is notable for articulating specific targets for improving social outcomes in the Russian Arctic, beginning with the modernization of health care and education, the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage and Indigenous languages, improved economic opportunities and social security, and the “creation of a state support system for the delivery of fuel, food, and other vital goods to settlements located in remote areas.” This reinforces how the Kremlin considers its northern population to be vital to its strategic goals, and it has integrated input from a wide range of capable and trusted advisors. Specific sections set out main objectives for infrastructure development (with a heavy focus on the NSR), science and technology, environmental protection and environmental safety, emergency and disaster response, and public safety (including anti-extremism and anti-terrorism, anti-drug enforcement, and crime prevention).32 With regard to reversing and stabilizing the population decline issue in the Russian Arctic Zone, no unity of opinion exists on a solution. Some propose a form of previous Soviet methods while others argue the need for a seasonal workforce to offset year-round prohibitive Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation


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costs as well as incentivizing a desire to maintain northern residence through “improved comfortable living standards.” As the Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Alexander Kozlov highlighted, this amplification of socio-economic development priorities and deliberate regionspecific approach to implementation (in contrast to previous pan-AZRF strategies) distinguishes this strategy from its predecessors.33 While the Strategy mentions parts of Arkhangelsk Oblast, the Republic Sakha (Yakutia), and Karelia and Komi republics, it assigns a clear priority in the Russian High North to Murmansk Oblast, the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YaNAO), and Nenets Autonomous Okrug.34 The document ascribes each of these latter four entities a special role in promoting Russia’s ambitions and achieving its specific objectives in the Arctic. The Strategy continues to invest particular significance in Murmansk Oblast, emphasizing a broad range of complex and multifaceted transformative measures targeting this province.35 As a result of the relatively warm North Atlantic waters from the Gulf Stream keeping much of the Murmansk maritime area ice-free, the location has always offered a permissive operating environment as well as proximity to urban centers, thus serving as a natural northern strategic epicenter and the Russian Federation’s most prioritized Arctic entity.36 When Russian writer Konstantin Paustovsky visited Murmansk in May of 1932, he referred to it as “Прима Полярэ (Prima Polare)” which has been translated into modern use as “Столица Арктики (The Capital of the Arctic).” Nine decades later, the Russian Federation passed a resolution officially declaring it the territory of advanced socioeconomic development “Capital of the Arctic”,37 which the Murmansk government promotes on its ТОР “Столица Арктики” investment portal website.38 There is strong rationale for this status in light of traditional hydrocarbon and bio-marine resources, high industry (shipbuilding), and strategic transportation potential in and for this region.39 Murmansk is also home to three major ports and several key institutes involving the Northern Sea Route, including the Northern Sea Route Administration (NSRA) established in 2013,40 the Northern Fleet Joint strategic command (Russian military district in force starting on January 2021), and the Northern Sea Route Directorate.41 To reverse downward demographic trends in the region, Konstantin Dolgov, a member of the Federation Council (the upper chamber of the Russian parliament) from Murmansk, suggests that the Russian strategy will create 200,000 new jobs by 2035.42 Multi-modal infrastructure investments seek to transform Murmansk into a complex multi-dimensional transportation hub and a key link along the NSR. The Strategy also underscores a perceived imperative to modernize the oblast’s military and dual-purpose infrastructure for national security reasons. A second set of measures focus on the development of Murmansk’s natural resource potential, particularly hydrocarbons and rare-earth minerals (which are strategically important for both military and civilian applications).43 Other regions play a more limited, even supporting role within the Russian Strategy. Article 22 articulates an explicit resource-oriented approach to Chukotka, emphasizing ambitious transit projects including the Pevek seaport and terminals (Chaun Bay), a transportation-logistical hub in the Provideniya port (Bering Sea), and a year-round sea terminal on the Arinay Lagoon (also on the Bering Sea). For the YaNAO (Article 23), a multi-dimensional program outlines the development of an integrated system of sea- and land-based transportation infrastructure, including the port of Sabetta (with supporting facilities) and the canal in the Gulf of Ob. Concurrently,

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promised facilities related to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil production and processing specifically prioritize the gas-endowed Yamal and Gyda peninsulas. The Kremlin also envisages the YaNAO as a major testing ground for Russia’s import-substitution strategy in the realm of petroleum-extraction and -processing capabilities. In the oil-endowed Nadym-Pur and Pur-Taz districts, Russia promises to employ the most up-to-date, domestically-produced means of drilling and extraction.44 Furthermore, the Strategy calls for a regional recreational cluster connecting the towns of Salekhard, Labytnangi, and Kharp – featuring a world-class ski resort with a developed network of hotels, restaurants and recreational facilities – to generate additional revenue and diversify the local economy.45 With respect to the neighboring Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Article 21 of the Strategy discusses five major dimensions, including a deepwater port to serve as a hub for Russian commercial exports; modernizing Nenets’ energy-related infrastructure and extracting and processing facilities; exploration and production of rare-earth minerals; measures to address local food security concerns; and “the development of tourism and recreation as both a job creation engine and as a means to diversify the local economy away from its heavy natural resource–oriented base.”46 Taken as a whole, Russia’s October 2020 Arctic development strategy introduces a qualitatively new approach to dealing with the various issues and challenges faced by local populations and economies. Instead of its traditional one-size-fits-all prescriptions, which de facto ignored the needs of many parts of the Russian High North, Moscow’s implementation of a more region-specific policy allows each Arctic federal entity to use its unique, region-specific competitive advantage to contribute to the development of the Northern Sea Route. It remains to be seen, however, whether Russia carries through on this strategy or ultimately reverts to a simpler policy fixated on nonrenewable resource exploitation.47 Comparing the Kremlin’s stated ambitions in the strategy and the limitations imposed by Russia’s long-term socio-economic realities suggest that Russia will encounter difficulties in its practical implementation. In this regard two main concerns should be voiced. First, despite the rhetorical prioritization of the socio-economic component in Arctic development, one might doubt Russia’s ability to implement this plan based on its limited economic means to achieve such an ambitious plan, as well as deeply rooted corrupt practices and mismanagement. A second concern relates to the method of implementation. Commentary and analysis from leading Russian experts suggest that, in pursuing this objective, Moscow is likely to rely on the “mobilization” option, which heavily depends on so-called command-administrative (kommandno-administrativnii) measures.48 This method – which was a distinctive feature of the Soviet period – can prove effective in the short term but is unlikely to yield favourable long-term results. For example, Russia’s Defence Industry lacks private investment and suffers from huge indebtedness openly recognized and admitted by Russian ruling circles.49 Additionally, given the public image of the Arctic throughout Russia as a far-flung and disadvantaged region, few Russians may be willing to move to remote regions for employment. Previous models predicated on significant Soviet fiscal stimuli proved flawed: once the money ran out, locals immediately began pouring out of the region.50 Today, it is not apparent that Moscow can or will actually enact policies to dramatically increase, at high cost, the size of the population residing in the High North. In fact, Russia already has the largest share of the population (2.5 million) living near or north of the Arctic Circle, and any hypothetical increases could prove detrimental to the Russian economy. Indeed, several influential Russian experts claim that Russia should follow the example of other Arctic players (such as Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation


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Canada, the United States, and Norway) that rely on the fly-in/fly-out method for their regional labour forces as a more cost-effective way to exploit natural resources in remote areas.51 Despite the seemingly marginal role that militarization and military-related efforts play in the newly adopted Arctic strategy document, these aspects constitute one of the central pillars of Russia’s overarching approach to the High North and will be the main recipients of financial outlays from the federal center. The military buildup to protect strategic nuclear assets on the Kola Peninsula, project power in the Barents Sea region, and secure the eastern part of the Russian Arctic fits awkwardly with international messaging that emphasizes circumpolar cooperation and seeks to “bracket out” confrontation between the West and Russia from Arctic affairs (with the desired Russian goal of ending Western sanctions that hinder Arctic development). “The emphasis on countering external threats by expanding military presence in the High North doesn’t answer the interests of Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft focused on developing co-operation with Western oil and service companies, even if those interests are squeezed by the sanctions regime,” Baev observes. “Plans for making the Sevmorput into an international transportation avenue also fit poorly with the progressive militarization of infrastructure along its route.”52 Given current economic hardships, we expect that Russia will pursue an approach premised on selective investment in strategic “links” connecting key parts of the NSR, at the same time increasing its military capabilities along the maritime artery – which, in Russian logic, are not two mutually exclusive ideas.

International orientation Russia’s strategic international orientation reflects a two-track approach that seeks to legitimize its position, status, and definitions of the Arctic through mixed messaging that reinforces themes of peace, cooperation, and stability through multilateral and bilateral relationships while also emphasizing foreign threats to Russian sovereignty over territory and waters that require investments in defensive capabilities. On the one hand, Russian political elites and academics emphasize the benefits of and need for multilateral diplomacy and stable regional and international governance systems to solve myriad environmental and human security challenges. Accordingly, the October 2020 strategy promises to “implement multi-vector foreign policy activities aimed at preserving the Arctic as a territory of peace, stability, and mutually beneficial cooperation” and to “ensure mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral cooperation of the Russian Federation with foreign states, including under international treaties, agreements, and conventions to which it is a party.”53 On the other hand, Russia’s great power aspirations and self-perception as the foremost Arctic state, coupled with increasing strategic competition with the West since 2014, have heightened the perceived desire or need for a military build-up to defend against national security challenges. Accordingly, the Kremlin’s strategic messaging seeks to project the ideas of Russian superiority over the West, legitimize Russia as the largest Arctic rightsholder, and reinforce the requirement to defend Russian Arctic territory. Thus, the Arctic development doctrine (including the NSR), icebreaking and construction programs, modernized military infrastructure and capabilities, and reiterations of Russia’s adherence to international law, respect for sovereignty, openness to circumpolar dialogue, and readiness to cooperate on common issues with other Arctic and non-Arctic states, are all intertwined.

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Given the primacy of economic development and control of regional resources, maritime jurisdiction in the AZRF features prominently in both domestic and international dimensions of Russian policy. Accordingly, Russia’s strategies seek to sediment its definition of the NSR (as defined by Russian Federation law) as internal waters which provides Russia complete control over access in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Moscow’s ultimate goal – to develop the NSR “as a globally competitive national transport corridor” – remains contingent upon a range of international factors, including global energy prices, Asian demand for resources, the comparative accessibility of well-established international straits, physical environmental constraints, and regional stability to ensure conflict-free operation.54 Ekatarina Klimenko astutely notes that “while the Russian Government has continuously pushed both private and state companies to develop the Arctic resource projects, the feasibility of their implementation is under question now more than ever,” and the NSR cannot be considered a competitor to other international sea routes when transit traffic does not exceed 500,000 tons annually.55 Furthermore, Russia’s extensive Arctic coastline affords it sovereign rights to continental shelf resources in accordance with UNCLOS. While Russian commentators often cite the as-yetundetermined limits of the shelf as a prime example of alleged Western powers to usurp control over resources on the Arctic seabed, this is a clear example of what Pavel Baev identifies as widespread “exaggeration and inflated threat assessment” in mainstream Russian commentary.56 By all rational accounts, Russia stands to gain the most if the process of determining the extent of its continental shelf beyond its 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) unfolds in a manner consistent with established international law.57 Accordingly, its Arctic strategy commits to “formalizing the outer boundary of the continental shelf in international legal terms and maintaining interaction with the Arctic states to protect national interests and implement the rights of a coastal state in the Arctic provided for in international acts, including those related to the exploration and development of resources of the continental shelf and the establishment of its external boundaries.”58 On the sensitive issue of Svalbard, which remains a sovereign territory of Norway under a treaty which allows unique, legal access to the international community, Russia pledges to ensure a “Russian presence in the Svalbard archipelago on the basis of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with Norway and other states of the Svalbard Treaty of February 9, 1920” – an affirmation of the primacy of the treaty and international law that simultaneously protects Russia’s legal position on the archipelago’s continental shelf and fisheries protection that deviates strongly from Norway’s interpretation.59 Russian strategic documents depict the Arctic Council (AC) as “both a centerpiece and cornerstone of the regional governance system,” given that all Arctic states are represented, its multidimensional mandate, and its science-based approach that preserves the autonomous decision-making powers of its members.60 In March 2021, former Russian Senior Arctic Official and Ambassador to Iceland Anton Vasiliev (one of Putin’s key Arctic emissaries) noted: The Arctic Council turns 25 this year as unquestionably one of the most successful multilateral regional and international bodies of our times. Its success is based on common interests and efforts of the Arctic States, clear agenda and the rules of the game, as well as reasonable flexibility to meet new challenges. Russia intends to build on this success, including the excellent outcome of the current Icelandic Chairmanship which had to overcome unprecedented pandemic-related difficulties, to lead the Council into its second quarter century. Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation


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The Russian Chairmanship will also be motivated by the national Arctic Strategy updated in 2020 for the period up to 2035. It provides for a major step forward in development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and welcomes mutually beneficial cooperation of Russia with its Arctic partners and, besides, interested nonregional states.61 Accordingly, Russia’s Arctic Council chairmanship (2021-23)62 represents a key opportunity for agenda-setting and for showcasing the country’s “Arctic-ness” and circumpolar leadership for domestic and foreign audiences. Its four priorities – “the Arctic inhabitants, including Indigenous peoples; environmental protection and climate change; social and economic growth; and further strengthening the Arctic Council – the key framework of international Arctic cooperation”63 – connect directly to Russian strategic objectives. Specific lines of effort include enhanced economic cooperation; investments in Arctic urban infrastructure, health care, education, Indigenous welfare; and the “restoration of consensus in the Arctic Council on climate change” (a thinly veiled critique at the Trump Administration’s stance at the Council ministerial meeting in 2019). Furthermore, the strong emphasis on the “rational use of natural resources,”64 presented in the language of stewardship and socio-economic wellbeing, reinforces Russia’s strong emphasis on energy resource development.65 Promoting the NSR as a priority for “safe and beneficial all-season navigation” and the enhancement of search and rescue capacities also dovetail with national priorities. Ultimately, in illustrating “the serious, holistic and constructive approach of Russia to its forthcoming Chairmanship,” Vasiliev ended with the declaration that “Russia bears special responsibility for the state of affairs in the Arctic and counts on support from its regional partners” (emphasis added).66 It is unlikely that Russia will seek to fundamentally revise the Council or its established processes during its chairmanship. Sergunin notes that Moscow will avoid former appeals to “transform the Council from an intergovernmental forum to a full-fledged international organization and bring military security problematique to the Council’s agenda,” and instead will focus its chairmanship on strengthening the forum’s “role in asserting regional stewardship by responding to the challenges of a rapidly changing Arctic and the increasingly more integrated policy frameworks from local to global scales.”67 This maps well with language in the Kremlin’s October 2020 strategy that emphasizes Russia’s leadership role in “ensuring the effective operation of the Arctic Council …, including the promotion of joint projects, including those aimed at ensuring sustainable development of the Arctic and preserving the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples.”68 The role of Indigenous peoples’ organizations as Permanent Participants represents the most innovative feature of the Arctic Council – but also a historic source of concern for Russia’s national leaders. Moscow decided in 2012 to suspend the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), the only nation-wide Indigenous peoples’ organization in the country which had criticized the central government for ignoring persistent problems that Indigenous peoples faced in the AZRF, on the arbitrary grounds that the organization was captive to foreign influence. In draconian fashion, the Kremlin imposed new “friendly” RAIPON leadership before allowing the organization to resume operations the following year, thus drawing the ire of Western commentators69 who likely look with skepticism at Russia’s pledge to: i) support in strengthening ties between the Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic Zone and the Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic territories of foreign states and convening relevant international forums;

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j) promoting the well-rounded development of the young generation of Indigenous peoples through educational, humanitarian and cultural exchanges with young people from other Arctic states.70 [original numbering] Given the Kremlin’s hyper-sensitivity to Indigenous peoples’ critiques that their rights are largely ignored,71 these commitments may represent insincere gestures that, in practical terms, are likely to be quashed at the first sign of serious criticism of Russian state practice. Various non-governmental organizations also have accredited Observer status within the Council. Russia ostensibly supports this involvement – although it also has had uneasy relations with interest groups and NGOs that are critical of the state, and the Putin regime does not welcome critique from civil society actors in the Arctic space any more than it does elsewhere. “Civil society in Russia is still in embryonic form and for this reason its impact on Arctic policy-making is either relatively insignificant or sporadic/chaotic,” Sergunin and Konyshev explain.72 Nevertheless, the Russian strategy sees opportunities for Russian organizations to work with foreign partners to design and implement “professional educational programs related to the development and exploration of the Arctic.” Furthermore, Russia co-chaired the Scientific Cooperation Task Force which produced the text for the third legally-binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council, signed in 2017. As a prime example of how Russia collaborated with the U.S. to advance a cooperative circumpolar initiative at a time of deteriorating relations between the two countries in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, the strategic commitment to “ensur[e] the implementation of the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation”73 serves as a useful basis for scientific diplomacy that promotes Russia’s good circumpolar citizenship.74 Given the strong national emphasis on the development of the AZRF, Russia’s strategy seeks to elevate the profile of its activities internationally to build prestige, secure its central position in the circumpolar order, justify and defend its national interests, and promote its definitions of core concepts such as “sustainable development.” Creating and promoting an online “multilingual information resource dedicated to the development of the Arctic Zone and Russia’s activities in the Arctic” (such as the Arctic Russia investment portal at https://arctic-russia.ru/en/about/) alongside comprehensive Russian-focused websites featuring diverse experts (exemplified by the Arctic 2035 project at https://www.arctic2035.ru/) are key strategic tools to frame and disseminate messages. Other commitments seek to promote Russia’s Arctic economic interests by “strengthening of the role of the Arctic Economic Council as one of the central forums for sustainable development of the Arctic,” “developing general principles for the implementation of investment projects in the Arctic Zone with the participation of foreign capital,” and “organizing events aimed at attracting foreign investors to participate in the implementation of economic (investment) projects in the Arctic Zone.” While “sustainable development” carries different connotations in Russia and the other Arctic states,75 all of these lines of effort seek to promote the mutual benefits of economic cooperation and secure foreign investments and technology transfer on terms of favourable to Russia – ideally, in Russia’s view, by enticing the West to end its sanctions. The list of main objectives for military security, defence, and border protection in the October 2021 Russian strategy is shorter than the list of commitments for international cooperation, but it nevertheless reinforces Russia’s ongoing commitment to increase its military presence and capabilities in the Arctic.76 Specific provisions commit to “improv[ing] the composition and

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structure of Armed Forces” in the AZRF, maintaining an appropriate level of combat readiness “in compliance with the actual and forecast military dangers and threats faced by the Russian Federation in the Arctic,” equipping forces with modern weapons and special equipment adapted to Arctic conditions, developing base infrastructure and logistics, and promoting the “use of dualuse technologies and infrastructure to achieve a comprehensive solution to defense objectives in the Arctic Zone.”77 Given that many of the capabilities have potential offensive as well as defensive applications, Western commentators continue to debate whether the Kremlin’s declared justifications for consistent and systematic investments in an Arctic military buildup since Putin returned to power as president in 2012 can be trusted.78 Given established Russian state narratives since 2008, it should come as no surprise that “ensuring sovereignty and territorial integrity” sit atop the list of Russia’s national interests in the Arctic. “Whilst this could indicate a continuous securitisation of the region by the Russian Government,” Klimenko observes, “it does not in practice indicate a significant change in … policy since Russia will continue its long-term enforcement of its sovereignty over Arctic territories and waters.”79 Other Russian commentators suggest that significant military investments are consistent and compatible with regional stability predicated on respect for Arctic state sovereignty. “Similar to other coastal states, Moscow sees its military presence in the region as an efficient instrument to demonstrate its sovereignty over and protect its national interests in the Arctic,” Sergunin explains. “On the other hand, the Kremlin believes that there are no serious military threats emanating from the Arctic and, for this reason, defense and security issues are put on the bottom of Moscow’s priority list in its strategic documents.” He notes that Russian investments in military capabilities in the region do not represent “a renewed arms race” and that, instead, investments represent “limited modernization and increases or changes in equipment, force levels, and force structure.” Conflating the modernization of strategic nuclear forces based in the Arctic, which are intended to bolster global deterrence, with Arctic issues is problematic. Instead, Sergunin emphasizes that the creation of new cold-weather units, warships, aircraft, and command structures in the AZRF “have little or nothing to do with power projection into the potentially disputed areas (where the Arctic coastal states’ claims overlap) or region at large; rather, they are for the patrolling and protecting of recognized national territories and waters that are becoming more accessible, including for illegal activities, such as overfishing, poaching, smuggling, and uncontrolled migration.” In his assessment, these modernization programs do not inhibit or degrade the prospects of regional cooperation.80 While military considerations are subordinated to other priorities in this document, they still “constitute one of the central pillars of Russia’s overarching approach to the High North and will be the main recipients of financial outlays from the federal center.” 81 Russian narratives point to U.S. and NATO aggression in the Arctic as a pretext for investments in robust defences to protect the ANRF, strategic resources, and people. Accordingly, in an era of resurgent great power competition, Moscow seeks to delegitimize, discredit, and destabilize the Western alliance and continue to promote that the US and NATO – not Russia – is responsible for Arctic “militarization” while using this to justify its own militarization agenda. Conversely, Russian narratives promoting “constructive” and “peaceful” Arctic relations (including calls to resume a military-to-military dialogue on Arctic affairs) seek to normalize relations with the West to solidify a new status quo in which Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere becomes a fait accompli and Moscow can secure an end to Western sanctions. Sukhankin, Bouffard & Lackenbauer


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Implementation plans and leveraging the private sector82 Russia’s October 2020 strategy concluded with a three-stage implementation plan, with specific targets to measure results at each stage. The “unified action plan” would involve coordinated action by “federal government bodies, executive bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, local government bodies, state academies of sciences, other scientific and educational organizations, funds for supporting scientific, technical and innovative activities, nonprofit organizations, state corporations, state companies, joint stock companies with state participation and the business community.” President Putin would oversee “the general management of the implementation of this Strategy,” thus ensuring centralized control.83 Towards these ends, Putin reshuffled his government on 9 November 2020 with a strong nod to the Arctic.84 Minister of Transportation Yevgeny Dietrich was relieved owing to lagging NSR developments. Dmitri Kobylkin was removed as natural resources and the environment ministry, likely because of the major fuel spill in Norilsk in May 202085 and the marine pollution incident in Kamchatka that October.86 The Minister of Development of the Far East and Arctic, Alexander Kozlov, replaced Kobylkin as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment,87 and Alexei Chekunov was advanced to the Minister for the Development of the Far East and Arctic. Later that month, Putin signed a decree to establish the Committee on Russia’s Chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2021-2023, with Presidential Plenipotentiary, Yury Trutnev, assigned as the committee chair.88 These political changes represented an attempt by Russia to refresh its Arctic image in the face of recent environmental disasters, growing public discontent in the Far East with Russia’s failure to address local problems, and slow progress on economic improvements in the AZRF. Regional levels also received attention when the Kremlin combined two ministries to establish the Ministry for the Development of the Arctic and Economy for the Murmansk Region – an area that serves as an epicenter of Arctic public- and private-sector interests.89 On 15 April 2021, the Russian government approved a single action plan for the implementation of the Basic Principles of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic until 2035 and the Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security until 2035. This fifty-four-page document lists 268 measures and lead agencies, schedules specific actions for the 2021-22 timeframe (although some, such as development of the icebreakers fleet, are longer-term), and intends to serve as a stable foundation for Russia to realize its strategic development ambitions for the AZRF. The plan does not prioritize military investments, and instead has an explicitly socioeconomic orientation. In other words, its primary strategic goal is to improve standards of living for Russia’s Arctic population, with particular emphasis on: • • • • •

solving the most acute social problems; stimulating industrial production and creating jobs; improving the quality of medical services (with the use of up-to-date technologies); improving supply chain mechanisms to deliver staples and food to the Russian Arctic and High North; and improving local infrastructure (ports and airports) to ensure transportation flows.

Another strategic aspect in the document pertains to Russia’s readiness to provide more freedom and opportunities for joint public and private sector investments (such as airport reconstruction in Arkhangelsk). Being firmly integrated in the global economy, and thus attentive to global

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macroeconomic and financial trends, Russia’s leadership clearly understands that failing to engage private capital is archaic and unsustainable in managing large projects. While the Russian state has always played a central role in nearly all Arctic-related projects, Moscow indicates a growing understanding of the necessity to increase the share of private sector involvement. The Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic (Minvostokrazvitia) voiced its first concrete idea on the subject in 2020 when declaring its “serious preferences” and economic stimuli for private companies willing to invest in the Arctic.90 On 1 February 2021, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree approving the launch of six major statesupported investment projects that allow participation of private companies to promote the comprehensive development of the AZRF. According to the document, Russia expects to attract more than 200 billion rubles (approximately $2.7 billion) in outside investments aimed at regional economic revitalization, and the state is ready to defray up to 20% of total investment costs for projects of at least 300 million rubles ($4 million).91 If this condition is fulfilled, the federal government promises to partially compensate Russian companies for infrastructure-related construction expenditures (transportation, energy, and electricity). This subsidy extends to both completed (operational) projects and those still under development, with available data suggesting that the Russian side is prepared to divert up to 13 billion rubles ($176 million) for this purpose until 2023. The decree also names six large projects in Murmansk Oblast, the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, and the Taymyr Peninsula that must be completed by 2027.92 Minvostokrazvitia head Alexei Chekunkov underscored that “private businesses will have to invest ten times more than the Russian government,” generating 5,800 new jobs and 42 billion rubles ($569 million) in tax revenues. He also articulated how “the realization of these [six major projects] solves the strategic goals related to the development of local logistics, the modernization of seaport infrastructure, and safeguarding of transportation along the Northern Sea Route [NSR].”93 Various forums assembling representatives of Russian academia, policymakers, the business community, and the public sector have grappled with how to increase the overall share of private sector involvement in Arctic-based projects. For example, the fifth international “Arktika-2020” conference, held in Moscow in February 2020, focused on the development of Russia’s continental shelf and the AZRF more broadly. Yuri Vazhenin, a member of the Federation Council, openly stated that “from technological point of view, Russia is still unable to explore resource-endowed Arctic region,” noting an ongoing reliance on foreign technologies to explore and exploit resources. The head of Russia’s oil and gas producers union, Gannady Shmal, observed that the logic of oil/gas exploration in the Arctic has shifted from a fixation on large deposits toward smaller ones. Given low levels of Russian investment in research and development, however, he expressed skepticism about the country’s ability to transition successfully to this new model and adjust to a changing reality. Other speakers highlighted the strategic importance of digital connectivity for public life and industrial development, with lagging technology inhibiting resource exploration and decreasing the region’s attractiveness to professionals who might work there.94 Inspired by this guidance, Minvostokrazvitia proposed liberalizing access to Russia’s Arctic continental shelf, particularly for foreign and domestic companies actively investing in oil and natural gas/liquefied natural gas (LNG) development. The ministry also began to devise flexible and up-to-date leasing mechanisms for the region,95 which Krutikov explained in November 2020 during the “Days of the Arctic and Antarctic in Moscow” forum.96

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Nevertheless, Russia’s ideas about the private sector’s role in Arctic development, while more refined than previously, remain unclear with respect to five major issues. The first relates to the legal framework. Specifically, a new law passed in February 2021 facilitates more rapid transportation of goods via the NSR97 and draws upon Russia’s desire to promote the region as a free economic zone (FEZ), but Russia’s recent experience with these zones (particularly in the Kaliningrad Oblast) has proven largely unsuccessful. A second issue relates to lack of clarity about the economic model behind the general implementation plan. While Russian mainstream experts and policymakers accept that economic development requires private sector resources, some commentators (such as Aleksandr Tsybulskii, the head of Arkhangelsk Oblast), insist that the “Arctic territories need to develop as a single macro-region with the help of some sort of a Gosplan [State Planning Committee].”98 Given Russia’s brutal historical experience with a mobilization-type, centrally-planned economy, such ideas are questionable and even unpalatable. It remains unclear how Russia wishes to, or could, combine this economic model with free market principles over the long term. The third issue concerns the Kremlin placing an increasingly pronounced emphasis on regionspecific initiatives for NSR and AZRF development. For example, local authorities in Murmansk are creating a Ministry for the Development of the Arctic and Economics which, according to local governor Andrei Chibis, will “not only boost the leading role of Murmansk oblast … but also facilitate and streamline the process of attracting investors.”99 This approach was unfathomable in the pre-1991 period of Russian/Soviet history, when the Arctic region was treated as a homogenous entity without due consideration for sub-regional specificities. This positive idea, however, might have one flipside. While prioritizing the development of some regions for intensive growth using both private and state funds, other areas might be used as source of natural resources and raw materials. For now, when these ideas/projects remain at the development stage, this dynamic might not seem worrisome. In the future, however, deciding which regions receive what status could raise questions affecting the long-term cohesiveness of the Russian Federation. The federal center has clearly chosen a handful of “prioritized” regions that will enjoy massive federal support to bolster Arctic development. If the local elites of neighboring regions (less endowed with strategic natural resources or less important for the NSR) feel frustrated at being excluded, economically-driven tensions could transform into political grievances, thus sharpening interregional rivalries as well as heightening centrifugal dynamics across the Russian Arctic. Incidentally, deep analysis of Russian-language sources explicitly points to this concern.100 A fourth issue arises from a combination of two security-related factors: international sanctions against Russia and militarization of the Arctic region which could turn the Bering Strait into a bottleneck. Both factors could discourage prospective foreign partners from investing in the AZRF or in using the NSR as a transportation route. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether private sector partners – especially foreign entities – will be enthusiastic about the massive financial investments required to develop both Russian Arctic-based energy projects and the NSR as a viable international transit route. In light of growing international momentum to reduce dependencies on non-renewable energy, both European and major Asian players (including China) may be dissuaded from investing heavily in Russia’s Arctic initiatives. Several key Russian experts already acknowledge this challenge,101 which may jeopardize Russia’s ability to fully implements its Arctic strategy.

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Conclusions Recent Russian strategic documents and implementation plans confirm that development of the AZRF is one of the country’s highest national priorities. “For Russia, the Arctic is not some remote, hard-to-reach territory,” Lagutina notes, “but an actual part of state territory, fully integrated into the socioeconomic and political systems of the Russian Federation.” Accordingly, its domestic and foreign policies reflect core priorities: to ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity, improve standards of living for regional residents, protect the environment, and develop the Russian Arctic “as a strategic resource base.”102 In effect, the development of the Arctic for Russia represents the central, overarching focus from which to synchronize, align, and assign primary purpose to other related state activities. Russia must sell this priority to both the domestic and international audience, which involves maintenance and delivery of a dual-narrative: one aspect emphasizing good circumpolar citizenship and the other offering overexaggerated threat assessments. Both serve a purpose consistent with legitimizing goals that seek to shape perspectives and secure advantage from international competition without undermining national interests. “A framework of institutional governance represents the status quo in the region, and in many ways this benefits Russia,” political scientist Kari Roberts astutely notes. “There is little real evidence to forewarn of Russian disruption in the Arctic, apart from those who rush to connect its activities elsewhere to its priorities in the North or assume that its Arctic military spending is inherently more offensive than defensive.”103 Our analysis also supports Baev’s assessment that “in Russian strategic planning and military preparations, the Arctic occupies a more prominent place than it ‘objectively’ deserves. Whatever the economic dreams about looting the ‘treasure chest’ of natural resources in the High North or the nationalistic ambitions about ‘owning’ and ‘conquering’ the vast Northern spaces, Russia’s interests in the Arctic are not threatened in any practical or symbolic way by its neighbors.”104 While exaggerated threat assessments of foreign threats to the AZRF inform the latest Russian Arctic and national security strategies, they do not dominate the narrative. After all, Russian experts acknowledge that the military dimension can only play a modest (and perhaps even negligible) role in helping to overcome deep-rooted population and economic stability issues in the region. Nevertheless, Russia is highly unlikely to reduce its Arctic military presence given its strategic deterrence function, symbolism as a form of regional dominance, and practical dual-use benefits that support shipping, resource extraction, and human and environmental security agendas. As for any Arctic nation, articulating northern goals is one thing; reality often prescribes outcomes that are notably different. The Arctic environment presents significant limitations on the ability to achieve objectives without tremendous burden and cost. The authoritarian nature of the Russian Federation means that the Kremlin is not as forthcoming about difficulties as are its Western counterparts, where accountability and the ability to question power is more permissible and common. Accordingly, practical difficulties associated with Arctic development should lead Western commentators to avoid overzealous and excessively alarmist rhetoric about Russia’s regional goals – most of which are clearly within their sovereign rights and jurisdiction as an Arctic state. Alternatively, more focus should be directed toward analyzing the feasibility of Russia meeting its objectives and its actual developments (rather than its desired or forecasted ones). This article presents several examples of substantive problems that Russia faces in terms of implementing its strategies – including ever-present industrial and market forces that heighten

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uncertainty, alongside challenges posed by an austere and harsh physical environment in flux owing to global climate change. Even if Russia manages to align and synchronize public- and privatesector actors, its strategic implementation plans for the Arctic will remain highly ambitious – but should encourage investment across political, military, economic, social, and environmental security sectors that advance Russia’s multi-track domestic, circumpolar, and international strategies.

Notes 1. Президент Российской Федерации, “О Стратегии Развития Арктической Зоны Российской Федерации И Обеспечения Национальной Безопасности На Период До 2035 Года,” ed. Администрация Президента России (Москва, Россия: Кремль, 2020), [“On the Strategy of the development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring the National Security for the Period until 2035”] (hereafter Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone”). http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202010260033 2. Maria Lagutina, “Russia’s Arctic policies: concepts, domestic and international priorities,” Polar Journal (2021): 1. 3. Morgane Fert-Malka, “Russia’s Blindfolded Arctic Policy,” World Policy [World Policy Institute], 22 March 2017, http://worldpolicy.org/2017/03/22/russias-blindfolded-arcticpolicy/. 4. Lagutina, “Russia’s Arctic policies.” 5. Alexander Sergunin and Valery Konyshev, Russia in the Arctic: Hard or Soft Power? (Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2016). 6. Alexander Khramchihin, “Арктика как поле боя” [Arctic as the battlefield], 22 March 2021, https://nvo.ng.ru/realty/2021-03-25/1_1134_arctic.html 7. Vasily Zhuravel, “Горячие точки Арктики” [Arctic’s hot spots], 28 June 2020, https://www.ng.ru/dipkurer/2020-06-28/9_7896_arctic.html 8. Dmitry Litovkin, “Арктический рейд. Зачем российские подводники ломали лед на полюсе” [The Arctic raid. How did the Russian submarines break the Arctic ice], 1 April 2021, https://nvo.ng.ru/realty/2021-04-01/1_1135_raid.html 9. Vladimir Mukhin, “НАТО готовится к покорению Арктики” [NATO is getting ready to annex the Arctic], 8 September 2020, https://www.ng.ru/armies/2020-0908/1_7958_arctic.html 10. “Леонид Ивашов: если у России в Арктике не будет военной силы – отнимут всё!” [Leonid Ivashov: if Russia does not military power in the Artic – they will grab everything!], 9 February 2021, https://news.rambler.ru/army/45777194-leonid-ivashov-esli-u-rossii-varktike-ne-budet-voennoy-sily-otnimut-vse/; Shurygin Vladislav, “Арктика для нас важна стратегически” [The Arctic is strategically important for us], 30 June 2016, https://izborsk-club.ru/9752; and “А. Подберезкин: Демонстрации сил НАТО в Арктике носят провокационный характер” [A.Podberezkin: NATO’s demonstration of force in the Arctic is provocative in nature], 10 May 2020, http://eurasiandefence.ru/?q=node/46718

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11. Alexander Dugin, “Арктика должна быть нашей” [The Arctic has to be ours], 24 June 2016, https://izborsk-club.ru/9574; Mazharov Alexander, “Россия будет прирастать Арктикой” [Russia will be growing with the Arctic], 23 December 2020, https://izborskclub.ru/20411; Shtyrkov Viacheslav, “Арктика. Величие проекта” [The Arctic. Greatness of the project], 8 February 2018, https://izborsk-club.ru/14751; and Prokhanov Alexander, “Арктика — общее дело” [Arctic – our common affair], 18 March 2017, https://izborsk-club.ru/12788 12. Oleg Rozanov, “Арктика — Северный полюс Русского мира” [Arctic – the Northern Pole of the Russian World], 1 July 2016, https://izborsk-club.ru/9745 13. See, for example, Valery Konyshev and Alexander Sergunin (2014) Is Russia a revisionist military power in the Arctic?, Defense & Security Analysis, 30 (4): 323-335; Dmitri Trenin, “Russia and China in the Arctic: Cooperation, Competition, and Consequences”, 31 March 2020, https://carnegie.ru/commentary/81407 14. Rob Huebert. “The New Arctic Strategic Triangle Environment (NASTE),” in Breaking the Ice Curtain? Breaking the Ice Curtain? Russia, Canada, and Arctic Security in a Changing Circumpolar World, eds. P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Suzanne Lalonde (Calgary: Canadian Global Affairs Institute, 2019), 75-92. 15. Troy Bouffard and P. Whitney Lackenbauer, “The Development of the Russian Arctic Council Chairmanship: A Strategic Plan of Preparation and Pursuit,” North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network Strategic Perspectives (30 March 2021), https://www.naadsn.ca/wp-content/ uploads/2021/03/Strategic-Perspectives-RussianArctic-Council-Chairmanship-TB-PWL-mar-2021.pdf. 16. “Президент Утвердил Основы Государственной Политики В Арктике,” [The President approved the Principles of State Policy in the Arctic], Администрация Президента России, updated 5 March, 2020, http://kremlin.ru/acts/news/62947. 17. “Behind Putin’s New Arctic Strategy Lies a Rude Quest for Natural Resources,” The Independent Barents Observer AS, 30 October 2020, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/climate-crisis/2020/10/behind-putins-new-arcticstrategy-lies-rude-quest-natural-resources. 18. “Минвостокразвития Начало Разработку Новой Госпрограммы Развития Арктики,” [The Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East begins the development of a new state program for the development of the Arctic], TASS, 13 May 2020, https://tass.ru/ekonomika/8464809. 19. “Russia’s Updated Arctic Strategy: New Strategic Planning Document Approved,” High North News, 23 October 2020, https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/russias-updatedarctic-strategy-new-strategic-planning-document-approved 20. “Долгожданное Решение Для Регионов Крайнего Севера,” [Long-awaited solution for Far North regions], Няръяна вындер, updated 31 October, 2020, http://nvinder.ru/article/vypusk-no-119-21033-ot-31-oktyabrya-2020-g/82721dolgozhdannoe-reshenie-dlya-regionov. 21. Pavel Baev, “Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives in Russia’s Arctic Policy,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 32:1 (2019): 25-26. 22. Baev, “Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives in Russia’s Arctic Policy,” 26. 23. See also Sergey Sukhankin, “Russia Unveils New Arctic Development Strategy: Focal Points and Key Priorities,” Eurasian Daily Monitor (Jamestown Foundation), 9 November Sukhankin, Bouffard & Lackenbauer


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26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

32. 33. 34. 35. 36.

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2020, https://jamestown.org/program/russia-unveils-new-arctic-development-strategyfocal-points-and-key-priorities/; and Elizabeth Buchanan, “Putin’s Real Arctic Playbook: Demography, Development, and Defense,” The National Interest, 27 October 2020, https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/putin%E2%80%99s-real-arctic-playbookdemography-development-and-defense-171465. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 26.10.2020 № 645, “О Стратегии развития Арктической зоны Российской Федерации и обеспечения национальной безопасности на период до 2035 года” [“Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security until 2035”], 26 October 2020, http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202010260033. Sergey Sukhankin, “Russia’s Arctic strategy melts under scrutiny”, 8 May 2020, https://www.ridl.io/en/russia-s-arctic-strategy-melts-underscrutiny/#:~:text=Russia%E2%80%99s%20Arctic%20strategy%20melts%20under%20s crutiny%20by%20Sergey,Arctic%20territories%20are%20large%2C%20sparsely%20popu lated%2C%20and%20resource-endowed “Megafon freezes Arctic Connect submarine cable project”, 31 MAY 2021, https://developingtelecoms.com/telecom-technology/optical-fixed-networks/11233megafon-freezes-arctic-connect-submarine-cable-project.html Sergey Sukhankin, “‘Icebreaker Diplomacy’: Russia’s New-Old Strategy to Dominate the Arctic”, 12 June 2019, https://jamestown.org/program/icebreaker-diplomacy-russiasnew-old-strategy-to-dominate-the-arctic/ Sergey Sukhankin, “Russia’s Belkomur Arctic Railway Project: Hope, Illusion or Necessity?”, 17 July 2019, https://jamestown.org/program/russias-belkomur-arcticrailway-project-hope-illusion-or-necessity/ Sergey Sukhankin, “Looking Beyond China: Asian Actors in the Russian Arctic (Part One)”, 7 May 2020, https://jamestown.org/program/looking-beyond-china-asian-actorsin-the-russian-arctic-part-one/ Since 1989, the population of the Arctic zone and the High North has dwindled by at least 20 percent (Lenta.ru, October 29, 2019) due to worsening local socio-economic conditions and lack of attractiveness. See, for example, Joan Nymand Larsen, Peter Schweitzer, and Andrey Petrov, Arctic Social Indicators (ASI II) (Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers, 2013); Jennifer Schmidt, Margrethe Aanesen, Konstantin Klokov, Sergei Khrutschev, and Vera Hausner, “Demographic and economic disparities among Arctic regions,” Polar Geography 38/4 (2015): 251-270; Irina Efremova, Nikolay Didenko, Dmitry Rudenko, and Djamilia Skripnuk, “Disparities in rural development of the Russian Arctic zone regions,” Research for Rural Development 2 (2017): 189-194; Marlene Laruelle, ed., New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions (New York: Routledge, 2020). Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” Quoted in “В России принята Стратегия развития Арктики до 2035 года,” 27 October 2020, https://www.eprussia.ru/news/base/2020/3779712.htm. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” In 2007, an initiative named the “Arctic Bridge” envisaged creating a seasonal, 6,700kilometer maritime transport route between Murmansk and the Canadian port of Churchill, Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation


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38.

39. 40. 41.

42.

43. 44.

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46. 47.

48.

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Manitoba (RBC, October 19, 2007). More recently, during last year’s ninth international “Arctic: Present and Future” Forum, the Murmansk delegation delivered a presentation entitled “Murmansk—The Capital of the Arctic,” which highlighted several key sectors that drive economic development in the oblast. Постановление Правительства Российской Федерации "О создании территории опережающего социально-экономического развития ‘Столица Арктики’, [“On the creation of the territories of accelerated socio-economic growth ‘Arctic Capital’], 12 June 2020, http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202005130028?index=0&rangeSi ze=1 “Территория опережающего развития «Столица Арктики»” [Territory of accelerated growth the ‘Arctic Capital’], Accessed on: 30 June 2021, https://invest.nashsever51.ru/pages/tor-stolitsa-arktiki “Новая стратегия России в Арктике — трансляция” [Russia`s new strategy in the Arctic – transliatsiya], 6 December 2019, https://news.myseldon.com/ru/news/index/220117446 “Northern Sea Route”, Accessed on: 30 June 2021, https://russiancouncil.ru/en/northernsearoute#kotlyar Thomas Nilsen, “Vyacheslav Ruksha will lead the newly established Northern Sea Route Directorate”, 24 June 2018, https://thebarentsobserver.com/ru/node/4195; Atle Staalesen, “A Management Center for Arctic Shipping is Coming to Murmansk”, 6 December 2019, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2019/12/managementcenter-arctic-shipping-coming-murmansk Mikhailov Alexey, “Север теперь не крайний” [The North is not far now], 3 November 2020, https://rg.ru/2020/11/03/reg-szfo/utverzhdena-strategiia-razvitiia-rossijskojarktiki-do-2035-goda.html Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” It is not clear, however, whether Russia has developed a clear business/strategic plan that explains whether investments in development/exploration of Arctic/High North energy resources will ever pay off. For example, Russia is planning to make large investments in its coal industry, but it is not clear if this is 100% based on the principle of economic sustainability rather than the economic interests of someone. Sukhankin, “Coal Strategy 2035: Is Russia Preparing for the Last War?”, 27 July 2020, https://jamestown.org/program/coal-strategy-2035-is-russia-preparing-for-the-last-war/ Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” YaNAO’s Governor Dmitry Artukhov stated that “this year [2020] has clearly demonstrated that the locals and all Russian citizens have a great interest in new resorts and tourist destinations. That is why, the creation of a new ski resort is the foundation of our project” (Sever-press.ru, October 27). Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” Sergey Sukhankin, “Russia Pursues ‘Region-Oriented’ Approach in Arctic Development,” Eurasian Daily Monitor, 19 November 2020, https://jamestown.org/program/russiapursues-region-oriented-approach-in-arctic-development/ Zueva Stanislava, “Образ будущего Арктики. Эксперты обсудили перспективы развития Севера” [The image of Arctic’s future. Exerts have discussed prospects of the development of the North], 14 May 2020,

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50.

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52. 53. 54.

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https://aif.ru/society/ecology/obraz_budushchego_ arktiki_eksperty_obsudili_perspektivy_razvitiya_severa Sukhankin, “Russia’s Defense-Industrial Complex at a Crossroads: Aura Versus Reality (Parts One, Two)”, 13 April 2021, https://jamestown.org/program/russias-defenseindustrial-complex-at-a-crossroads-aura-versus-reality-part-one/ A state-sponsored documentary by Rossiya 1 information outlet tacitly corroborates. For more information see: “Севморпуть. Дорога во льдах. Документальный фильм Михаила Кожухова”, 6 May 2019. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJLTsdN f5KY&ab_channel=%D0%A0%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%8F24 Makurin Alexey, “Узники Заполярья. Кто будет осваивать российскую Арктику?” [Prisoners of the Far North. Who will be mastering the Arctic?] 20 January 2020, https://aif.ru/money/economy/uzniki_zapolyarya_kto_budet_osvaivat_rossiyskuyu_ark tiku Pavel Baev, “Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives in Russia’s Arctic Policy,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 32, no. 1 (2019): 26. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” See, for example, Dan Wang, Renke Ding, Yu Gong, Rui Wang, Jie Wang, and Xiaoling Huang, “Feasibility of the Northern Sea Route for oil shipping from the economic and environmental perspective and its influence on China's oil imports,” Marine Policy 118 (2020): 104006; Gleb Sibul and Jian Gang Jin, “Evaluating the feasibility of combined use of the Northern Sea Route and the Suez Canal Route considering ice parameters,” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 147 (2021): 350-369; Sriram Rajagopal and Pengfei Zhang, “How widespread is the usage of the Northern Sea Route as a commercially viable shipping route?,” Marine Policy 125 (2021): 104300; and Dimitrios Theocharis, Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, Stephen Pettit, Jane Haider, ”Feasibility of the Northern Sea Route for seasonal transit navigation: The role of ship speed on ice and alternative fuel types for the oil product tanker market,” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice (in press 2021), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2021.03.013. Ekaterina Klimenko, “Russia’s new Arctic policy document signals continuity rather than change,” SIPRI Commentary, 6 April 2020, https://www.sipri.org/commentary/ essay/2020/russias-new-arctic-policy-document-signals-continuity-rather-change. See also: “Северный морской путь признали ненужным для транзита” [The Northern Sea Route has been recognized unsuitable for transit], 24 January 2020, https://lenta.ru/news/2020/01/24/nep/ Baev, “Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives,” 25. Betsy Baker, “Law, Science, and the Continental Shelf: the Russian Federation and the promise of Arctic cooperation,” American University International Law Rev. 25 (2010): 251; Timo Koivurova, “The Actions of the Arctic States Respecting the Continental Shelf: A Reflective Essay,” Ocean Development & International Law 42, no. 3 (2011): 211-226; Michael Byers, International Law and the Arctic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); and Lev Voronkov, “Russia: The Russian Claim for an Extended Continental Shelf in the Arctic,” Environmental Policy and Law 47, no. 2 (2017): 88-94. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.”

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59. Torbjørn Pedersen, “The Svalbard continental shelf controversy: legal disputes and political rivalries,” Ocean Development & International Law 37, no. 3-4 (2006): 339-358; Andrey Todorov, “Russia in Maritime Areas Off Spitsbergen (Svalbard): Is it Worth Opening the Pandora’s Box?,” Marine Policy 122 (2020): 104264; and Andreas Østhagen, “Norway’s Arctic Policy: Still High North, Low Tension?,” Polar Journal (2021): 4-5. 60. Alexander Sergunin, “Thinking about Russian Arctic Council Chairmanship: Challenges and opportunities,” Polar Science 29 (September 2021): 100694. See also Andrei Sakharov, “Arctic Council as a Regional Governance Institution,” International Organisations Research Journal 10, no.4 (2015): 40-53; Viatcheslav Gavrilov, “Pravovoe razvitie arkticheskogo regiona: predposylki i perspektivy [legal development of the Arctic: background and prospects],” Journal of Russian Law 3 (2017):148-157, 10.12737/24859; Lev Voronkov and A. Smirnova, “Arktichesky sovet kak mezhdunarodnaya organizatsiya novogo tipa [the arctic council as a new type of international organization],” International Analytics 3 (2017): 7-16; D. Voronchikhina, “Arktichesky sovet kak mezhdunarodny forum sotrudnichestva gosudarstv: uchastie Rossii [the Arctic Council as an international forum of the state cooperation: the participation of Russia],” Ars Administrandi 11, no.2 (2019): 306329, 10.17072/2218-9173-2019-2-306-329; “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s Remarks at the 11th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting, Rovaniemi,” 7 May 2019, https://oaarchive.arcticcouncil.org/bitstream/handle/11374/2405/2019_Rovaniemi_Ministerial_Statement_by_ the_Russian_Federation_English.pdf?sequence=5&isAllowed=y; A. Sergunin, Russia and the Arctic Council: Towards a New Agenda (Kobe: Polar Cooperation Research Centre, 2020), http://www.research.kobe-u.ac.jp/gsics-pcrc/index.html. 61. Anton Vasiliev, “Priorities of the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2021-2023,” 29 March 2021, http://www.arcticcircle.org/Media/arctic-circle-journal06vasiliev.pdf. 62. “Ministerial Meeting, ” Calendar, Arctic Council Secretariat, https://arcticcouncil.org/en/events/ministerial-meeting/. 63. Anton Vasiliev insists that “the game plan conceived by Russia has many ideas, but no surprises,” given that “the Arctic Council is a collective body operated by consensus. It treats in a balanced way the two designated areas of the Arctic Council mandate – environmental protection and sustainable development.” Vasiliev, “Priorities of the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council 2021-2023,” 29 March 2021, http://www.arcticcircle.org/Media/arctic-circle-journal06vasiliev.pdf. 64. Vasiliev, “Priorities of the Russian Chairmanship.” 65. Thomas Nilsen, “Ambassador Vasiliev lists Russia’s new Arctic priorities with focus on fossils fuels and positive effects of climate changes,” Barents Observer, 27 January 2021, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2021/01/ambassador-vasiliev-lists-russiasnew-arctic-priorities. 66. Vasiliev, “Priorities of the Russian Chairmanship.” 67. Sergunin, “Thinking about Russian Arctic Council Chairmanship.” 68. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” 69. See, for example, Ron Wallace, “The Case for RAIPON: Implications for Canada and the Arctic Council” (Calgary: Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, 2013); Alexandra Tomaselli and Anna Koch, “Implementation of Indigenous Rights in Russia: Shortcomings and Recent Developments,” International Indigenous Policy Journal 5/4 (2014): Sukhankin, Bouffard & Lackenbauer


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1-21; and Nikolaeva Sardana, “Post-soviet melancholia and impossibility of indigenous politics in the Russian North,” Арктика XXI век. Гуманитарные науки 2/12 (2017): 12-22. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” See, for example, Liubov Sulyandziga, “Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industry Encounters: Benefit-Sharing Agreements in Russian Arctic,” Polar Science 21 (2019): 68-74. Sergunin and Konyshev, “Forging Russia’s Arctic Strategy.” Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” See, for example, Paul Berkman, Lars Kullerud, Allen Pope, Alexander N. Vylegzhanin, and Oran Young, “The Arctic Science Agreement Propels Science Kiplomacy,” Science 358, no. 6363 (2017): 596-598; and Rasmus Bertelsen, “Science Diplomacy and the Arctic,” in Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security, eds. Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, Marc Lanteigne, Horatio Sam-Aggrey (London: Routledge, 2020), 234-245. Elana Wilson Rowe, “Same Word, Same Idea?: Sustainable Development Talk and the Russian Arctic,” in The Politics of Sustainability in the Arctic, ed. Ulrik Pram Gad and Jeppe Strandsbjerg (London: Routledge, 2018), 108-120. Alexander Sergunin and Valery Konyshev, “Russian Military Strategies in the Arctic: Change or Continuity?,” European Security 26, no.2 (2017): 171189, 10.1080/09662839.2017.1318849. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” See, for example, Mathieu Boulègue, “Russia’s Military Posture in the Arctic: Managing Hard Power in a 'Low Tension' Environment” (London: Chatham House, 2019); Katarzyna Zysk, “Russia’s Military Build-Up in the Arctic: To What End?” (Washington: Center for Naval Analysis, 2020); and Michael Petersen and Rebecca Pincus, “Arctic Militarization and Russian Military Theory,” Orbis 65/3 (2021): 490-512. Klimenko, “Russia’s new Arctic policy document.” Sergunin, “Thinking about Russian Arctic council chairmanship.” See also Konyshev and Sergunin, 2019; Lasserre et al., 2012; Sergunin and Konyshev, 2017. Sukhankin, “Russia Unveils New Arctic Development Strategy.” Parts of this section are derived from Sukhankin, “Russia’s New ‘Arctic Offensive’: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?” (two parts), Eurasia Daily Monitor, 2 March 2021, https://jamestown.org/program/russias-new-arctic-offensive-do-the-benefits-outweighthe-costs-part-one/ and https://jamestown.org/program/russias-new-arctic-offensivedo-the-benefits-outweigh-the-costs-part-two/. Russia, “Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone.” “Russia’s Cabinet Reshuffle Affects Several Key Arctic Roles,” Arctic Today (Reuters), 9 November 2020, https://www.arctictoday.com/russias-cabinet-reshuffle-affects-severalkey-arctic-roles/. “Катастрофа Для Арктики”. Что Известно О Разливе Топлива В Норильске,” [“Catastrophe for the Arctic” What is known about the fuel spill in Norilsk], BBC, updated 4 June, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-52926977. “Сотрудники Кроноцкого Заповедника Поделились С Владимиром Солодовым Впечатлениями От Увиденного На Юге Авачинской Бухты,” [Employees of the Kronotsky Reserve shared with Vladimir Solodov impressions of what they saw in the south of Avachinskaya Bay], Правительство Камчатского края, 2020, accessed 7 October,

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2020, https://www.kamgov.ru/news/sotrudniki-kronockogo-zapovednika-podelilis-svladimirom-solodovym-vpecatleniami-ot-uvidennogo-na-uge-avacinskoj-buhty-34201. “Александр Козлов Назначен Министром Природных Ресурсов И Экологии,” [Alexander Kozlov appointed Minister of Natural Resources and Environment], Администрация Президента России, updated 09 November, 2020, accessed 09 November, 2020, http://kremlin.ru/catalog/keywords/92/events/64390. Презилент Путин, “Указ Президента Российской Федерации От 25.11.2020 № 740 «Об Организационном Комитете По Подготовке И Обеспечению Председательства Российской Федерации В Арктическом Совете В 2021 - 2023 Годах»,” [“On the Organization Committee for the Preparation and Implementation of Russia`s Chairmanship in the Arctic Council between 2021-2023 ] in № 740, ed. Креимль (Москва, Россия: Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации, 2020), http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202011250037. “Министерство Развития Арктики Появится В Мурманской Области,” The Ministry for the Development of the Arctic will appear in the Murmansk region, Известия, 11 January 2021, https://iz.ru/1110116/2021-01-11/ministerstvo-razvitiia-arktiki-iekonomiki-sozdadut-v-murmanskoi-oblasti. “Власти заинтересовались привлечением частного капитала в Арктику” [Authorities are interested in attracting private capital to the Arctic], 18 March 2020, https://lenta.ru/news/2020/03/18/kapital/ “Government to allocate 214 billion rubles for large Arctic projects”, 01 February 2021, https://arctic.ru/economics/20210201/990654.html “Перечень инвестиционных проектов, планируемых к реализации на территории Арктической зоны Российской Федерации” [Roster of investment projects planned for realization on the territory of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation], 1 February 2021, http://static.government.ru/media/files/G3HwvCERdovsxxQCN6vm1dlhct0JuW46.pd f. Additional details include that the subsidy (allocated by the Russian state) must be covered (through taxation) within ten years and new jobs must be created by launching new businesses or modernizing already existing ones. “Правительство РФ одобрило шесть бизнес-проектов для развития Арктики” [The Russian government has approved six business projects on the development of the Arctic], 3 February 2021, https://rossaprimavera.ru/news/608e5c8e “Арктика-2020: определены векторы развития” [Arctic-2020: vectors for the development have been determined], 21 February 2020, https://neftegaz.ru/news/partnership/526318-arktika-2020-opredeleny-vektoryrazvitiya/ “На арктическом шельфе РФ могут создать льготный режим” [On the Arctic shelf a concessionary regime could be created], 11 December 2020, https://neftegaz.ru/news/gosreg/654195-na-arkticheskom-shelfe-rf-mogut-sozdatlgotnyy-rezhim/ “Минвостокразвития разрабатывает механизм поддержки лизинга для бизнеса в Арктике” [Monvostokzavitiya is developing a mechanism to support leasing in the Arctic for businesses], 25 November 2020, https://tass.ru/ekonomika/10096951 “В арктических пунктах пропуска упростили прохождение проверок” [Rules in the Arctic checking points have been relaxed], 11 February 2021, https://sever-

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press.ru/2021/02/11/v-arkticheskih-punktah-propuska-uprostili-prohozhdenieproverok/ 98. “Российская Арктика: арктические концессии для бизнеса и крупные инвестиционные проекты” [The Russian Arctic: Arctic concessions for business and large investment projects], 15 January 2021, https://gaidarforum.ru/ru/news/2011/ 99. “В Мурманской области будет создано министерство развития Арктики и экономики” [A new ministry of economic development of the Arctic and economics will be created in Murmansk oblast], 11 January 2021, https://govmurman.ru/info/news/388888/ 100. Sergey Sukhankin, “Russia’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ Encounters New Difficulties,” Eurasia Daily Monitor 17, no. 167 (24 November 2020), https://jamestown.org/program/russiaspivot-to-asia-encounters-new-difficulties/. 101. “Китай готовится отказаться от покупки нефти и газа у внешних игроков” [China is preparing to stop buying oil and natural gas from external actors], 14 May 2021, https://russtrat.ru/analytics/14-maya-2021-0010-4178?utm_source=finobzor.ru 102. Lagutina, “Russia’s Arctic policies,” 14. 103. Kari Roberts, “Understanding Russia’s Security Priorities in the Arctic: Why Canada-Russia Cooperation is Still Possible,” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 27, no.2 (2020): 211-227. 104. Baev, “Threat Assessments and Strategic Objectives,” 39.

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The Development of Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in Russia: Energy Policy Updates and New Activities by Companies Luiza Brodt

The development of its Arctic offshore oil and gas resources remains one of Russia’s strategic priorities, both in terms of ensuring national energy security and cementing its presence in the region. As existing fields in West Siberia mature and become less productive, Russia needs to bring new sources on stream, with these being primarily located in the country’s Arctic region, including its continental shelf, even though this presents considerable challenges to the industry. Some steps have already been taken to initiate and encourage this development, such as the process of adoption of a federal law liberalizing continental shelf access for private oil and gas companies and ongoing domestic development of offshore technologies that can be applied in the Arctic. This article analyses Russia’s contemporary strategies in the energy sector in terms of future offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic. It provides relevant updates on Arctic offshore oil and gas activities in Russia since 2014, illustrates the challenges Russian companies face in operating in this region, and outlines commercial agreements underlying long-term Arctic offshore interests. This analysis also helps to better understand future risk-sharing strategies for the Russian oil and gas companies in the Arctic that will need to be developed.

Introduction Melting Arctic sea ice presents new opportunities and has opened the Arctic Ocean to shipping as well as to oil and gas exploration for the Arctic states. But even with the considerable reduction in sea ice extent, thickness, and volume in recent decades (AMAP, 2017; IPCC, 2021), there is still large uncertainty associated with offshore oil and gas assessments in the Arctic, where exploration drilling is costly. Nonetheless, resource potential estimates from Arctic state official agencies (USGS, 2008; EIA, 2009; REA, 2019; US National Petroleum Council, 2019) and expert forecasts of future Arctic offshore oil and gas production are available (Lindholt & Glomsrød, 2012, 2018; Bourmistrov et al., 2015; Laverov et al., 2016; Kaminskiy et al., 2020). The U.S. Geological Survey estimated in 2008 that the total amount of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources (oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids) in the Arctic amounts to 413 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe), of which approximately 84% is thought to be in offshore areas (Bird et al., 2008). This estimate has been widely cited by scholars, despite the fact that USGS resource appraisal represents only Luiza Brodt is a PhD Candidate and Senior Lecturer at Novosibirsk State University (Russia) and Research Fellow at the Stanford US-Russia Forum (USA).


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possible reserves and was based on geological probability rather than on actual offshore drilling data. Lindholt and Glomsrød (2012) considered the oil and gas supplies from six Arctic regions (Alaska, Canada, Norway, Greenland, West Russian Arctic and East Russian Arctic) during 2010– 2050 based on the USGS estimates and followed the IEA reference oil price assumption, concluding that the Arctic share of global production will only be 8–10%. In their recent research, they have already adjusted these numbers upward (Lindholt & Glomsrød, 2018). Bourmistrov et al. (2015) considered possible future scenarios for Barents Sea oil and gas development and Norwegian-Russian cooperation therein. Arctic offshore oil and gas production predictions have also been made by Russian researchers for the Pechora Sea (Laverov et al., 2016) and the Kara Sea (Kaminskiy et al., 2020). In the case of the Russian continental shelf, many offshore oil and gas fields in the western part of the Russian Arctic have been known since the 1980s, such as the Prirazlomnoe, the Pomorskoe and the Dolginskoe in the Pechora Sea, the Shtokman, the Ludlovskoe, and the Murmanskoe in the Barents Sea, and the Rusanovskoe and the Leningradskoe in the Kara Sea. However, at present, despite this knowledge, it is difficult to assess the full potentially recoverable oil and gas reserves of the entire Russian Arctic offshore region. Thus, according to recent updates from the US National Petroleum Council (2019), the potential resources of the Arctic Ocean offshore area are estimated at no less than 390 bboe, with the share in the Russian Federation being 60%. Estimates of the recoverable resources of the eastern part of the Russian Arctic are poorer, but this will change as new geological data from these regions are obtained (Zhdaneev et al., 2020). The development of the Arctic region and, specifically, of oil and gas resources in the region is a significant element of Russia’s contemporary policy. Further oil and gas exploration and production, including of the country’s Arctic offshore regions, are outlined as a long-term goal in official energy policy documents of the Russian Federation at federal, regional, and industrial levels (Ministry of Natural…, 2018; Ministry of Energy…, 2020), which also address issues of infrastructure renewal and the development of transport routes in the Arctic region. The question now is whether the Russian oil and gas industry and its component companies will succeed in developing the necessary new offshore technologies in the Arctic, or whether overseas companies will continue to play an important role in future developments. The Arctic continental shelf presents considerable challenges for offshore oil and gas exploration, where those proposing to do so face harsh environmental conditions with extremely low temperatures, icebergs, icing, the lack of infrastructure or advanced technologies and, related to those, the need for considerable investment. A number of analyses of oil and gas company operations on the Arctic shelf have been prepared in recent years, focusing on commercial and legal issues, risks and opportunities as well as on the impacts of western economic sanctions (Henderson & Loe, 2014; Koivurova, 2017; Mitrova et al., 2018; Nikitina, 2018; Shapovalova & Stephen, 2019; Overland & Poussenkova, 2020). Sidortsov (2016, 2017) reviewed Russian policy, specifically the legal and regulatory frameworks, on the access to offshore oil and gas resources and the conditions of their development. Pilyasov (2015, 2020, 2021) comprehensively examined how Russian Arctic resource corporations adapt to the high risks of economic activity in the Arctic and considered the challenges and prospects for Arctic offshore oil and gas development. Thus, it is clear that issues of resources estimation and future production prediction from the Arctic offshore have been studied by researchers, along with the governance of oil and gas offshore resources and

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company’s operations therein. However, this field is evolving and warrants further research, particularly in Russia. The primary objective of this article is to provide an overview of future offshore oil and gas strategies and developments in the Russian Arctic by describing current and planned offshore oil and gas industrial activities. The article also explores how the Russian government perceives the role of Arctic offshore hydrocarbons in the contemporary energy industry and near future national strategy, particularly in the context of the currently limited access to leading technologies. First, Russia’s updated energy and related industrial strategies are considered in terms of Arctic offshore oil and development. Oil and gas activities on the Russian Arctic shelf after 2014 are considered, as well as ongoing domestic development of offshore technologies that can be applied in the Arctic Ocean. Then, the contemporary adoption of a federal law liberalizing continental shelf access for private oil and gas companies as well as for foreign partners in the Russian Arctic is analyzed. In view of the large Arctic hydrocarbon resource potential, evolving energy strategies and continuing development of offshore technologies in the country, the components of the Russian energy industry will need to further transform their strategies, increasing focus on the environmental risks of future activities and recognizing the key role of international cooperation in the global oil and gas industry.

Framing of Arctic offshore oil and gas development in contemporary strategies The newly approved Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2035 outlines the further development of the Russian energy sector: on the one hand, to support the social and economic development of the country and guarantee energy affordability for domestic consumers and, on the other hand, to strengthen and maintain the position of the Russian Federation in global energy markets until at least 2035 (Ministry of Energy…, 2020). Additionally, the strategy of states that accelerated development of the most efficient reserves and reduced investment in oil and gas exploration in some regions in the world will create the preconditions for crude oil supply to decrease globally after 2020, which will require extensive investment in offshore and other expensive projects, and may lead to the beginning of a new price rise cycle. In a recent interview, Russian Minister of Energy Nikolai Shulginov clearly outlined that Russia cannot ignore the energy transition and global energy sector transformations, but at the same time emphasized that it is inappropriate to consider abandoning oil exports: “There is no need to rush parting with hydrocarbons, it is necessary to develop renewable energy sources along with traditional energy resources” (Shulginov, 2021). In terms of oil, according to expert estimates after 2025-2030, Russian oil companies will increasingly struggle to maintain the current level of oil production, primarily due to decreases in reserve quality (Mitrova, 2019). Future Russian oil production could be supported by in-depth development of existing conventional oil fields using intensification methods (Mitrova, 2019), development of non-conventional reserves or the development of Arctic offshore fields (Morgunova, 2020). Furthermore, Arctic offshore development has itself been emphasized as a strategic national goal for the approaching decades. According to the 2035 Strategy: the development of the hydrocarbon resource potential of the Arctic continental shelf and Russian northern territories is the most significant geopolitical and technological challenge for the Russian petroleum industry. An adequate response to this challenge is to ensure The Development of Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in Russia


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sufficient production of oil and gas resources in the country over the time prospect of 2035, compensating for the inevitable decline in their production from old fields (Ministry of Energy…, 2020). Among the main features of the Russian energy policy documents, for example in the Strategy for the Development of the Mineral and Raw Materials Base of the Russian Federation until 2035 it is emphasized that the global fossil fuel balance will gradually change, the share of oil use will gradually decrease, and the share of natural gas will grow. Russia assumes that oil will remain as a dominant fuel in the medium term and might continue to be so in the long term. However, natural gas has more advantages in the long term, as a relatively cleaner-burning fossil fuel. In general, the strategy concludes that the demand for energy sources in the world economy in absolute terms will increase, although some energy resources may be less in demand due to the emergence of new materials and technologies (Ministry of Natural Resources…, 2018). Separately, the significance of maritime logistics along the Western Europe-East Asia route through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) is increasing. According to the draft of the new Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2035, the volume of freight traffic along the NSR will increase up to 80 million tonnes in 2024, 100 million tonnes in 2030, and up to 120 million tonnes by 2035 (Ministry of Transportation…, 2020: 15). In common with the above-mentioned strategies, this implies that Russia will promote future Arctic natural resource development and production facility construction along the country’s northern coastline, which will create further traffic using the NSR. Furthermore, the development of the NSR is providing Russia with an opportunity to diversify its energy policy by linking Russian Arctic hydrocarbon production directly with Asian markets. Recent examples, such as the Christophe de Margerie LNG tanker record-early voyage across the NSR in May 2020, confirm that the sea ice reduction along the Russian Arctic coast opens new opportunities for further development of the region (Sovcomflot, 2020). It is important to note that in late 2019, the Government signed an order approving The Infrastructure Development Plan for the Northern Sea Route until 2035 (The Russian Government, 2019). The plan was formed based on the forecast of all existing and prospective cargo flows, which includes freight of natural resources projects implemented by oil and gas companies such as Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Novatek and others. The emergence of a plan for the development of the NSR infrastructure can be considered a big step forward since this is the first official document that determines the development of the largest sea transportation route in the Russian North. Initially, the federal project Northern Sea Route (2018-2024) was prepared by the Ministry of Transport but then transferred to Rosatom state company. The main tasks for the NSR development are increasing the freight traffic by the NSR up to 80 million tonnes per year, ensuring year-round navigation of ships on the NSR, the building of new ships and the mapping of natural resources. However, some experts consider that there is an indirect impact of economic sanctions on the NSR, through the slowdown of the offshore activities and consequential slowdown in shipping relative to expectations (Shapovalova et al., 2020). It is also important to highlight that the implementation of the tasks set within the Federal project of NSR (2018-2024) is carried out at the expense of the federal budget, which means that these government investments are already approved. Furthermore, there are some new agreements with private Russian companies to contribute to funding. In October 2020, Russia approved the new Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security through 2035, which defines the country’s vision and development plans for the region over the next 15 years. The Strategy is to be implemented in three stages: 2020–2024, 2025– Brodt


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2030 and 2031–2035 (Decree of the President…, 2020). During the first stage, several important tasks are envisaged, which include the creation of mechanisms for the accelerated economic and social development of the region, the modernization of the health care system in the Russian Arctic, the application of a new model for the implementation of resource projects on the Arctic continental shelf and several other tasks. The new Arctic strategy plans for state support for investment in energy infrastructure and transport as well as oil and gas technology developments (The Russian Government, 2021). However, the strategy also has significantly increased content devoted to the assessment of climate change. Specifically, state support will also be provided for mitigating the impact of climate change on the region, including for projects that improve energy efficiency and increase the use of LNG and renewables. There is also a discussion of possibilities for international cooperation in the region. At the same time, taking advantage of the consequences of the ongoing warming of the Arctic, the strategy aims to advance the development of the Arctic’s abundant resources, in particular oil and gas. It is clear from the above-mentioned strategies that Russia continues to see the Arctic region as a key development priority. Official energy strategies prescribe the need to increase oil and gas production in the Arctic, including offshore, to secure the stable operation of the country’s energy industry in the long term. At the same time, environmental risks, inadequate technologies, high risks for investors and limited access for private oil and gas companies are factors that could significantly complicate and hold back Arctic offshore oil and gas development.

Access to the Russian Arctic continental shelf Almost all issues associated with mineral extraction rights and their development in Russia are regulated by the Federal Law on Subsoil Resources (Federal Law № 2395-I, 1992). This Law stipulates that a license is required to explore and exploit subsoil resources, and the license certifies the right to carry out mineral extraction in a certain geographic area over a specified period. Articles of this law as well as different by-laws regulate most of the issues related to the terms of use of subsoil areas, the rights and obligations of the subsoil operators, the participation of foreign investors, etc. According to Article 20, the State can terminate a license for violation of its essential conditions, for safety threats in case of emergencies (natural disasters, military operations, etc.), or if the license holder has not started to operate within the period specified in the license. The State conducts nominal work and collects preliminary geological information, then puts up licensed blocks for auction. At present this Law specifies that only state-owned (more than 50% state share in authorized capital) companies with at least five years’ experience in Russian continental shelf development can apply for Arctic offshore licenses (Ibid.: Article 9). Currently, two Russian oil companies have met these requirements – Rosneft and Gazprom. These two companies and their subsidiaries currently hold 73.2% of licensed blocks on the Russian Arctic continental shelf (Bogoyavlensky, 2017), which raises the question of how the licenses for most available Arctic offshore areas have already been distributed between these two companies. Some commentators explain this situation as a consequence of a form of “competition” between Gazprom and Rosneft during the mass distribution of offshore licenses in the 2010s, while other companies were ineligible to access new offshore license blocks in the Arctic (Ampilov, 2020). Another interpretation is that there was a rational approach in these companies’ activities. During the period when most of the licenses were purchased in 2011-2014, the global oil price was very high ($100-120 per barrel), making it

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advantageous for the two Russian companies to develop hydrocarbon production on the Arctic shelf and to increase their capitalization by acquiring the licenses. Foreign oil and gas companies were equally interested in Russian Arctic offshore development at this time. During this period, strategically important cooperation agreements were signed between Rosneft and ExxonMobil in the Kara Sea in 2011, and with ENI and Equinor in the Barents Sea in 2012. In 2013, Rosneft and ExxonMobil set up joint ventures to conduct Arctic offshore research and exploration. The CEO of Rosneft Igor Sechin even stated that the Rosneft alliance with ExxonMobil “... surpasses projects such as the first spacewalk or flight to the Moon, and the volume of investments was compared with the development of the Brazilian shelf or the North Sea shelf” (Kommersant, 2012). However, importantly, a moratorium on the issue of new licenses on the Arctic shelf is currently in place in Russia. Company activities and new strategies since 2014 A major geopolitical shift occurred in 2014, with economic sanctions applied by the USA and EU specifically targeting the Russian Arctic offshore areas covered by agreements with foreign partners (EU, 2014). After the imposition of sanctions, the two major Russian oil companies tried to continue offshore activities in the Arctic independently. At the same time this shift opens opportunities for Russian oil and gas companies to direct an eye to the East, where Chinese, Vietnamese and other companies do not necessarily have to abide by these sanctions. Moreover, some Russian petroleum companies already have such experience in onshore oil and gas projects in the Russian Arctic (such as Arctic-LNG, Arctic LNG-2). Gazprom Neft In 2014, Gazprom Neft commenced production at the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Pechora Sea. Currently this is the only field on the Russian Arctic shelf that is being actively exploited. Though Gazprom Neft did not engage with foreign companies to develop this field, many external contractors took part in the project. Several foreign partners were employed in the stages of the drilling, engineering and servicing of the systems operating at the Prirazlomnaya platform (Mitrova et al., 2018). For seven years, production has been carried out at the Prirazlomnoye, and by November 2020, the field had produced 110 million barrels of oil out of an estimated 600 million barrels available. The production period of the field is estimated to be at least 36 years (Gazprom, 2020). The Arctic continental shelf is a region of strategic interests for Gazprom and its affiliate company, Gazprom Neft, in particular. At present, Gazprom Neft subsidiaries own licenses to the SeveroZapadny block in the Pechora Sea and the Severo-Vrangelevsky block, located on the continental shelves of the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea respectively (Figure 1).

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Figure 1. Arctic offshore licenses owned by Gazprom Neft (Source: Gazprom Neft, modified by author)

Except for the Prirazlomnoye, all these fields are currently undergoing geological prospecting. The most thoroughly investigated is the Dolginskoye oil field (more than 1500 million barrels of oil estimated), where several exploratory wells have been drilled, along with geophysical and hydrodynamic investigations during the short ice-free period (Gazprom Neft, 2018). In 2015, Gazprom Neft signed an agreement with Vietnam’s PetroVietnam company on the potential joint exploration and development of the Dolginskoye field, which is located relatively close to the Prirazlomnoye project facilities. In 2016, Gazprom invited the Chinese company “China National Offshore Oil Corporation” (CNOOC) to participate in the development of oil fields on the Russian Arctic shelf (Vedomosti, 2016). CNOOC specializes in offshore production, and Gazprom lacks both financial resources and competencies. At the same time, CNOOC needs to look for resources for the future, so they may be interested in cooperation in Russian offshore projects. In 2017, Gazprom Neft and Indian Oil & Natural Gas Corporation signed a framework agreement on Arctic offshore cooperation, also focusing on exploration opportunities in the Dolginskoye field. However, there remain questions about the competencies of these Asian oil companies to replace the expertise of the previous western partners in the challenging Arctic offshore conditions. Gazprom Neft initially planned to launch the Dolginskoye field in 2019 but then delayed the target date to 2031, citing the need to reconfigure the field’s geological model. In 2017-2018, 3D seismic studies were completed in the Severo-Zapadny license area, as well as offshore 2D seismic investigations at the Severo-Vrangelevsky license area. Another of the company’s assets, the Kheysovsky license block, located 1,000 km offshore in the Barents Sea (Figure 1), with more challenging geographical and weather-related challenges, remains a prospect for the much more distant future. Gazprom Neft is systematically establishing cooperation with prospective partners, a process that can take many years. In June 2021, Gazprom Neft and the Russian private gas company NOVATEK established a joint venture for offshore operations in the Arctic, specifically to develop the Severo-Vrangelevsky license area. Pursuant to this agreement, NOVATEK acquired a 49% interest in the charter capital of Gazprom Neft’s subsidiary Gazpromneft-Sakhalin, which holds geological prospecting,

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exploration and development rights within the Severo-Vrangelevsky license block. Gazprom Neft’s interest in the joint venture will be 51%. Rosneft One of the main strategic directions of Rosneft, similar to Gazprom Neft, is the development of oil and gas resources on the continental shelf. According to company statements, today, “when almost all major large oil and gas onshore fields have been discovered and developed, when technologies and shale oil production are rapidly developing, it is undeniable that the future of world oil production lies on the continental shelf” (Rosneft, 2020). As of June 1, 2021, Rosneft holds 28 licenses for Arctic offshore areas (Figure 2), including 19 in the Western Russian Arctic (the Barents, the Pechora and the Kara Seas), and 9 in the Eastern Russian Arctic (the Laptev, the East Siberian and the Chukchi Seas). Rosneft signed a number of cooperation agreements with ExxonMobil, ENI and Equinor during 2011-2013. In 2012, Rosneft and ENI signed a joint venture agreement on the development of two offshore licensed areas in the Barents Sea. However, at present, this project is postponed. In September 2014, Rosneft and ExxonMobil began drilling the northernmost well on the Russian shelf – the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Kara Sea. They made a major discovery of oil and natural gas reserves and named the field “Pobeda”, which means “victory” in Russian. However, following the second round of sanctions imposed a few days before the planned opening, ExxonMobil suspended the project and withdrew from Russian joint ventures under the sanctions, writing off one billion US dollars (Mitrova et al., 2018). For ExxonMobil itself, the withdrawal from this project was a serious financial blow, and further, the company could not put these reserves on its balance sheet, so it also lost the opportunity to increase its capitalization. Rosneft announced that independent development of this project would proceed, but as yet no activities are taking place.

Figure 2. Arctic offshore licenses owned by the Rosneft (Source: Rosneft Upstream, modified by author) In 2017, Rosneft began drilling the Central-Olginskaya-1 well in the Laptev Sea, which was the first-ever well in this Sea. Later, Rosneft confirmed the discovery of a new field in the Khatanga Bay with reserves estimated at more than 600 million barrels of oil (similar to the Prirazlomnoye field reserves). The company secured the license to develop the Khatanga block on the eastern Russian Arctic shelf in December 2015. In record time, they carried out preparatory work and started exploratory drilling in early April 2017 (Offshore, 2017). “Drilling is carried out from the shore. Thus, this technology can significantly save financial resources, ensure efficiency and high Brodt


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environmental standards” – said Igor Sechin, who was at that time on the shore of the Khatanga Bay (Rosneft, 2017). However, while there are no ports close to this field and the navigation period in this area currently does not exceed two months each year, the company is not slowing the pace of work and intends to increase the scale of investment in developing Arctic offshore oil and gas. Rosneft is trying to attract eastern partners whenever possible. In August 2020, Rosneft began drilling the Vikulovskaya-1 well at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 block in the Kara Sea (see Figure 2) by using the Chinese platform Nan Hai Jiu Hao (Nan Hai IX), owned by China Oilfield Services Limited (controlled by CNOOC). Another Chinese jack-up rig “Oriental Discovery” (owned by Tianjin China State Shipbuilding Corporation) is drilling now the Ragozinskaya-1 exploratory well at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-2 block (Neftianka, 2020). All exploration offshore areas are estimated to have significant reserves of natural gas. The company stated that, by 2050, the Arctic shelf will provide 20-30% of all Russian oil production (Rosneft, 2017). New strategies and technology development In general, the Gazprom Neft strategy aims to adapt swiftly to external challenges in the upstream segment, focusing on cost control, import-substitution, development of new technologies, and implementation of major onshore and offshore projects in the Arctic (Overland & Poussenkova, 2020). According to Gazprom Neft Sustainable Development Report (2021), one of the company’s primary targets today is improving transport safety and logistics in its Arctic operations. Thus, in 2020, Gazprom Neft commissioned the Arctic heliport at Varandey rotation camp (the company Lukoil owns the Varandey terminal). It should allow reliable and uninterrupted delivery of shift workers to the field, transport of cargo and, in the future, may serve as a springboard for the development of other offshore petroleum projects in the Barents Sea (Gazprom Neft Report, 2021: 86). A large part of Gazprom Neft’s Arctic investment in innovation is focused on digital transformation. The company is rolling out its intelligent “Kapitan” system that ensures safe operations in the Arctic offshore environment. The system monitors crude oil shipments and inventories 24/7, taking into account weather conditions and changes in ice conditions to support optimum operational planning. The deployment of this system resulted in a 12% cost reduction in 2019-2020 through optimizing tanker operational costs (by selecting the most viable routes), better fuel economy, lower expenditure on icebreaker support, together with reduced down-time (Gazprom, 2021). In 2020, the company worked with experts to develop the formulation of a dispersant able to manage oil spills in ice conditions (Oilcapital, 2020). The technology is tailored to the Arctic marine climate and is currently the only Russian-manufactured reagent for oil spill management at low temperatures. Since Gazprom Neft has active onshore and offshore projects in the western part of the Russian Arctic, Rosneft positions itself more as a pioneer in the eastern part of the Arctic offshore, which presents more severe environmental challenges for exploration and development. The development of appropriate Arctic offshore activities is a central focus of Rosneft’s strategy. The company is seeking to build its capacity to manufacture offshore equipment and vessels capable of operating in this more severe region. Its main effort to date has been aimed at creating the “Zvezda” shipbuilding facility in the Russian Far East. Contracts with the leading international companies involved in offshore equipment manufacturer signed illustrate that sanctions have not entirely succeeded in restricting Rosneft’s access to foreign partners and their technologies.

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It is important to have the sequence of actions necessary to work on the Arctic shelf while international sanctions are in place. In Russia, the challenges of hydraulic fracturing, drilling of horizontal wells and production of a number of components have been resolved. State oil and gas companies are quite active in using Chinese drilling rigs on the Russian Arctic shelf, as well as in repairing of Russian offshore rigs in China (PortNews, 2020) and Singapore. But the key issue of offshore platform construction remains. For the active development of the Arctic shelf, it is necessary to create a new industry. So far, only Rosneft is following this path. As noted above, the “Zvezda” shipyard was created near Vladivostok, and a shipyard is also planned for the construction of the foundations of drilling platforms in Roslyakovo, Murmansk region. These must provide the entire range of vessels required for offshore development, including platforms for drilling exploration and production wells on the Arctic shelf. This is a new type of platform and needs to be fully ice classified. Thus, the work on the creation of this equipment is still at the R&D stage. The liberalization of access Over the past few years, Russia has been discussing tools to attract foreign partners for oil and gas development on the country’s Arctic shelf. In particular, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev put forward a proposal to create a state agency that would own a share of 25.1% of all Arctic shelf projects. To this end, the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic proposed to establish the “RosShelf” state corporation, with which foreign investors would have to conclude agreements on joint activities on the Russian Arctic shelf. However, the proposal did not find support in the Ministry of Energy of Russia. Explaining the position of his department, Deputy Minister Pavel Sorokin noted that “the project creates a conflict of interest: the state corporation is endowed with both administrative and law-making powers, at the same time it will be a party to the agreement” (Kommersant, 2020). In June 2020, the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic prepared a draft of another law, which proposes to establish a new model for foreign investor operations on the Arctic shelf of the Russian Federation. It involves the transfer of powers in matters of field development on the Arctic shelf to the state corporation VEB.RF (ВЭБ.РФ). VEB.RF is Russia’s national economic development institution, established by Russian federal law exclusively for the public good, as a non-commercial, non-profit organization with no shareholders. VEB.RF’s charter capital comprises funds and other property contributed by the Russian Federation; it also receives direct contributions from the Federal Budget. However, it is not a ministry, but a special entity, tasked with facilitating a wide range of socio-economic development activities. The corporation’s tasks will include facilitating the implementation of investment in hydrocarbon projects on the continental shelf of the Russian Federation, as well as attracting foreign investment in the development of offshore projects in the Arctic. In December 2020, this draft law was submitted by the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic for consideration to the Russian government. At the time of writing, this draft law can be inspected on the Official site of draft regulatory legal acts by federal executive authorities for their public discussion (Draft Federal Law, 2021). The bill provides for the right of private investors to be allocated an unlimited number of subsoil areas on the shelf, provided that a financial guarantee is provided. The bill is intended to create conditions for stimulating both foreign and domestic private investors to operate on the Russian continental shelf. Brodt


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Concluding remarks The contemporary oil and gas industry is under significant pressure due to increasing environmental and climate concerns, especially in the context of developing resources in the Arctic region. At the same time, more accessible reserves have been developed already and exploration is taking the industry to more remote and challenging areas. One such area is the Arctic region and its continental shelf, in particular. Increasing access to Arctic resources through improved shipping routes is widely expected to increase the levels of activity of Arctic states and resource extraction industries. Moreover, some investment activities from non-Arctic states are involved. New offshore hydrocarbon developments continue to be of particular interest for the Arctic littoral states. Commercial development on the Arctic continental shelf continues in Norway (“Snohvit”, “Goliat”, “Aasta Hansten”), the USA (“Northstar”, “Oooguruk”, “Nikaitchuq”, “Liberty” prospect) and Russia (“Prirazlomnoye”). The largest element of the Arctic offshore area falls under Russian sovereign administration and includes many locations of current and potential oil and gas production. Thus, Russia may prioritize the Barents Sea or other areas such as the Pechora Sea or the Kara Sea shelf of the Russian Arctic, and its Arctic offshore exploration activities are continuing. At present these activities are not very intensive and mostly involve geological exploration in various license blocks, amendments to the legislation regarding the further development of the Arctic shelf, and the development of associated industries, such as the Arctic shipbuilding and new offshore technology development. New Arctic oil and gas projects may be attractive for foreign investors, depending on the region of production, the resource itself and global geopolitics (including the use of sanctions). The Russian Government views western sanctions as an opportunity to develop its own Arctic technologies, also with the support of eastern partners from China, Korea and Vietnam. When analyzing the prospects for Russian oil and gas offshore projects in the Arctic, it is important to understand that the size and potential reserves of the fields yet identified will complicate offshore operations by companies, and will require the careful selection of technologies, partners and strategies. For Russia it is necessary to study the experience of foreign oil and gas companies currently operating on the Arctic shelf (Brodt, 2021). The summaries presented here demonstrate that the current and somewhat enforced slow activity presents a good opportunity for the Russian oil and gas industry and its component companies to improve and test the technologies that will be required for the successful and environmentally sensitive future implementation of offshore projects in the Russian Arctic.

Acknowledgments The author acknowledges support shared by Professor Peter Convey and Nikolay Matushkin.

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center/news/gazprom-neft-reviews-information-on-the-implementation-of-its-offshoreprojects/ Gazprom Neft (2021) Sustainable Development Report. Accessed 11 June 2021 https://ir.gazpromneft.com/upload/iblock/5f8/Sustainable_Development_Report_2020_ENG.pdf Gazprom Neft (March 29, 2021). Gazprom Neft’s “Kapitan” digital system delivers a 12% reduction in Arctic oil maritime logistics costs. Accessed 11 June 2021 https://www.gazprom-neft.com/presscenter/news/gazprom_neft_s_kapitan_digital_system_delivers_a_12_reduction_in_arctic _oil_maritime_logistics_costs/ Henderson, J., & Loe, J. S. P. (2014). The prospects and challenges for Arctic oil development. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. https://doi.org/10.26889/9781784670153 Johnston, P. (2012). Arctic Energy Resources: Security and Environmental Implications. Journal of Strategic Security 5, no. 3, 13-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1944-0472.5.3.2 Kaminskiy, V. D., Chernikh, A.A., Medvedeva, T. Yu., suprunenko, O. I., Suvorova, E.B. (2020). The Kara Sea is a promising ground for the study and development of offshore hydrocarbon resources [Karskoe more – poligon dlya izucheniy uglevodorodnih resursov shelfa]. Neftegaz, 5(101)-2020, 81-89. https://magazine.neftegaz.ru/articles/geologorazvedka/551685-karskoe-more-poligondlya-izucheniy-uv-resursov-shelfa/ Koivurova, T. (2017). Framing the Problem in Arctic Offshore Exploration. In Pelaudeix, C. & Basse, E.M. (Eds.). Governance of Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315585475 Kommersant (2012, April 19). Igor Sechin threw the skeletons out of the cupboards. Alliance of Rosneft and ExxonMobil presented to investors. Retrieved from https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1918809 Kommersant (2020, February 2). Rosshelf is being drowned by the whole world. Retrieved from https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4259269 Laverov, N. P., Bogoyavlensky, V. I., Bogoyavlensky, I. V. (2016) Fundamental aspects of the rational development of oil and gas resources of the Arctic and Russian shelf: strategy, prospects, and challenges. Arctic: Ecology and Economy, 2 (22), 4—13. Lindholt, L. and Glomsrød, S. (2012). The Arctic: No big bonanza for the global petroleum industry. Energy Economics, 34 (5), 1465-1474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2012.06.020 Lindholt, L. and Glomsrød, S. (2018). Phasing out coal and phasing in renewables – Good or bad news for arctic gas producers? Energy Economics, 70(C), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2017.12.015 Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation. (2018). Strategy for the Development of the Mineral and Raw Materials Base of the Russian Federation until 2035 [Strategiia razvitiya mineralno-siryevoi bazi Rossiyskoi Federatsii do 2035 goda]. http://www.mnr.gov.ru/docs/strategii_i_doktriny/strategiya_razvitiya_mineralno_syrev oy_bazy_rossiyskoy_federatsii_do_2035_goda/ Accessed 17 May 2021. Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. (2020). Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2035 [Energeticheskaia Strategiia Rossiyskoy Federatsii na period do 2035 goda]. https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/1026 Accessed 15 May 2021.

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Ministry of Transportation of the Russian Federation. (2020). Draft Transport Strategy until 2035 [Proekt transportnoi strategii Rossii do 2035 goda]. https://omorrss.ru/upload/files/%D0%9F%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B5%D0%BA%D 1%82%20%D0%A2%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1 %80%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B9%20%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B 0%D1%82%D0%B5%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0%B8%20%D0%BD%D0%B0%20%D0 %BF%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BE%D0%B4%20%D0%B4%D0%BE%2020 35%20%D0%B3..pdf Mitrova, T., Grushevenko, E. and Malov A. (2018) Prospects for Russian Oil Production: Life under Sanctions (In Russian). Skolkovo Business School Energy Centre. https://energy.skolkovo.ru/downloads/documents/SEneC/research04-en.pdf Mitrova, T. (2019). Russia’s Energy Strategy. Atlantic Council Eurasia Center, Accessed 15 May 2021 https://css.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/center-for-securitiesstudies/resources/docs/AtlanticCouncil_Russias_Energy_Strategy.pdf Morgunova, M. (2020) Why is exploitation of Arctic offshore oil and natural gas resources ongoing? A multi-level perspective on the cases of Norway and Russia, The Polar Journal, 10-1, 64-81 DOI: 10.1080/2154896X.2020.1757823 Neftianka (2020). VNIIOkeanologiya: "323 wells drilled on the Russian shelf". http://neftianka.ru/vniiokeanologiya-na-shelfe-rossii-probureny-323-skvazhiny/ Accessed 29 September 2021 Nikitina E.N. (2018) Arctic Transformations: Multinational Companies Facing the New Challenges of Sustainable Development. Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law, 11(1), 65-87. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.23932/2542-0240-2018-11-1-65-87 Offshore (2017, June 22) Rosneft finds oil in shallow water in the Laptev Sea. Retrieved from https://www.offshore-mag.com/drilling-completion/article/16800540/rosneft-finds-oilin-shallow-water-in-the-laptev-sea Oilcapital (2020, October 28). Reagent for oil spill response in the Arctic has been created. Retrieved from https://oilcapital.ru/news/companies/28-10-2020/sozdan-reagent-dlyalikvidatsii-razlivov-nefti-v-arktike Overland, I. & Poussenkova, N. (2020). Russian Oil Companies in an Evolving World. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788978019 Pilyasov, A.N. and Putilova, E.S. (2020). New Projects for the Development of the Russian Arctic: Space Matters!, ISSN 2221-2698. Arctic and North. 2020. № 38, 21. Pilyasov, A.N. and Kotov, A.V. (2015). The Russian Arctic: Potential for International Cooperation: Report No. 17 / 2015 / [A.N. Pilyasov (Head), A.V. Kotov]. Ivanov I.S. (Ed.). Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). https://russiancouncil.ru/en/activity/publications/the-russian-arctic-potential-forinternational-cooperation/ Pilyasov, A.N. and Tsukerman, V.A. (2021). Arctic Corporations and Development Risks: Challenge and Response. ISSN 2221-2698. Arctic and North. 2021. № 44, 103. PortNews (2020, October 2). "Northern Lights" and "Polar Star" drilling rigs will go to China for repairs. Retrieved from https://portnews.ru/news/302619/ Prirazlomnoye project. Accessed 5 June 2021 https://www.gazprom-neft.com/company/majorprojects/prirazlomnoe/

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REA (Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of Russian Federation). (2019). Arctic oil and gas Klondike [Neftegazoviy klondayk Arktiki]. Accessed 29 September 2021 https://www.cdu.ru/tek_russia/articles/1/545/?PAGEN_1=2 Rosneft (2017). Rosneft starts drilling the northernmost well on the Russian shelf. Accessed 10 June 2021 https://www.rosneft.ru/press/today/item/186077/ Rosneft (2020). Offshore projects. Accessed 10 June 2021 https://www.rosneft.ru/business/Upstream/offshore/ Shapovalova, D., & Stephen, K. (2019). No race for the Arctic? Examination of interconnections between legal regimes for offshore petroleum licensing and level of industry activity. Energy policy, 129, 907-917. Shapovalova, D., Galimullin, E., & Grushevenko, E. (2020). Russian Arctic offshore petroleum governance: The effects of western sanctions and outlook for northern development. Energy Policy, 146, 111753. Shulginov N. (2021) There is no need to part with hydrocarbons, it is necessary to develop renewable energy sources along with traditional types of energy. Energy Policy, 5 (159), 414. (In Russian). DOI: 10.46920/2409-5516_2021_5159_4. Sidortsov, R. (2016). A perfect moment during imperfect times: Arctic energy research in a lowcarbon era. Energy Research & Social Science, 16, 1-7. Sidortsov, R. (2017). The Russian offshore oil and gas regime - When tight control means less order. In Pelaudeix, C., & Basse, E.M. (Eds.). Governance of Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315585475 Sovcomflot, Gas shipper "Christophe de Margerie" sailed along the NSR in an eastern direction two months earlier than usual. Accessed 31 May 2021 http://www.scfgroup.com/press_office/press_releases/item103400.html The Russian Government (2019). Infrastructure development plan for the Northern Sea Route until 2035 [Plan razvitiya infrastrukturi Severnogo Morskogo Putin a period do 2035 goda]. http://government.ru/docs/38714/ Accessed 30 September 2021 The Russian Government (2021). A Unified Plan of measures to implement the Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the period up to 2035 and the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period up to 2035. Accessed 2 June 2021 http://static.government.ru/media/files/p8DfCI0Pr1XZnAk08G7J3jUXUuDvswHr.pdf ?fbclid=IwAR2kD3xHVsRfRwxYh28UNfemWEx4nLgUzmYW7xvApPJVULuCvGGK0D7HyQ U.S. National Petroleum Council. (2019). Supplemental Assessment to the 2015 Report Arctic Potential: Realizing the Promise of U.S. Arctic Oil and Gas Resources. Washington DC. Accessed 1 May 2021 https://www.npcarcticreport.org/pdf/2019-Arctic_SA-LoRes.pdf Vedomosti (2016, September 6). Gazprom invites China's CNOOC to the shelf. Retrieved from https://www.vedomosti.ru/business/articles/2016/09/07/655966-gazprom-kitaiskuyucnooc Zhdaneev O. V., Frolov K. N., Konygin A. E., Gekhaev M. R. (2020) Exploration drilling on the Russian Arctic and Far East shelf. Arctic: Ecology and Economy, 3 (39), 112—125. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-3-112-125.

The Development of Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas Resources in Russia


How Russia’s New Vision of Territorial Development in the Arctic Can Boost China-Russia Economic Collaboration Gao Tianming & Vasilii Erokhin

In recent years, a growing number of investment projects in the Arctic zone of Russia have been contributed to by China’s capital and technologies, but the industrial development of the Russian Arctic remains extremely fragmented. The focal location of productive forces and population hampers integration of the northern territories into global supply chains, limits international investment cooperation to few mineral resources basins, and thus poses a threat to the resilient development of the entire region. Russia’s government has been paying increasing attention to mitigating social and economic imbalances in the Arctic. The new Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Provision of National Security through 2035 (approved in November 2020) for the first time focuses on the development priorities of individual regions and includes perterritory summaries of investment, infrastructure, and social projects. The Arctic Zone of Russia is expanding by the inclusion of new administrative entities. In 2020, Russia announced preferences for investors which have turned the Russian Arctic into the world’s largest free economic zone of almost five million square kilometers. Such changes cannot but affect business links with foreign counterparts. In this study, the authors explore new possibilities of Russia-China economic and investment cooperation in the High North. The analysis includes Russia’s national Arctic strategy and regional strategies of the nine administrative territories that constitute the Arctic Zone of Russia. The study concludes with the per-territory identification of the most promising investment and infrastructure projects for China to take part in.

Introduction The Arctic zone is of crucial importance for Russia’s economy. Over 80% of Russia’s natural gas and 17% of its oil come from oil and gas fields in the High North (Southcott et al., 2018). The importance of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as an international transport corridor is growing amid progressing climate change and new opportunities for the exploration and transportation of minerals and hydrocarbons. In the past decades, territorial development of the Russian (or rather Soviet) Arctic, motivated by resource factors, was aimed at the establishment of transport and industrial infrastructure and settling territories in places of resource localization. This approach has resulted in the focal distribution of productive forces throughout the vast and poorly connected territories of the Russian Arctic. Gao Tianming, Professor, School of Economics and Management, Director and Chief Expert at the Arctic Blue Economy Research Center, Harbin Engineering University, China; and Vasilii Erokhin, Associate Professor, School of Economics and Management, Research Fellow at the Arctic Blue Economy Research Center, Harbin Engineering University, China.


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Studies on the economic geography and territorial development of the Arctic (Nuttal & Callaghan, 2019; Howkins, 2015; Lipina et al., 2019; Galtseva et al., 2015; Gao et al., 2021; Wood-Donnelly, 2018; Heininen et al., 2020) distinguish three main models of the spatial economy which differ in the degree of administrative regulation of industrial, social, and economic development. While the North American and European models are both characterized by decentralization and sharing of governance functions between central and provincial governments, the Russian model assumes high centralization of resources management along with the formulation of territorial development priorities and principles by the federal government. The specifics of administration of territorial development processes in Russia manifests itself in various spheres. Many scholars, including Kudryashova et al. (2019), Plisetskii and Plisetskii (2019), Gubina and Provorova (2018), and Zaykov et al. (2017), among others, emphasize drawbacks peculiar to contemporary territorial development of the Russian Arctic, such as: • • • • •

spatial fragmentation and segmentation, the concentration of the population and economic activity around resource deposits; non-stationarity of productive forces due to the seasonal nature of a rotation system; uneven settlement, the polarization of the Arctic space due to the concentration of productive forces in cities and industrial centers, densification of settlement systems, labor outflow; high concentration of resources of better comparative characteristics and qualities (natural, human, financial, material, technical, etc.); pioneer nature of territorial development, due to the geographical remoteness of Arctic territories and vast undeveloped areas (particularly, in northern Yakutia and Chukotka).

These factors aggravate the instability of social and economic systems in the Russian Arctic, as well as the fragility of the spatial organization of the economy, which significantly increases the risks of economic and investment activities. In recent years, along with the factor of resource development, territorial development in the Arctic has been increasingly shaped by geopolitical interests of Russia and other Arctic states, as well as by the growing interests of China and other non-Arctic countries in various aspects of studying, exploration, and development of the Arctic. Approaches to territorial development in the High North are determined by the international status of land and water areas including the continental shelf, the importance of oil and gas resources in the global perspective including for non-Arctic stakeholders, and the formats of regional governance and their impact on economic, environmental, and military stability and security (Tamnes & Offerdal, 2014; Goldin, 2016). The models of resource-based territorial development of the Arctic are becoming less responsive to contemporary geopolitical and economic challenges. This requires their adaptation to the development of the Arctic space with the involvement of non-Arctic countries. Among non-Arctic countries, one of the principal actors in the region now is China. Since 2014, when the first international sanctions were imposed against Russia, many Western companies have quit joint projects with Rosneft, Gazprom, and other Russian tycoons in the Arctic, restricting the access for the latter to a variety of technologies and innovations, not to mention investments (Gao & Erokhin, 2019). In an attempt to recoup the losses, Russia has reoriented its foreign policy to the East, primarily, China. This ‘Pivot to Asia’ has resulted in the Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on Developing Comprehensive Partnership and

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Strategic Interaction (President of the Russian Federation, 2019) and the number of Russia-China agreements. Although they have not been exclusively focused on the Arctic, the intentions of both countries to collaborate in the improvement of the NSR infrastructure, economic evaluation and exploration of mineral, biological, and other resources of Russia’s northern territories have been articulated (Gao & Erokhin, 2020). Despite the increased intensity of cooperation and the entry of Chinese investors into a number of resource and infrastructure projects in the Russian Arctic, the prospects for China’s involvement in the territorial development of the Arctic Zone of Russia have received little attention in the literature. Most studies concentrate on geopolitical aspects of China’s growing role in the Arctic, downplaying the impacts of China’s activities in the region on territorial development. A comparative study of major international publications in recent years (Sun, 2013; Sinha & Bekkevold, 2015; Peng & Wegge, 2015; Su & Lanteigne, 2015; Sakhuja & Narula, 2016; Ivanov, 2016; Tonami, 2016; Keil & Knecht, 2017; Finger & Heininen, 2019; Nuttall & Callaghan, 2019; Erokhin et al., 2019; Conde & Sanchez, 2019; Hong, 2020; Coates & Holroyd, 2020; Koivurova & Kopra, 2020; Heininen et al., 2020) indicates two main gaps in research. Either China’s participation is not considered when analyzing territorial development issues in the Arctic, or it is limited to reviewing the participation of Chinese companies in focal industrial projects in Russia and northern Europe and navigation along the NSR. Although most researchers agree that cooperation with China and other non-Arctic countries is inseparable from the social and economic development of circumpolar territories (Blunden, 2012; Heininen, 2014; Moe & Oystein, 2010; Melia et al., 2017), they mainly focus on institutional policy and governance in the Arctic, rather than on the regional aspects of development and allocation of productive forces. Participation of Chinese companies in the development of resources in the Arctic and their export to China (Bertelsen & Gallucci, 2016; Fairhall, 2011; Flake, 2013) explore marine navigation, rail, or pipeline transportation issues. Thus, China’s involvement in the development of resources and transport routes does not add up to one picture with territorial development goals of Russia and individual Russian regions along the potential Polar Silk Road corridors. Among Chinese sources, the adaptation of China-Russia cooperation mechanisms to the spatial, industrial, and economic development of the Russian Arctic has remained underinvestigated, in contrast to abundant research in the fields of political science, resource development and transport routes, and climatology (Lu, 2010; Xu, 2016; Zhao et al., 2016; Xu, 2017; Meng et al., 2017; Wang et al., 2017; Lim, 2018; Hong, 2018; Deng, 2018; Zhu et al., 2018; Li et al., 2018; Yang & Zhao, 2019). Practical studies of the mechanisms of China’s participation in the territorial and industrial development of the Arctic Zone of Russia are very scarce. It is important to investigate the opportunities for China to contribute to the development of circumpolar territories in Russia in a complex way: not only within the Arctic Council format, where either China’s or Russia’s interests can be blocked by Arctic states but within the bilateral framework of individual interactions between China and Russia. This study attempts to contribute to the literature on China’s role in the territorial development of the Arctic by exploring the possibilities of Russia-China economic and investment cooperation in the High North across nine administrative territories that constitute the Arctic Zone of Russia.

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Arctic Zone of Russia The Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation includes land territories, adjacent internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf (President of the Russian Federation, 2020a). The list of Arctic land territories established in 2014 (President of the Russian Federation, 2014) has been revised and expanded three times since then. According to the latest revision of the Decree “On the Land Territories of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation”, four administrative entities of Russia are fully located in the Arctic (Nenets, Yamal-Nenets, and Chukotka autonomous districts and Murmansk Oblast). In the other five administrative entities (Republic of Karelia, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Komi Republic, Krasnoyarsk Krai, and Republic of Sakha), individual territories are recognized as belonging to the Arctic Zone (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Land territories of Russia’s Arctic Zone Source: Authors’ development

The total land area of the Russian Arctic is about 5 million km2. This territory is home to more than 2.5 million people, which is about 40% of the entire population of the Arctic. Most of the settlements are located along the coast of the Arctic Ocean or in the immediate vicinity of it, as well as in the lower reaches of rivers. The three world’s largest cities above the Arctic Circle are all located in Russia: Murmansk (325,000 people), Norilsk (205,000 people), and Vorkuta (85,000 people).

Russia’s vision of territorial development of the Arctic Zone The vision of territorial development of the Arctic is shaped by not only the size of the Arctic Zone but its role in Russia’s economy. The Arctic Zone contributes about 20% of the budget revenues, provides for the production of more than 80% of natural combustible gas and 17% of oil (including gas condensate) in Russia. The continental shelf contains more than 85.1 trillion m3 of natural combustible gas, 17.3 billion tons of oil (including gas condensate), and other mineral resources. It is a small surprise that the territorial development of the Arctic Zone strongly pursues economic goals. The 2020 Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone (President of the Gao & Erokhin


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Russian Federation, 2020b) envisages the introduction of a special economic regime in the Arctic Zone that promotes the transition to a circular economy and the development of new oil and gas provinces, deposits of solid commercial minerals and hard-to-extract hydrocarbon reserves, increasing deep oil refining, production of liquefied natural gas and gas chemical products. The regions of the Russian Arctic are the area of transport and economic influence of the NSR, which advances inland for hundreds of kilometers, depending on the configuration of the river network and other communication routes associated with the existing and potential cargo base of the NSR. Therefore, economic goals of territorial development in the Russian Arctic are inextricably linked to the construction and modernization of various types of infrastructure: inland water and marine transportation, railroads and airports, pipelines and information communication, etc. Among the priorities of infrastructure construction in the Arctic, Russia declares the comprehensive development of a network of seaports and sea shipping routes along the NSR and in the Barents, White, and Pechora seas. The 2020 Strategy (President of the Russian Federation, 2020b) schedules the construction of hub ports and the creation of a container operator to provide international and coastal transportation in the NSR, as well as the improvement of shipping conditions (dredging and setting of inland river ports) along the White Sea-Baltic Canal and in the basins of Onega, Northern Dvina, Mezen, Pechora, Ob, Yenisei, Lena, and Kolyma rivers. This territory-economy-infrastructure triangle has been particularly emphasized as the strategic vision of territorial development in Russia in recent years. It has been unified across the documents that now establish the governance system in the Arctic Zone: Foundations of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic till 2035 (President of the Russian Federation, 2020a), Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensurance of National Security till 2035 (President of the Russian Federation, 2020b), and State Program for Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (Government of the Russian Federation, 2021). Most of the administrative entities that compose the Arctic Zone of Russia have updated their regional Arctic strategies according to the federal-level framework. Murmansk Oblast The territory of Murmansk Oblast (144.9 thousand km2, or 0.86% of the area of Russia) is fully assigned to the land territories of Russia’s Arctic Zone (President of the Russian Federation, 2014). With 92.2% of its 731.4 thousand people living in the cities, Murmansk Oblast is the most urbanized region in the Russian Arctic (Federal State Statistics Service Directorate for Murmansk Oblast, 2021). The territory is rich in various kinds of ore minerals and aquatic biological resources. Over 60 large deposits of crude minerals have been discovered in the Kola Peninsula, including copper, nickel, iron, apatite-nepheline ores, and rare earth metals. There are significant deposits of mica, raw materials for construction and ceramic products, facing stones, and semi-precious and ornamental stones. Murmansk Oblast produces 100% of Russia’s apatite, nepheline and baddeleyite concentrates and 45%, 11%, and 7% of nickel, iron ore concentrate, and refined copper, respectively. Significant oil and gas deposits are discovered on the continental shelf of the Barents Sea, including the largest Shtokman gas condensate field. Among the territories of Russia’s Arctic Zone, Murmansk Oblast enjoys the most developed transport infrastructure. Murmansk sea port is the only ice-free deep-water harbour in the European part of the Russian High North. It is a home port for Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet, which serves the entire NSR. A total of three sea ports are located on the coast of China-Russia Economic Collaboration


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the White and Barents seas. Further development of the transport infrastructure and deeper integration of Murmansk Oblast in the global supply chains and transcontinental cargo corridors between Europe and Asia are among the priorities of territorial development (Table 1). According to the Regional Program of Social and Economic Development “Murmansk Oblast – Strategic Center of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation” (Governor of Murmansk Oblast, 2014) and the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Murmansk Oblast (Government of Murmansk Oblast, 2013), it is planned to establish a year-round deep-sea international center for processing of oil cargo, transshipment of coal and mineral fertilizers. The project provides for the development of infrastructure for marine, rail, and road transport, as well as logistics and warehouse infrastructure. The development of railway network includes the construction of the Vykhodnoy – Lavna line, Lavna and Promezhutochnaya railway stations, a railway bridge across the Kola Bay, as well as the development of existing facilities (Vykhodnoy and Murmashi-2 railway stations) with a total traffic capacity of 28 million tons and dredging of the water approaches to railway terminals. Investments will be directed to the construction of coal and oil transshipment terminals on the western bank of the Kola Bay. Table 1. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in Murmansk Oblast Spheres Territorial development

Economy

Infrastructure

Measures 1. Comprehensive development of restricted-access administrative entities and locations of military units, including the development of infrastructure and modernization of dual-use facilities 2. Development of tourist and recreational clusters, including in Kirovsk city, Teriberka settlement, and Kovdorsky, Pechengsky, and Tersky municipal districts 3. Establishment and development of enterprises engaged in repair, supply, and bunkering of vessels and improvement of coastal bases for navigation along the NSR 4. Establishment and development of a center for the construction of large-capacity offshore structures intended for the production, storage, and shipment of liquefied natural gas. 5. Establishment and development of enterprises engaged in repair and maintenance of marine equipment and equipment for the development of offshore hydrocarbon deposits 6. Geological exploration of the mineral resource base of the Kola Peninsula, the establishment of new and development of existing mineral resource centers specializing in the extraction and processing of minerals 7. Development of the fishery complex, technical re-equipment of enterprises, including the construction of vessels, introduction of new capacities for deep processing of aquatic biological resources, and development of aquaculture. 8. Integrated development of the ice-free seaport of Murmansk, development of the multimodal transport hub, construction of new terminals and transshipment complexes 9. Development of power supply infrastructure, including replacement of fuel oil facilities with those consuming other types of energy for power and heat generation 10. Modernization of airport complexes, including the Murmansk International Airport 11. Development of congress, exhibition and business infrastructure

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b), Governor of Murmansk Oblast (2014), and Government of Murmansk Oblast (2013)

The problems of territorial development in Murmansk Oblast are rather common for most of the Arctic regions of Russia. Among them, we identify (1) significant inter-district inequality in the degree of economic activity, development of social infrastructure, and the standard of living of the population; (2) low density and continuing outflow of the population; (3) the local mono-industry nature of the economy and low-diversified production; (4) unfavorable natural and climatic conditions that determine the increased costs of construction and maintenance of residential,

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industrial, and infrastructure facilities; (5) high depreciation of fixed assets, especially transport, industrial, energy, and municipal infrastructure; (6) deterioration of mining conditions, exploration of deeper layers and underground mining; (7) high accumulated environmental damage. Nenets Autonomous District Similar to Murmansk Oblast, the territory of the Nenets Autonomous District (176,800 km2) entirely belongs to the Arctic Zone of Russia. With a population of 44,400 people as of January 1, 2021, the district is the least populous region in the country (Federal State Statistics Service Directorate for Arkhangelsk Oblast and Nenets Autonomous District, 2021). The spatial structure of the settlement is characterized by a high concentration of the population in a small area. The entire urban population is concentrated in Naryan-Mar capital city and the adjacent Iskateley settlement and makes up 73% of the population of the Nenets Autonomous District. Such a high dispersion of settlement, small remote localities, extremely low level of transport accessibility, and predominance of air transportation contribute to exceptionally high costs for the territorial and economic development of the region. The district possesses significant reserves of hydrocarbons: about 1 billion tons of oil and over 500 billion m3 of gas. Oil and gas-bearing areas are relatively well explored, and the degree of depletion is low (25% oil and only 1% for gas). Existing pipeline infrastructure allows increasing oil exports by 60-80% compared to the current production volumes (about 15 million tons per year). Oil production establishes about 75% of the gross regional product and generates 25% of the total number of jobs. The northern shores of Nenets Autonomous District are washed by the Barents, White, and Kara seas. The length of the coastline exceeds 1,500 km, which is 10% of the NSR. Transport infrastructure, however, is extremely poorly developed. The district is the only administrative entity in the European part of Russia that has no permanent land transport connection with other territories. The absence of railways does not allow creating stable logistics. Due to the significant potential for the exploitation of well-explored natural resources and underdeveloped transport infrastructure, the priorities identified in the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Nenets Autonomous District till 2030 (Assembly of Deputies of Nenets Autonomous District, 2019) include the development of oil and mineral resource centers and construction of railways and sea ports (Table 2). Table 2. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in Nenets Autonomous District Spheres

Territorial development

Economy

Infrastructure

Measures 1. Development of Varandeysky, Kolguyevsky, Kharyago-Usinsky, and Khasyreysky oil and mineral resource centers 2. Creation of gas-condensate mineral resource centers, including the development of Korovinsky and Kumzhinsky gas-condensate fields, Vaneyvissky and Layavozhsky oil and gas-condensate fields 3. Development of the tourism cluster and infrastructure of cultural, religious, and ethnic tourism 4. Geological exploration and development of solid commercial minerals 5. Construction of an agro-industrial park and implementation of export-oriented projects in the sphere of deep processing of venison 6. Development of the project for the construction of Indiga deep-water seaport and the Sosnogorsk – Indiga railway 7. Development of transport infrastructure, including reconstruction of Naryan-Mar seaport, Naryan-Mar airport, and Amderma airport, dredging on the Pechora River, and construction of the Naryan-Mar – Usinsk highway

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Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b) and Assembly of Deputies of Nenets Autonomous District (2019)

Along with the overall backwardness and even absence of transport infrastructure, it is worth mentioning the transport divergence of the district, when some territories (particularly, in the western part of the district) are better connected with neighboring entities than with Naryan-Mar capital city. As a result, such territories naturally gravitate to other regions (Arkhangelsk Oblast, Komi Republic, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District), not to the administrative center of Nenets Autonomous District. The influence of these transportation and spatial factors blunts the effectiveness of territorial development measures. An important limitation of growth is the lack of pipeline capacity for the development of gas fields. The capacity of oil pipelines allows for a significant increase in oil production, but transport infrastructure for gas exports is missing. A number of megaprojects, in which Chinese investors were supposed to participate, are postponed or frozen, including Pechora LNG (postponed indefinitely), the Syktyvkar – Ukhta – Pechora – Usinsk – Naryan-Mar highway (postponed to 2022), Barentskomur railway, and Indiga sea port (both projects have not yet been approved). Chukotka Autonomous District Significant problems with the development of transport infrastructure also persist in Chukotka. The main cargo transport route that provides the region with goods, food, raw materials, machinery, equipment, and materials is the NSR (the Northern Supply program during the navigation window). Similar to Nenets Autonomous District, Chukotka lacks railway and motorway networks. The energy network is also poorly developed. Three power hubs (Anadyrsky, Egvekinotsky, and Chaun-Bilibinsky) operate separately from each other. There is also a decentralized power supply zone which includes 35 rural settlements and industrial enterprises that use their own generating facilities. High cost of energy and excessive transport costs are the main obstacles to sustainable territorial development outlined in the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Chukotka Autonomous District till 2030 (Government of Chukotka Autonomous District, 2014) and Russia’s Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone (President of the Russian Federation, 2020b) (Table 3). Table 3. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in Chukotka Autonomous District Spheres Territorial development Economy

Infrastructure

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Measures 1. Development of Baimsky and Pyrkakay-Maysky mineral resource centers of precious and nonferrous metals 2. Development of Bering coal mineral resource center 3. Establishment of ethnic and environmental tourism clusters in Anadyr, Pevek, and Provideniya 4. Development of Arctic cruise tourism 5. Development of sea port and terminals in Pevek 6. Establishment of a transport and logistics hub in Provideniya deep-water year-round port 7. Construction of a year-round coal terminal in Arinai deep-water lagoon 8. Modernization of Chaun-Bilibinsky power generation system 9. Development of transport infrastructure, including the construction of the Kolyma – Omsukchan – Omolon – Anadyr interregional highway 10. Joining the unified telecommunications network by the construction of the PetropavlovskKamchatsky – Anadyr underwater fiber-optic communication line 11. Establishment of an emergency rescue unit and an Arctic crisis management center in Pevek


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Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b) and Government of Chukotka Autonomous District (2014)

The priorities of territorial development of Chukotka Autonomous District for the next decade are determined by the exploitation of mineral deposits concentrated in two industrial zones of advanced development. Anadyrskaya industrial zone is focused on the development of coal deposits in the Bering coal basin and oil and gas in the Anadyrsky and Khatyrsky oil and gas basins. The Zapadno-Ozernoye gas field has been put into operation to meet the internal needs of the district. An investment project is being prepared for the development of the Amaamsky and Verkhne-Alkatwaamsky areas of the Bering coal basin to start exporting high-quality coal to China and other countries of Asia. The Chaun-Bilibinskaya industrial zone possesses substantial deposits of gold, silver, tin, and copper. To date, Mayskoye, Kupol, Karalveem, and Dvoynoe gold deposits have been put into operation. Kekura and Klen gold deposits are being prepared for commissioning in the near future. Long-term strategic prospects include the development of tin deposits (Pyrkakai stockworks) and the development of Baimskaya ore zone, primarily Peschanka gold-bearing copper-porphyry deposit, the largest in Russia’s Northeast. Thus, non-ferrous metallurgy and the coal industry are seen as the main drivers of territorial and economic development in Chukotka. The most promising projects are the development of Baimsksya ore zone and the Bering coal basin. Their exploitation can substantially diversify extractive industries in the district. The production of high-quality coal in the Bering basin is promising due to the estimated volume of reserves (over one billion tons). The deposits are located close to the coastal zone, which could significantly cut transport costs when exporting coal to China and other countries. The estimated annual capacity of Amaamsky field, the largest in the basin, is 7 million tons of coking coal, while that of Alkatwaamsky field is 5 million tons of commercial coal. The development of Baimskaya ore zone (gold, silver, copper, and molybdenum) may become one of the largest mining projects in Russia. Geological exploration at Peschanka field estimated 27 million tons of copper and 1,600 tons of gold. The project provides that annual production of copper and gold will reach 200,000 tons and 9 tons, respectively, by 2027. Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District is one of the largest administrative entities in Russia (769,300 km2, or 4.5% of the total territory of the country). The main part of the district is the sparsely populated territories of inhabitance and economic activity of Indigenous people. Similar to other Arctic regions, the population is densely distributed (0.7 people per km2), highly urbanized, and focally settled near major resource bases and along rivers and transport routes. About 85% of the population lives in urban areas, of which 41% in the two largest cities (Novy Urengoy and Noyabrsk). Year-round transport accessibility of all localities across the district is possible only by air. The land transport system (railways and highways) is fragmented and serves local needs. Six districts out of seven are not permanently connected with the capital city of Salekhard, while three districts (Krasnoselkupsky, Yamalsky, and Shuryshkarsky) have no year-round automobile roads. The two main transport areas (Western and Eastern) that were established during the exploration of oil fields in the 1970-1990s are not connected to each other. The Western area is built around the transport link between Salekhard and Labytnangsky industrial and transport hub and the

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Obskaya – Bovanenkovo – Karskaya railway, the northernmost operating railways in the world. The Eastern area includes the Novy Urengoy – Tyumen railway section and the Nadym, Pur, and Taz rivers. Here, the road infrastructure is more developed with access to highways. The problem of poor transport connectivity is exacerbated by the condition of existing transport infrastructure. Most airports, railway lines, and highways require reconstruction and capacity addition. Measures for the development of the transport infrastructure have been particularly emphasized since the adoption of the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District in 2011 (Legislative Assembly of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, 2011). Along with the expansion of resource extraction projects, infrastructure-related issues stand out among the priorities of strategic territorial development of the district till 2030 (Governor of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, 2018) (Table 4). Table 4. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District Spheres Territorial development

Economy

Infrastructure

Measures 1. Development of Novoportovskoye oil and gas condensate mineral resource center and Bovanenkovskoye gas-condensate mineral resource center, development of Tambey group of fields, and preparation for the development of offshore fields 2. Establishment of industrial zones of oil and gas service in largest settlements 3. Establishment of a tourism cluster in the Salekhard – Labytnangi – Harp agglomeration 4. Expansion of liquefied natural gas production in the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas 5. Exploration of gas fields in the Ob Bay and development of the pipeline gas transportation system 6. Development of oil and gas chemical industries in Sabetta, Yamburg, and Novy Urengoy and establishment of the multi-faceted industrial and technological center for gas processing and petrochemistry 7. Production of construction materials to meet the needs of the fuel and energy sector and residential construction 8. Development of sea port and shipment terminals in Sabetta and the navigable shipway in the Gulf of Ob 9. Construction and development of the Obskaya – Salekhard – Nadym – Pangody – Novy Urengoy – Korotchayevo and the Obskaya – Bovanenkovo – Sabetta railway lines 10. Maintenance and development of gas and oil pipeline networks, development of gas and oil mineral resource centers connected to pipelines in Nadym-Pur and Pur-Taz oil and gas regions, including the use of new technologies for the extraction and development of underlying layers and hard-to-extract oil reserves 11. Expansion of the centralized power supply zone by connecting settlements to the unified power grid 12. Establishment of an emergency rescue unit and an Arctic crisis management center in Sabetta

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b), Legislative Assembly of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District (2011), and Governor of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District (2018)

The economy of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District is based on the substantial deposits of hydrocarbons. The shares of the district in the global proven gas and oil reserves are 18% and 2%, respectively (65% and 18% of all gas and oil in Russia). The extraction of hydrocarbons is mainly carried out in the Nadym-Pur-Tazovskaya oil and gas province in Medvezhye, Urengoyskoye, and Yamburgskoye mega-fields. This area is best equipped with transport, energy, and industrial facilities. Development prospects of the province are associated with the exploration of hard-torecover hydrocarbon reserves of the Bazhenov and Achimov formations. In the future, substantial investments will be required to continue the exploitation of existing oil fields and involve deeperlying horizons into production to increase oil recovery.

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There are obvious prospects for increasing investment in the development of new gas fields, increasing capacity, and building new LNG plants, which are being implemented with the participation of Chinese investors. Industrial development of the Yamal Peninsula began in 2012 with the putting of the Bovanenkovskoye oil and gas condensate field into operation. Currently, new gas production facilities are being launched such as the Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2 projects. Yamal LNG in the South Tambey field is an integrated project encompassing the production of 16.5 million tons of natural gas per year. The field’s proven and probable reserves are estimated at 926 billion m3. (Yamal LNG, 2021). Arctic LNG 2 provides for the construction of three LNG lines of 6.6 million tons each. It is expected that the total annual capacity of the three lines will reach 19.8 million tons of LNG (Novatek, 2021). The resource base of the Arctic LNG 2 project is the Utrennee field on the Gydan Peninsula. In the long run, the establishment of industrial production centers on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas and offshore fields in the Kara Sea, as well as the complex transport development of these territories, will contribute to the growth of production and export of LNG to China and the global market. However, the development of hydrocarbon projects requires radical improvement of transport accessibility of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. Some of the measures include construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway along with the associated Bovanenkovo – Sabetta non-public railway track, as well as the construction of the Nadym – Salekhard road section as a part of the Surgut – Salekhard highway. The implementation of these projects will reduce transport costs, create opportunities for the development of other than fuel sectors, and help diversify the singleindustry economy of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. Republic of Karelia The area of the Arctic zone of the Republic of Karelia was significantly expanded in 2020 by the inclusion of three districts located along the Arctic Circle in the permafrost zone. Currently, the Arctic zone of the republic includes Belomorsky, Loukhsky, Kemsky, Segezhsky, and Kalevalsky districts and Kostomuksha settlement, which makes up almost 40% of Karelia’s territory. Among other Russia’s entities, Karelia is an Arctic newcomer, so no individual strategic vision for the development of the six Arctic districts has yet been developed. However, general approaches to territorial development are outlined in the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Karelia till 2030 (Government of the Republic of Karelia, 2018) and the Individual Program of Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Karelia for 2020-2014 (Government of the Russian Federation, 2020) (Table 5). The population of Karelia is about 609,000 people, of which 80.4% live in the cities. Petrozavodsk capital city is home to more than 45% of the region’s population. The Arctic zone of the republic is sparsely populated, and most people (73%) live in the southern part of the region. The demographic situation is generally unfavorable, and there is a significant outflow of the population (Federal State Statistics Service Directorate for the Republic of Karelia, 2021). Mineral resources are diverse. There are significant deposits of chromium (more than 50% of Russia’s reserves), molybdenum (10%), iron ores (1.2%), uranium-vanadium ores, and other minerals. Timber volume amounts to more than 1.03 billion m3, and over 53% of the territory is covered with woodland.

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Table 5. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in the Republic of Karelia Spheres Territorial development Economy

Infrastructure

Measures 1. Establishment and development of mineral resource centers in the East Karelia copper-goldmolybdenum zone 2. Development of the construction materials industry based on building stone deposits 3. Establishment and development of the deep wood processing cluster 4. Development of the fisheries and aquaculture cluster 5. Development of cultural, historical, and environmental tourism 6. Modernization of the White Sea – Baltic Canal 7. Establishment of cascades of small hydropower plants 8. Establishment of a network of data processing and storage centers

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b), Government of the Republic of Karelia (2018), and Government of the Russian Federation (2020)

One of the main advantages of Karelia is its geographical location. The region geographically connects Saint Petersburg, Murmansk, and Arkhangelsk sea hubs with other territories of Russia. Karelia has access to the White Sea in the east and borders with Finland in the west, which ensures the potential for transit transportation between the NSR sea ports and Northern Europe. The throughout cargo capacity of Saint Petersburg and major European Arctic ports in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk as transit transport hubs is limited. Therefore, the increasing cargo traffic between Europe and China (primarily container shipments) could be directed through alternative routes in Karelia. The construction of Kem deep-sea cargo and passenger port along with the reconstruction of Belomorsk berth are scheduled among measures of development of territories, historically associated with the Solovetsky Archipelago. Documents are being prepared for the establishment of a federal enterprise on the basis of the Petrozavodsk airport and the development of landing sites in Kostomuksha and Kalevala. These measures are included in the Individual Program of Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Karelia for 2020-2014 (Government of the Russian Federation, 2020). The Karelian White Sea region has substantial logistical potential, but interregional cooperation is critical for its development. Karelia should establish links with other Arctic territories of Russia (Murmansk and Archangelsk oblasts) in order to implement major infrastructure projects and be able to grow into a prominent transport hub within the Asia-Europe transport corridor. Arkhangelsk Oblast Along with Karelia and Murmansk, Arkhangelsk Oblast has significant potential for integration into international transport corridors on the basis of both the NSR and multimodal shipments between Northern Europe, Russia, and Asian countries. As is the case with Karelia, the Arctic zone of Arkhangelsk Oblast was expanded in 2020 by the inclusion of two districts. Currently, nine administrative entities belong to the Arctic: Arkhangelsk, Severodvinsk, and Novodvinsk cities, Mezensky, Onezhsky, Primorsky, Leshukonsky, and Pinezhsky districts, and Novaya Zemlya island. The territory is rich in timber and water resources. The forest cover of Arkhangelsk Oblast without Novaya Zemlya and smaller islands in the White Sea and the Arctic Ocean is 72.4%. The total land area covered by forests exceeds 29 million ha, of which about 20 million ha are under industrial exploitation. There are significant deposits of 25 kinds of minerals and raw materials, including bauxites, limestone and clay for cement production, limestone for the pulp and paper industry, dolomites for metallurgy, zinc, lead, silver, gypsum, anhydrite, building stones (granites and basalts),

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peat, sand, and carbonate rocks. Arkhangelsk Oblast ranks second after Yakutia in Russia in terms of discovered diamond reserves – 248.3 million carats, or about 21% of all national deposits. The vision of strategic priorities for the territorial development of Arkhangelsk Oblast is based on the combination and joint use of resource and geographical advantages: development of mineral resource centers for the production of lead, zinc, diamond, timber industries, fisheries, shipbuilding, and development of transport infrastructure to integrate domestic producers to global supply chains and transport corridors (Table 6). Table 6. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in Arkhangelsk Oblast Spheres Territorial development

Economy

Measures 1. Development of the lead-zinc mineral resource center in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago 2. Development of diamond mineral resource centers 3. Development of cultural, educational, ethnographic, and environmental tourism cluster and sea cruise tourism on the Solovetsky Islands 4. Development of the woodworking and pulp and paper industries, establishment of the full-cycle wood processing complex, and introduction of technologies for the production of biofuels from wood processing waste 5. Development of the shipbuilding and ship repair industries and production of equipment for oil and gas extraction on the continental shelf 6. Development of the fishing cluster, construction, modernization, and repair of the fishing fleet, establishment of enterprises for the production of fish and other products from aquatic biological resources, and development of biotechnologies and aquaculture 7. Modernization of the existing terminals at Arkhangelsk sea port, dredging, the establishment of a new deep-water area, production and logistics complexes and access infrastructure, implementation of coordination systems and digital management of the transport hub

Infrastructure

8. Development of transport infrastructure (railways, waterways, and highways) to link Arkhangelsk sea port with Northwest Russia, the Urals, and Siberia, including the justification for the construction of the Karpogory – Vendinga and the Mikun – Solikamsk railway sections 9. Development of the Arkhangelsk international airport

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b) and Assembly of Deputies of Arkhangelsk Oblast (2019)

Although to a lesser degree compared to other regions of the Russian Arctic, both transport and industrial infrastructure in Arkhangelsk Oblast still requires significant modernization and radical improvement. Among critical threats to sustainable territorial development of the region, the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Arkhangelsk Oblast till 2035 (Assembly of Deputies of Arkhangelsk Oblast, 2019) underscores the low level of exploration of territories and the low spatial density of industrial facilities, which both reduce the efficiency of infrastructure use. Arkhangelsk sea port is connected by rail lines with Moscow and Saint Petersburg, as well as neighboring regions. Internal railway communication is provided by trains that link Arkhangelsk with Kotlassky, Pinezhsky, Velsky, Plesetsky, Onezhsky, Ustyansky, Nyandomsky, and Konoshsky districts. The total length of the railway network exceeds 1700 km. Waterways also play a significant role in cargo transportation. The water transport network integrates the basins of the White Sea and three rivers: Northern Dvina (including Vychegda, Vaga, and Pinega rivers), Mezen (including Kuloy river), and Onega. The Northern Dvina, Onega, Vychegda, and Kuloy rivers are fully navigable for the entire summer period, while the other rivers are used for cargo transportation during the spring flood window.

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The largest investment project in the sphere of water transport infrastructure is the construction of a deep-water port and port infrastructure near Arkhangelsk. The project provides for the construction of six marine terminals for mineral fertilizers, petroleum products and gas condensate, bulk cargo, timber, metals, and containers, as well as automobile road and railway between Arkhangelsk city and the port area and external engineering infrastructure (communication, water supply, and power supply networks) (Arkhangelsk Transport Hub, 2021). Since 2016, Chinese investors (Poly International Holding Co) have been demonstrating interest in the project (Region 29 Information Agency, 2016), while in 2018, it was included in the list of investment initiatives to be implemented in the framework of convergence between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt (Zubkov, 2018). The economic feasibility of the construction is directly linked to the radical expansion of the railway network (in particular, the Belkomur railway) to link the port with cargo base localities and major markets. However, due to the uncertain cargo base, Russia’s Ministry of Transport doubts the potential economic efficiency of the Belkomur railway, that is why the construction of the deepwater port in Arkhangelsk has been put on hold indefinitely along with that of the railway (Gao & Erokhin, 2020). Komi Republic In 2020, Vorkuta municipal district of the Komi Republic was supplemented by Usinsk and Inta cities and Ust-Tsilemsky district to establish the Arctic zone of the region. For Komi, the expansion of the Arctic zone is of crucial importance, as northern areas of the republic possess substantial natural resources (minerals, land, water), as well as they are promising for the development of cargo logistics and international transit. The resource potential of the Komi Republic is represented by oil and gas in the Timan-Pechora oil and gas province (one of the largest in Russia), coking and energy coals in the Pechora coal basin (the second-largest in the country), and oil shale in the Vychegodsky and Timan-Pechora shale basins. Ore minerals (ferrous, non-ferrous, and precious metals, manganese, chromium, and titanium ores) are concentrated in the Polar Urals and Middle and Southern Timan. Timan area also contains about one-third of Russia’s deposits of bauxites. The Pizhemskoye and Yaregskoye titanium ore deposits are the largest in Russia with more than half of the country’s reserves of titanium. In total, the explored deposits of the Komi Republic contain about 3% of all Russia’s oil, 4.5% of coal, 13% of barite, 30% of bauxite, about 50% of titanium, and about 80% of quartz. Geological exploration is being conducted at Verkhnepizhemsky subsurface area, a part of the Pizhemskoye field, where large deposits of titanium and quartz have been identified. Forests cover about 80% of the Komi’s territory, or 36.3 million ha (3.2% of all woodlands in Russia and 50% of woodlands in Russia’s European North). More than 75% of the forest land fund (3.1 billion m3) is under industrial exploitation. Taking into account the unity of nature management complexes and the interregional transport and logistics connectivity of Vorkuta, Usinsk, and Inta cities and Ust-Tsilemsky district with other territories of the Russian Arctic, the territorial development of the Arctic zone of the Komi Republic is considered in the context of integration of economic development measures, modernization and construction of transport infrastructure, development of the tourism sector, and maintenance of traditional economic activities of indigenous peoples (Table 7).

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Table 7. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in the Komi Republic Spheres

Territorial development

Economy

Measures 1. Integrated social and economic development of single-industry urban districts of Vorkuta and Inta 2. Development of coal mineral resource centers in the Pechora coal basin 3. Establishment and development of oil and gas mineral resource centers in the Timan-Pechora oil and gas province 4. Establishment and development of the Parnoksky ferromanganese mineral resource center 5. Development of the cultural, ethnographic, and historical tourism cluster and the active natural tourism cluster 6. Establishment of complexes for deep processing of coal raw materials and coal chemistry 7. Development of oil and gas processing facilities 8. Geological exploration of territories and development of solid commercial minerals fields 9. Establishment and development of the vertically integrated mining and metallurgical complex for processing of titanium ores and quartz (glass) sands in Pizhemskoye field 10. Construction of the Sosnogorsk – Indiga railway, reconstruction of the Konosha – Kotlas – Chum – Labytnangi railway section, justification of the feasibility of reconstruction of the Mikun – Vendinga railway section, and construction of the Vendinga – Karpogory railway section

Infrastructure

11. Construction and reconstruction of the Syktyvkar – Ukhta – Pechora – Usinsk – Naryan-Mar highway 12. Dredging on the Pechora River 13. Reconstruction and modernization of the airport network, including the joint deployment of Vorkuta airport

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b) and Government of the Komi Republic (2019)

Among the main challenges of territorial development in the coming years, the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of the Komi Republic till 2035 (Government of the Komi Republic, 2019) emphasizes significant territorial disparities, low population density, uneven allocation of the population across the region, and a high concentration of industrial facilities (in particular, in Vorkuta). Other problems that are typical for many regions of the Russian Arctic are the low density of automobile roads, poor transport accessibility of remote settlements, inequality between districts in the development of transport infrastructure, the lack of access to the NSR ports, and insufficient capacity of and coverage by railway lines. Nevertheless, the relative remoteness of the Arctic territories of the Komi Republic from the water and land borders of Russia provides conditions for the development of a secured and stable transport connections and a transport and logistics hub by the construction of the new Vorkuta – Ust-Kara and Sosnogorsk – Indiga railways. It is assumed that the implementation of these infrastructure projects will be supplemented by the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway to connect the Komi Republic with the Yamal Peninsula and the NSR through Sabetta sea port. The connection of the cargo base in Komi (minerals, timber, etc.) with the NSR will significantly increase traffic in the route, including potential exports to China. Also, as part of the implementation of the “North-East – Polar Urals” project, the regional Strategy (Government of the Komi Republic, 2019) plans for the construction of the Syktyvkar – Vorkuta – Salekhard highway with access to Naryan-Mar. Krasnoyarsk Krai A similar vision of the need to develop economic and transport corridors with the inclusion of Arctic territories is also highlighted in the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of

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Northern and Arctic Territories and Support of Indigenous People in Krasnoyarsk Krai till 2030 (Government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, 2020). The Arctic zone of Krasnoyarsk Krai is one of the economic and industrial centers of the Russian Arctic due to a long history of the resource extraction industries in Taimyr Dolgan-Nenets and Evenki municipal districts. However, amid the depletion of long-exploited deposits and the discovery of new ones, there have been emerging disproportions in the development of the northern territories. According to the parameters of transport accessibility and implementation of resource projects, Arctic territories in Krasnoyarsk Krai are divided into six main types: •

Relatively developed areas with year-round land transportation. This type includes the most populated areas of the southernmost districts in the Arctic zone – Yeniseysky, Motyginsky, Boguchansky, Kezhemsky, and Severo-Yeniseysky districts, where major cities of Yeniseysk and Lesosibirsk are located.

Coastal river zones and the NSR zone accessible for large-capacity water transport. Even though water transport is fundamentally important for the entire Arctic zone of Krasnoyarsk Krai, these areas cannot be undoubtedly recognized as economic development locomotives. The advantage of their position is attained only if largescale resource projects are implemented or large-scale cargo transshipment is carried out nearby.

Off-road zone, where communication is carried out by seasonal winter roads, small rivers, or by air. These are the most problematic areas in terms of territorial development. There are required the introduction of life-support technologies, reduction of fuel and product supply costs, and new solutions in transportation and marketing of reindeer and other local products.

Territories of large industrial projects at the stage of development (new resource projects). They include oil production areas (Vankor oil production cluster – Vankorskoe, Suzunskoe, and adjacent fields in Turukhansky district, fields in Yuryubcheno-Takhomskaya zone, oil production areas in East Taimyr); gold mining area in Severo-Yeniseysky district (Olympiadninsky and adjacent fields); timber production in Boguchansky and Kezhemsky districts; coal mining area around Dikson; development of new oil and gas fields in the Angara region.

Territories of large industrial projects at the stage of production decline or after the termination of exploitation. These are the “northern old industrial territories” of Igarka, Dikson, and Motyginsky and neighboring districts. For them, it is necessary to develop measures for controlled depopulation with an increase in the quality of life of the remaining dwellers and the development of alternative employment opportunities.

The mature industrial area is represented by the Norilsk cluster. It covers a vast area that supports the Norilsk industrial complex and the city of Norilsk, including Pelyatkinskoye gas field and Kureyskaya and Ust-Khantayskaya hydro power plants.

The points of economic growth for the Arctic territories in Krasnoyarsk Krai are new large resource projects. Infrastructure growth zones correspond to the sites of newly explored oil, gas,

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and gold deposits. In coastal zones, off-road zones, and old industrial territories, specific growth points will include strengthening energy and food security (Table 8). Table 8. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in Krasnoyarsk Krai Spheres

Territorial development

Economy

Infrastructure

Measures 1. Integrated social and economic development of the single-industry Norilsk municipal district 2. Development of the Norilsk industrial district specializing in the extraction and enrichment (processing) of non-ferrous metals and platinum group metals 3. Establishment and development of the oil and mineral resource center in Western Taimyr oil fields to export extracted resources via the NSR 4. Establishment of the West-Taimyr coal industry cluster to export coal via the NSR 5. Development of the tourism and recreational cluster in Taimyr Dolgan-Nenets municipal district, Norilsk, and Dudinka 6. Construction of new production facilities and modernization of Zapolyarnaya mine 7. Development of Popigaysky field of technical diamonds and establishment of the mineral resource center 8. Development of the resources of the Taimyr-Severozemelsky gold-bearing province 9. Development of sea ports in Dikson (including the construction of new coal terminals and oil terminal) and Dudinka 10. Reconstruction and modernization of the airport network, including Khatanga airport 11. Establishment of an emergency rescue unit and an Arctic crisis management center in Dikson

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b) and Government of Krasnoyarsk Krai (2020)

Taking into account the geological conditions of the Arctic territories of Krasnoyarsk Krai, the priority in economic development is given to hydrocarbons. The 2030 Strategy (Government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, 2020) declares oil and gas projects to become anchor measures of economic and territorial development for the next decade. A new center of oil and gas production is being formed near the eastern coast of the Yenisei Bay based on the Payakhskoe and Baikalskoe deposits. Their total recoverable reserves amount to more than 200 million tons of oil and about 90 billion m3 of natural gas. Oil transportation will be carried out through the NSR, for which purpose Sever marine oil terminal and the 413 km long oil supply pipeline will be constructed. The launch of an oil and gas production center near the coast of the Khatanga Bay is also promising, from where hydrocarbons will be directed to the NSR. In addition to the onshore deposits, the 2030 Strategy envisages the exploration of the continental shelf. Currently, the geological structure and prospects of oil and gas extraction are being studied in the eastern part of the Kara Sea and the Yenisei Bay. Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) The area of the Arctic zone on the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is 1.609 million km2 or over half of the entire territory of the republic. The Arctic zone includes thirteen districts divided into five groups according to their location in one of the basins of major navigable rivers: Anabarskaya, Prilenskaya, Yanskaya, Indigirskaya, and Kolymskaya groups. The population of Arctic territories accounts for 67,000 people, which is 7.0% of the total population of the republic. Apart from Zhigansky district, where all settlements are located linearly along the Lena River, other territories are characterized by high dispersion of small rural and hard-to-reach settlements (particularly in Verkhoyansky and Srednekolymsky districts). In the Arctic zone of Yakutia, there are large deposits of diamonds, gold, non-ferrous and rare earth metals, coal, hydrocarbons, and mammoth ivory. The mining industry is localized in Anabarsky, Oleneksky, Bulunsky, Verkhoyansky, Ust-Yansky, and Verkhnekolymsky districts. The China-Russia Economic Collaboration


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geological knowledge of the region is low due to the underdevelopment and inaccessibility of many territories, so a complex geological exploration is required. However, even at the current point of geologic certainty, it is evident that the Arctic zone of Yakutia is promising for the identification of deposits of diamonds, rare metals, oil and gas, and coal, primarily in Anabarsky, Oleneksky, and Bulunsky districts. The development of this territory is based on the exploration of the Tomtorsky deposit of rare-earth metals, Pronchishchevsky and Zapadno-Anabarsky areas that are promising for the detection of oil and gas, Taimylyr coal and boghead deposits, and the Laptev Sea shelf. The development of the Ust-Yansky mining and industrial cluster is considered promising due to the exploration of Kuchus gold deposits, tin in Deputatskoye, Churpunya, Odinoky, Kester, and Tirekhtyakh fields, and gold placers in Kularsky ore placer field. The territory is promising for identifying deposits of platinum, copper, uranium, and rare metals (Table 9). Table 9. Priorities of territorial, economic, and infrastructure development in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Spheres

Territorial development

Economy

Infrastructure

Measures 1. Integrated development of the Anabar and Lena basins, development of mineral resource centers 2. Integrated development of Tiksi settlement, including dual-use infrastructure 3. Integrated development of territories in the Yana river basin 4. Integrated development of territories in the Indigirka river basin, ensuring their energy security 5. Integrated development of territories in the Kolyma river basin 6. Development of the scientific, cultural, ethnographic, and expedition tourism cluster 7. Development of the Tomtorsky deposit of rare earth metals 8. Development of alluvial diamond deposits in Anabarsky, Bulunsky, and Oleneksky districts and Verkhne-Munsky diamond deposit 9. Development of the Taimylyr coal deposit 10. Development of the West Anabar oil and mineral resource center 11. Development of solid minerals fields in the Yansk basin, including Kuchus gold deposit, Prognoz silver deposit, and Deputatsky and Tirekhtyakh tin deposits 12. Development of Krasnorechensk coal deposit 13. Production of construction materials based on basalt and building stone deposits in the Indigirka river basin 14. Dredging on the Anabar, Lena, Yana, Indigirka, and Kolyma rivers 15. Reconstruction of the sea port and terminals in Tiksi 16. Construction of power supply and transport infrastructure facilities in the Yana river basin 17. Modernization of Zeleny Mys river port and development of the Zyryansk coal mineral resource center in the Kolyma river basin 18. Establishment of a network of trade and logistics centers to ensure the delivery of fuel, food, and other goods to remote settlements 19. Establishment of an emergency rescue unit and an Arctic crisis management center in Tiksi

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020b) and Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (2020)

One of the main problems of the balanced spatial development of Yakutia is the almost complete absence of a year-round land transport system to connect settlements within the Arctic zone, as well as the Arctic zone with other territories of the republic. Transport framework is made up of the Anabar, Lena, Yana, Indigirka, and Kolyma rivers, the NSR section from the mouth of the Lena River to the mouths of other Arctic rivers, Tiksi sea port, three river ports (Zelenomyssky and Nizhneyansky river ports and Belogorsky shipping section), and river berths in Ust-Kuiga, Batagai, Zyryanka, and Yuryung-Khaya. Tiksi is recognized as the base point of infrastructure management in the eastern part of the NSR. The reconstruction of the sea port in Tiksi will ensure Gao & Erokhin


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safe entry of vessels with a draft of up to ten meters and allow to increase cargo turnover up to 300 thousand tons per year, including coal, lumber, equipment, and supply cargo for Arctic territories. Potentially, Tiksi port can turn into a central transport hub in the Arctic Yakutia for servicing export-import traffic on the Lena River and the NSR. The Strategy of Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) till 2035 (Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), 2020) schedules dredging operations on the Anabar, Lena, Yana, Indigirka, and Kolyma rivers. The goal is to bring the parameters of inland waterways to the level that provides sufficient capacity for river navigation.

China’s interests in the Arctic: Possible matches with Russia’s approaches to territorial development The fact that China is a non-Arctic country determines the range of national interests in the region, which is somewhat different from that of Russia and other Arctic countries. Having released the White Paper on the Arctic Policy in 2018, China emphasized “climate change, environment, scientific research, utilization of shipping routes, resource exploration and exploitation, security, and global governance” (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2018: article II) as priority areas trans-regional and international collaboration in the Arctic. Obviously, the territorial development agenda is not directly addressed in China’s Arctic Strategy, but indirectly it is expressed through such priorities as “deepening the exploration and understanding of the Arctic” (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2018: article IV.1) and “utilizing Arctic resources in a lawful and rational manner” (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2018: article IV.3). In the sphere of exploration of the Arctic, China specifically encourages the studies on the development of polar equipment in the fields of deep-sea exploration, ice zone prospecting, exploitation of natural resources, renewable energy development, navigation and monitoring in ice zones, and construction of new-type icebreakers (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2018: article IV.1). Investigations in such areas as geology and geophysics of mineral resources and geography of Arctic territories are underscored among core multi-disciplinary studies for Chinese enterprises and research institutions to get involved in. Utilization of Arctic resources includes the development of shipping routes in the Arctic Ocean to build the Polar Silk Route, participation in the exploration for and exploitation of oil, gas, mineral and other non-living resources, and cooperation with Arctic countries in developing tourism in the region. China “calls for stronger international cooperation on infrastructure construction and operation of the Arctic routes” (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2018: article IV.3.1) and prioritizes infrastructure construction for the Polar Silk Road, navigation security, and hydrographic surveys to improve logistical capacities of the NSR and the Northeast, Northwest, and Central passages. In the sphere of tourism, China “supports and encourages its enterprises to cooperate with Arctic States … and calls for continuous efforts to enhance security, insurance, and rescue systems to ensure the safety of tourists in the Arctic” (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2018: article IV.3.4). The White Paper particularly declares every respect to the traditions and cultures of the Arctic residents including the Indigenous peoples, preserving their lifestyles and values, and respecting the efforts made by the Arctic countries to foster social and economic progress in circumpolar territories.

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Chinese enterprises are also encouraged to participate in the exploitation of oil, gas, and mineral resources in the Arctic through cooperation in various forms with residents in the region. As Chinese businesses have been entering many investment projects in the Arctic in recent years, there exist various estimations of and attitudes to China’s role in the territorial development of the region. Russia is so far the biggest recipient of Chinese investment in the Arctic projects. The $27 billion Yamal LNG project (China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) – 20% equity stake, Silk Road Fund – 9.9%) was followed by the $25.5-billion Arctic LNG 2, where CNPC and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) took 10% shares each (Daiss, 2019). The two projects are estimated to have an aggregated capacity of over 37 million tons of LNG per year (Humpert, 2019), moving both Russia and China to the top positions in the global LNG market. In 2020, Novatek, Russian operator of both Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2, announced the search for investors for its Arctic LNG 3 project, where China is expected to take part. Despite these numbers, Chinese investments in the Russian Arctic still represent a negligible percentage of Russia’s GDP, while those in some Nordic countries are rather substantial (for instance, 11.6% in Greenland and 5.7% in Iceland in 2012-2017) (Auerswald, 2019). Apart from a skyrocketing development of the LNG industry, other projects where Chinese enterprises were expected to participate, have not been that successful. There were plans to attract Chinese investment in the exploration of the continental shelf in the Barents and Pechora seas, as well as to exploit Shtokman gas field and Prirazlomnoe offshore oilfield, but as global oil prices went down in 2015-2016, Rosneft, Russian oil tycoon, suspended those projects. As mentioned earlier, the mega infrastructure projects such as Belkomur railroad and Arkhangelsk deepwater port in which China initially declared its interest (Erokhin & Gao, 2018; Erokhin et al., 2018) have not been launched due to the delays and concerns from the Russian side. The new strategic vision of the territorial development provided by Russian authorities on the federal (the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic till 2035 and the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensurance of National Security till 2035) and regional levels (the nine regional development strategies) focus the development efforts on the networks of interrelated investment projects (economic clusters). Russia aims to establish favorable conditions for the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects in its Arctic zone, modernize the existing infrastructure, and create the centers of attraction for foreign investments. Across the nine territories, development priorities include mining and processing of mineral resources, transport, extraction and processing of diamonds, geological survey and exploration, power generation, fishing and agriculture, environmental protection, and tourism. For China, many of Russia’s priorities could be matched with strategic interests in the Arctic as they fit the Polar Silk Road concept (Table 10). New development zones allocated across Russia’s Arctic territories will allow to increase potential cargo base for the NSR and improve the infrastructure connectivity of the Polar Silk Road.

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Table 10. Matches between Russia’s territorial development priorities and China’s interests in the Arctic Russia’s Arctic territories / priorities

China’s priority areas Exploration of the Arctic

Development of shipping routes

Murmansk Oblast Territory Economy 1.6 1.3; 1.4; 1.5 Infrastructure Nenets Autonomous District Territory Economy 2.4 Infrastructure 2.6 Chukotka Autonomous District Territory Economy Infrastructure 3.5; 3.6; 3.7 Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District Territory Economy 4.5 Infrastructure 4.8 Republic of Karelia Territory Economy Infrastructure 5.6 Arkhangelsk Oblast Territory Economy 6.5 Infrastructure 6.7 Komi Republic Territory Economy 7.8 Infrastructure 7.12 Krasnoyarsk Krai Territory Economy Infrastructure 8.9 Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Territory

Infrastructure construction

Navigation security

9.14; 9.15

Tourism 1.2

1.8; 1.9; 1.10

1.11 2.1; 2.2

2.3

3.1; 3.2

3.3 3.4

4.1 4.4; 4.6 4.10

4.3

2.6; 2.7

3.8; 3.9; 3.10

4.9; 4.11

3.11

4.12

5.1 5.2; 5.3; 5.4

5.5

5.7; 5.8 6.1; 6.2 6.4; 6.6

6.3

7.2; 7.3; 7.4 7.6; 7.7; 7.9

7.5

8.2; 8.3; 8.4 8.6; 8.7; 8.8

8.5

9.1 9.7; 9.8; 9.9; 9.10; 9.11; 9.12; 9.13 9.17

9.6

6.8; 6.9

7.10; 7.11; 7.13

8.10

8.11

Economy Infrastructure

Exploitation of resources

9.16

9.19

Note: Matches are presented in X.YY format, where X – number of table in the text (tables 1-9), YY – number of measure in the respective table.

Source: Authors’ development based on President of the Russian Federation (2020a, 2020b), Governor of Murmansk Oblast (2014), Government of Murmansk Oblast (2013), Assembly of Deputies of Nenets Autonomous District (2019), Government of Chukotka Autonomous District (2014), Legislative Assembly of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District (2011), Governor of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District (2018), Government of the Republic of Karelia (2018), Government of the Russian Federation (2020), Assembly of Deputies of Arkhangelsk Oblast (2019), Government of the Komi Republic (2019), Government of Krasnoyarsk Krai (2020), Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (2020)

To encourage investment in the Arctic projects, Russia announced a raft of support measures (Petlevoy et al., 2019). New investment projects above RUB 10 million each (nearly $160,000) will

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be granted tax reductions and other preferences. For offshore oil production projects, the mineral extraction tax (MET) rate will be reduced down to 5% within fifteen years depending on the level of oil field depletion. For selected oil fields explored by Rosneft and Neftegazholding, a 0% MET rate will be applied until the depletion reaches 1%. After that, the MET rate will be increased gradually. In addition to lower tax rates, investment projects in the Arctic will be granted other preferences, including non-regression of tax environment and protection in the court, as well as the possibility to attract foreign labor above quotas, conclude concessional agreements without tendering, and receive federal subsidies for the construction of external infrastructure. LNG projects, in which China has been particularly interested so far, will also receive preferences, including the MET exemption for twelve years after the start of production. The governments of the nine Arctic territories will be able to implement additional support measures to incentivize the attraction of investment according to their regional priorities (for instance, zero rates of profit tax, property tax, and land tax). Specifically, the regime will be applied to Novatek’s projects, including Arctic LNG 3, in which China (the Silk Road Fund, CNPC, CNOOC, China Development Bank, or China’s Export-Import Bank) will most definitely get involved.

Conclusion In recent years, Russia’s policy in the Arctic has been undergoing changes, refocusing from an exclusively territorial principle of defining priorities to the implementation of complex multiterritorial projects, the establishment of the advanced development zones, and support of interterritorial industrial clusters. In 2020, along with the expansion of the list of administrative entities that make up the Arctic zone of the country, there started the unification of Arctic strategies of the nine territories among themselves, as well as with an updated body of the Arctic-related documents adopted at the federal level (Foundations of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic till 2035, Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensurance of National Security till 2035, Plan for the Development of the Northern Sea Route Infrastructure until 2035, and State Program of Social and Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation till 2024). However, despite all the changes, the main lines of Russia’s vision of the territorial development of the Arctic remain the exploitation of natural resources and the improvement of infrastructure (since recently, external transport infrastructure to increase exports and international transits in the NSR). Such a vision fairly builds into China’s set of priorities for the development of the Arctic as a promising Polar Silk Road corridor between Asia, Russia, and Northern Europe. Although China does not directly outline territorial development among its strategic interests in the Arctic, the similarity of attitudes to economic and infrastructure issues substantially strengthens the basis for Russia-China cooperation in the region. To better align the Polar Silk Road initiative with the NSR and Russia’s priorities for the sustainable development of resources and the transport-trade-economic corridor in the High North, it is necessary to advance from spotty resource projects (Yamal LNG, Arctic 2 LNG, etc.) to comprehensive cooperation to improve the resource base and infrastructure capabilities of the future corridor. As this study shows, in all nine Arctic territories of Russia, it is possible to match Russia’s and China’s interests in such areas as the exploration and exploitation of the Arctic resources, development of marine and river shipping routes, construction of shipping, transport, power supply, and communication infrastructure, improvement of navigation security, and other sectors, such as tourism, fishery, timber industry, and traditional economic activities of indigenous people. Gao & Erokhin


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Acknowledgment The study is supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (project no. 2019YFC1408202), Sino-Russian Cooperation Fund of Harbin Engineering University (project no. 2021HEUCRF007), and Grant of Central Universities of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (project no. 3072021CFP0904).

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Section IV: The Economics of Geography


A Geopolitical Outlook on Arctification in Northern Europe: Insights from Tourism, Regional Branding, and Higher Education Institutions Dorothee Bohn & Alix Varnajot

This paper discusses the everyday bordering practices of non- and sub-state actors in the European Arctic through a geopolitical lens. Specifically, we analyse the mechanisms, aims, and effects of how regional development and higher education and research institutions (HER), as well as the tourism sector, in climatically subarctic Fennoscandia, actively reposition themselves as centrally located in the Arctic. We depart from a critical and economic reading of geopolitics, which enquires into the production of territories of wealth, power, security, and belonging. Given the global publicity of the Arctic in media, research, and politics, the region has become an economic opportunity for sparsely populated areas in the European High North. This rescaling towards the global Arctic, also termed Arctification, offers non- and sub-state bodies the possibility to turn a historically deprived peripheral location into a competitive advantage. Hence, the Arctic moves southwards into Fennoscandian provinces that until recently had shown little identification with the region. The soft borders of the Arctic render the region a relational space that can be adapted and reinterpreted according to the interests of different actors. As such, Arctification appears to be a geopolitical process that alters representations of both the Arctic and the Nordic countries, which is nonetheless rooted in the global circuits of contemporary capitalism.

Introduction A defining and widely discussed feature of the Arctic are the region’s ‘fuzzy borderlands’ (Heininen, 2014: 241), located within the jurisdiction of eight nation-states. Research has addressed the dynamism of Arctic borders, for instance in the context of climate change. Diminishing sea ice has enabled the marine operations of a multitude of international players in the region, but this challenges conventional notions of sovereign resource rights of states and law (Shake et al., 2018). Moreover, border concerns are prominent in issues of Arctic governance, such as the clash between Indigenous self-determination and Westphalian state boundaries (Shadian, 2018), post-Cold War cooperation and the establishment of multilateral cross-border institutions (Wilson Rowe, 2018), or the Arctic Council’s shift from territorially defined legitimation to open governance, which allows different states to take on observer roles in the organisation (Ingimundarson, 2014; Koivurova, 2010). Indeed, international interest in the Arctic and the alignment of non-Arctic states with the circumpolar region have dramatically increased over the past two decades and are said to Dorothee Bohn, Department of Geography, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; Alix Varnajot, Multidimensional Tourism Institute, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland.


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be driven by economic, political, and ecological future(s) that are projected within the region (Dodds, 2013; Väätänen & Zimmerbauer, 2020). Against this background, the term ‘global Arctic’ emerged as a reference both to the co-constitution of the Arctic and the global and to the region’s transformation into a platform for international cooperation (Heininen & Finger, 2018). It has been noted that this arena is inherently multiscalar and as such is not limited to nation-state actors and high politics (Stephenson, 2018). At the meso and micro levels there are private enterprises, sub-national bodies, research institutions, and people actively involved in transforming and negotiating the Arctic and its boundaries on an everyday basis (Rumford, 2008; Saarinen & Varnajot, 2019; Timothy et al., 2016). This vantage point has its roots in the focus of contemporary border studies on relational notions of space where borders are conceived as “an active verb – bordering – and a space of struggle where value, rationality, meaning, symbols, and action shape our knowledge and spatial practices” beyond the exclusive realm of sovereign countries (Peña, 2021: 15). Nevertheless, the nation-state dominates as the unit of choice in analyses of circumpolar geopolitics and border dynamics, while most research attention has been devoted to the A5 High Arctic. Climatically subarctic European regions have received far less consideration, although a number of recent studies underscore the growing incorporation of the Arctic in regional domestic matters (e.g. Coates & Holroyd, 2020; Tennberg et al., 2019). Müller and Viken (2017: 288) termed this phenomenon ‘Arctification’, denoting a process of creating “new geographical imaginations of the north of Europe as part of the Arctic and consecutively new social, economic and political relations.” This paper examines these everyday ‘geo-graphing’ or bordering practices of non- and sub-state actors in the European Arctic through a geopolitical lens. Specifically, we analyse the mechanisms, aims, and respective effects of how regional development and higher education and research institutions (HER), as well as the tourism industry, in the Fennoscandian north actively shape the Arctic. While these three sectors are central spheres of contemporary Nordic society and economy (Coates & Holroyd, 2020; Husebekk et al. 2020), scrutiny from geopolitical vantage points has been rather limited. Nevertheless, this perspective not only amends the nation-state predominance within the circumpolar International Relations (IR) and political science literature but also highlights the significance of the service and knowledge-based economy in the Arctic, which are oftentimes overlooked given the region’s vast natural resource reservoirs (Busch, 2021; Mineev et al., 2020). In the remainder, we first introduce the main tenets of geopolitical thought that have permeated Arctic (border) research. We then apply a material reading of geopolitics, as outlined by Moisio (2018) and Väätänen (2021), to the examination of tourism and regional development, plus the research and education sector, in northern Sweden and Finland with the aim of illuminating how the Arctic is put to work and filled with meaning. In our case, geopolitics refers to “the production of territories of wealth, power, security and belonging (…) [including] the conflicts and contradictions entailed therein” (Moisio, 2018: 41) and merges absolute and relational dimensions of space. In other words, the objective of our enquiry is to connect the effects of the political choices – rooted in the social and economic dynamics of capitalism and globalisation – of nonand sub-state actors to the region’s human and non-human environments. As Dodds (2018: 194) reminds us, such analysis of the ‘global Arctic’ is a timely undertaking, given that power geometries can “be reconfigured, reimagined and restored in ways that benefit some people, places, practices, interests, and ideas more than others.” We conclude by discussing our findings in the light of the Bohn & Varnajot


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Arctic in the Anthropocene and the global ecological and economic challenges for local societies that lie ahead.

Arctic geopolitics and shifting borders The Arctic itself is frequently referred to as “a space of and for geopolitics” (Dittmer et al. 2011: 202). As such, geopolitics has been employed as both a theoretical foundation and an empirical object of research. Most examinations within an Arctic context depart from a classical, neo-realist approach to geopolitics, which focuses on nation-states’ interventions in the region driven by security concerns and resource competition, including the race for new shipping routes (Powell & Dodds, 2014). With respect to borders, current geopolitical scholarship particularly emphasises the consequences of geophysical alterations caused by climate change, which manifest due to Arctic amplification being much more severe in the northern hemisphere than elsewhere on the globe (Jayaram et al., 2021). Retreating sea ice and melting glaciers challenge maritime borders and the sovereignty of the littoral Arctic states, while external countries justify their presence in the region with its global commercial, political, and scientific relevance (Strandsbjerg, 2012). Especially critical geopolitics scholarship, which emphasises spatialising discourses, underscores that the region is a space where geopolitics and geoeconomics are deeply intertwined in the global scramble for its resources, yet peaceful interstate cooperation and multiscalar governance outweigh conflict (Busch, 2021). Nilsson (2018) argues that there occurred a shift in the region from a concern for human or national security during the Cold War to retaining peace also for the sake of safeguarding business operations of firms and states. Indeed, in most of the A8 strategy papers, the Arctic is seen as an economic opportunity for sustainable development, and a multi-stakeholder engagement of private, public, and third-sector bodies is favoured (Heininen et al., 2020). Väätänen (2021) exemplifies this in the case of Finland’s endeavours to gain a competitive edge in the global race for the Arctic by highlighting the country’s unique geographical expertise in generating solutions to the region’s problems. The reconfiguration of ‘the Arctic from a global economic periphery to a landscape in which numerous state and non-state actors from within and beyond the region hold a significant stake’ also gives rise to further border dynamics (Stephenson, 2018: 183). Drawing upon critical geopolitics, Väätänen and Zimmerbauer (2020) explore how France and Japan reposition themselves as Arctic countries in order to gain legitimacy in the region. Furthermore, using ice as a geopolitical metaphor, Dodds (2021) elucidates how the thawing and melting of the cryosphere can be understood in tandem with political, economic, and social changes in the region that accompany mobile borders. Regional and nation-state branding is another sphere of geopolitical typesetting that aims to generate a competitive advantage in global capitalism. As a strategic instrument “for the politics of geographical imaginations”, branding is inherently a balancing act between competing narratives on the genuine nature of a spatial entity that might exclude unwanted subjects and thus be a form of bordering (Browning & de Oliveira, 2017: 496). Concerning the audience of branding strategies, international investment and tourism are the prime targets. Particularly the latter is increasingly regarded as a geopolitical force itself with respect to the sector’s power to shape the image of places (Mostafanezhad et al., 2020) and its utility for states to exert territorial influence without official power, as seen in China’s strategy for enhancing tourism in the Arctic (Bennett & Iaquinto, 2021). Although sub-state and commercial bodies are frequently mentioned alongside transnational actors as significant players in the Arctic (Stephenson, 2018), there do not seem to be many geopolitical

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enquiries into how these entities harness the region spatially. In order to fill this gap, we draw upon Moisio’s (2018) aforementioned economic reading of geopolitics in our discussion of tourism, regional development, and higher education and research because this conceptualisation offers a platform for combining structure and agency as well as the representational and the material. In the following section, we first introduce the interrelationships between our three case fields, along with the socioeconomic significance of these fields in the Arctic.

Geo-graphing the Arctic: a geopolitical examination of tourism, regional development, and higher research and education institutions Not only in the Arctic but also in other places, there has been a strong call for “a triangular alliance of government, academia, and private business” as a promising pathway for sustainable regional development (Heininen et al., 2020: 249). Such sentiment has its roots in the governance revolution (Klijn & Koppenjan, 2020) and in the economic shift in Western nations from industrial production to the dominance of the service sector and the knowledge-based economy (Moisio, 2018). The former denotes a wave of public management reforms in OECD countries that were triggered by advancing globalisation, financial crises, and calls for more efficient administrative structures able to absorb growing economic and societal complexities. As such, state power devolved not only to corporate bodies in the form of public-private partnerships, network structures including higher education institutions, NGOs, and civil society, but also to sub-state governments. The knowledgebased economy, as a post-Fordist mode of producing goods and services, represents a fundamental alternation in socioeconomic organisation that is generally rooted in neoliberal political regulation. It is argued that knowledge-intensive capitalism requires a human subject characterised by an entrepreneurial attitude, and is spatially constituted through places, such as technopoles, smart cities, or trans-border regions (Moisio, 2019). HER are crucial in this respect as institutional agents that equip students with the desired enterprising mindset, support regional development, and produce research outputs that are (economically) competitive at a global scale. Yet, given the common view of the Arctic as resource extraction periphery, innovative business activities based on “northern lifestyle and values” are often side-lined in regional reviews (Mineev et al., 2020: 147). Tourism emerged in this context as a vital option in many Nordic regional development strategies due to the sector’s low entry barriers and the possibility to obtain EU funding for exploiting regional assets such as the natural environment (Giordano, 2017). Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought international travel to an abrupt halt, tourism based on the aurora borealis, the cold, snow, nature, and Indigenous culture had been growing significantly in many Arctic regions (Müller & Viken, 2017). Stereotypes and fuzzy borders of a touristic Arctic Although the Arctic is a conglomerate of various biomes, political systems, environments, and cultures (Müller, 2015), in tourism the region seems to always relate to the same images of a cold, white landscape devoid of any human trace (Hall & Saarinen, 2010). In line with this, Saarinen and Varnajot (2019) observed that, whatever the location within the circumpolar North, tourism products and experiences coalesce around identical activities as well, namely snowmobiling, dogsledding, reindeer farm visits, and chasing the northern lights. These Arctic tourism practices resonate with the collective imaginaries forged by outsiders through the media, movies, and popular myths (Fjellestad, 2016) that are, nonetheless, major pull factors for incoming tourists. However, these issues overshadow the reality and diversity of the Arctic region (Rantala et al., 2019), and Bohn & Varnajot


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Arctic tourism appears to be grounded in a stereotypical production of cryospheric elements and an oversimplification of the region’s nature and cultures, both of which are defining components of the Arctification phenomenon (Carson, 2020; Lundmark et al., 2020). In the European North, Arctification has been increasing alongside the rapid growth of tourism in the region and is palpable in the production of Swedish and Finnish Lapland as standardised representations of the Arctic (Müller & Viken, 2017). Given the rise in touristic interest in the Arctic, usually explained by the intensifying public attention to the Arctic (Lundmark et al., 2020) and climate change debates (Hovelsrud et al., 2011), these Arctic core elements have become central to strategic tourism promotion and offer opportunities for economic development. This has resulted in “places and regions using Arctic imaginary [despite] being geographically located south of the Arctic Circle, which is generally regarded as the border of the Arctic region” (TervoKankare & Saarinen, 2020: 58). In this respect, there are several places in northern Finland, located south of the Arctic Circle, that have developed tourism activities grounded in Arctic imaginaries. For instance, in Kemi icebreaker tours are arranged in the frozen Bothnian Bay (Saarinen & Varnajot, 2019), and Oulu hosts a ‘reindeer fair’ every year (Tervo-Kankare & Saarinen, 2020). Similarly, in Sweden, the recently built ‘Arctic Bath’ spa and wellness hotel – situated north of Luleå and south of the Arctic Circle – promotes typical Nordic sauna activities infused with Arctic semantics and imaginaries. Within the fuzzy borderlands of the Arctic (Heininen, 2014), tourism emerges as an interesting point for conceptual discussion. Although the Arctic Circle has often been regarded as the border for Arctic tourism (Varnajot 2019a), Arctification operates as a driving force that shifts opportunities for Arctic tourism experiences and products southwards and, therefore, also pushes the border of the Arctic in tourism southwards. This circumstance gains significance regarding the generally absent historical economic and social identification of northern Sweden and Finland with the Arctic prior to these countries’ membership in the Arctic Council (Keskitalo, 2004). Moreover, these touristic bordering processes are exercised by private and sub-state actors on a rather mundane basis instead of at the level of high politics (Saarinen & Varnajot, 2019). Müller (2021) finds that, even though the travel sector has been acknowledged in the A8 nations’ Arctic strategies as a meaningful economic activity for peripheries in the High North, tourism represents no significant geopolitical tool of statecraft in these documents. Conversely, from the vantage point of critical geopolitics, Arctic tourism discourses, found in texts and illustrations of promotion materials, on websites, or during guided tours, become “political processes of representations, whereby [Nordic] places became [Arctic] destinations laden with multiple but often recurring and similar histories” (Mostafanezhad & Norum, 2016: 226). Therefore, in the northern European context, Arctification offers intriguing grounds for studying the relationship between tourism and popular geopolitics. Popular geopolitics focuses on how popular culture such as films, TV shows, and novels can shape geopolitical discourses (Dittmer & Gray, 2010). As noted above, current popular culture representations of the Arctic (see Fjellestad, 2016) materialise as a set of homogenous tourism experiences and narratives in the Nordic region and are reproduced by tourists in their social media holiday documentation (Varnajot, 2019b). These imaginaries might also shape what Gillen and Mostafanezhad (2019: 71) termed “geopolitical encounters”, which exist “between and among people (hosts and guests or guests and guests), places, objects, and meanings.” With respect to the promotion and development of Fennoscandian places as a touristic Arctic, it might not only be that a clash occurs between hosts’ heterogonous A Geopolitical Outlook on Arctification in Northern Europe


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everyday realities and guests’ stereotyped expectations, but this might also hold material consequences. While a narrow focus on a distinct and highly trend-dependent tourism product renders the possibility for wealth creation, it might worsen seasonality effects and trigger an alteration of labour structures by increasing the reliance upon a mobile and seasonal workforce. Moreover, there arises the danger of reinforcing a vulnerability to economic ‘boom and bust’ cycles that jeopardise regional sustainability and long-term prosperity (Carson, 2020; Carson & Carson, 2017). Regional development, branding, and smart specialisation: the Arctic as a competitive imaginary Within the far-ranging but variegated transformations in Western welfare states from Fordism/Keynesianism to Post-Fordism/Neoliberalism from the 1970s onwards, new governance frameworks emerged (Brenner, 2009). Nordic countries have seen continuous reforms to the administrative apparatus that have multiplied municipalities’ and regions’ responsibilities for social service provision and regional development (Sjöblom. 2020). While the geopolitical authority of city regions has gained research momentum, particularly in the context of the knowledge-based economy (Moisio, 2018), sub-national governments’ attempts at territorial moulding have been examined to a lesser degree. Unlike its Swedish neighbour Norrbotten, Finnish Lapland mobilised and institutionalised its Arctic position for regional development purposes, evidenced particularly in regional branding efforts. The vision of Lapland’s Provincial Programme 2018-2021 states that “in 2021 Lapland will be Arctic, open and smart. We produce sustainable success in the world’s cleanest region” (Hyry et al., 2017: 10, authors’ translation). In the document, particular emphasis is placed on the competitive advantage of jointly utilising resources that are not located within the national state borders, and the strategic position of Lapland as a transport node in the Arctic: Arctic cross-border co-operation in the utilisation of the northern region’s assets guarantees competitiveness in the global market. Lapland has grown into a hub for Arctic transport and an internationally renowned environment for the development of intelligent traffic (Hyry et al., 2017: 9, authors’ translation). This spatial upscaling corresponds to Browning and de Oliveira’s (2017: 496) observation that a common denominator of place-branding activities is “to transform a stigmatized geopolitical location into a more positive one” by presenting the spatial entity as an opportunity providing a gateway or crossroads between different regions. Finnish Lapland has faced all the strains of peripheries caused by socioeconomic restructuring, namely declining primary production, outmigration, dependency on external development funding, and difficulties maintaining public services in sparsely populated areas (Grunfelder et al., 2017). Furthermore, Lapland had previously had marginal political influence in Finland’s national government, but the country’s EU accession in 1995 opened up new possibilities for the region to discard its status as a powerless periphery (Arter, 2001). This window of economic and political opportunity, linked to Lapland’s spatial reimagination as an Arctic and a European player instead of simply a region in Finland, runs as a common thread through the Provincial Programme 2018-2021: It is desired that the active role of Lapland in Arctic policy increase, and it is expected to have a significant impact on the region’s business life and

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competitiveness. In the coming programming period, internationality will be elevated more clearly into the centre of Lapland’s regional development so that Lapland is an Arctic and international success. The aim is to make Lapland the most innovative and entrepreneurial region in the EU’s sparsely populated and circumpolar regions. This will be achieved by bringing together Lapland’s actors to build the province’s role as an international actor and to commit to securing Lapland’s economic development in structural change. The Arctic is an integral part of the internationally known Lapland brand (Hyry et al., 2017: 16, authors’ translation). In order to substantiate Lapland’s ‘spatial socialization’ (Paasi, 2010) economically, the region has also placed the Arctic front and centre in its smart specialisation programme, ‘Arctic Smartness’. Smart specialisation (S3) denotes a place-based policy approach that aims to promote competitiveness through bottom-up mobilisation of territorial assets, technological innovation, and entrepreneurship. Establishing an S3 framework has been a precondition for European regions’ eligibility for EU Structural and Investment Funds during the 2014-2020 programme period. Lapland’s S3 programme has gained some research momentum, and is generally perceived as a success in terms of local actors’ improved inclusion in extra-regional networks and access to international R&D funding (Morales & Sariego-Kluge, 2021). However, in their study, Ghinoi et al. (2021) conclude that Lapland’s S3 implementation lacks currently effective stakeholder networks that would expedite diversified specialisation as well as actual entrepreneurial discovery activities and significant business diversification. Indeed, like the strategies of most of the other northern European regions, it is built around the exploitation of natural assets. However, the geopolitical caveat of Lapland’s S3 strategy is that it aims to transcend its hard administrative regional borders – the standard scale for most of the EU’s S3 programmes – in order to employ the Arctic’s fuzzy borders. In the document, the Arctic is portrayed as “one of the cleanest and best-preserved places on earth but facing yet many dynamic and complex changes… In addition to challenges, global changes bring great potential” (Arcticsmartness.eu, n.d.). This vantage point taps into the common future-oriented geopolitical conception of the Arctic as a territory of economic opportunity (Busch, 2021). Hence, the strategic aim is to tie the natural and cultural resources of the Arctic hinterlands, under the banner of sustainable growth, into the flow of capital accumulation and wealth creation. Related to this, Lapland’s spatial socialisation aims to spur an entrepreneurial society that strongly associates itself with the Arctic instead of merely with Finland. Education and research institutions: producing knowledge of and for the Arctic Research played a decisive role in institutionalising the Arctic with respect to rendering “descriptive authority” on which policy-makers could build their (geopolitical) agendas (Keskitalo, 2004: 166). In these pre-Arctic Council times, region-specific research typically focused on environmental matters due to the growing ecological awareness of Western nations, as well as on the region’s Indigenous communities. In the late 1990s, the Arctic Council commissioned a feasibility project for establishing an Arctic university, which was officially inaugurated in 2001 and today consists of a decentralised network of HER around the globe that offer programmes, courses, and academic exchange (University of the Arctic, 2021). The geopolitical underpinning of the UArctic is particularly evident in the organisation’s Strategic Plan 2030:

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The Arctic is where we see the strongest impacts of the climate change today. While the Arctic has just a fraction of a percent of the world’s population, it contributes nearly 20% of many globally important resources such as minerals, energy, fish, freshwater, and the most pristine nature, which illustrates its interdependence with the rest of the globe. The Arctic is a vital region for the world, and UArctic has a key role in ensuring that those outside the region understand northern realities. …Southern solutions are often ill-suited to the northern experience. UArctic works for the people in the Arctic; that they have a central role in defining the future of the region, and have sufficient knowledge and capacity to do so (UArctic, n.d.: 1). The University of the Arctic justifies its legitimacy and power by referring to the universal significance of the Arctic as a concern for the whole globe, where climate and natural resources denote a geopolitical top priority. By emphasising the exceptionalism of the Arctic, the organisation charts out its unique ability to speak ‘truth’ for and on the behalf of its inhabitants, as well as its capacity for crafting solutions available to northerners in the form of support for policy and “knowledge-based decision-making” (UArctic, n.d.: 6). Yet, such bordering practice leaves one wondering where the ‘South’ begins: Is it in Helsinki or Stockholm, Brussels, Bologna, Paris, or Dubai? The document clarifies this question by pointing out the region’s relational character and stating that “northern or Arctic is more often about [the] attitude than latitude of the location” (UArctic, n.d.: 1). The University of Oulu, located below the Arctic Circle, makes use of this relational association with the region as well. The university chose ‘Science with Arctic Attitude’ as its mission slogan, and on its website highlights its geographical proximity to the Arctic as a duty as well as a competitive advantage in international knowledge production: We are situated close to the Arctic region, humanity’s new frontier. As one of the Northernmost international science universities, we have a particular responsibility toward questions related to the Arctic. The Arctic area is changing, and it affects to the future of the whole globe. We at the University of Oulu, are in the front line searching for solutions to the global challenges of Arctic and relieving the effects of changes (University of Oulu, n.d.). On the one hand, these statements of how HER position themselves in the Arctic illustrate the geopolitical tensions enmeshed in “determining in practice which issues are relevant for an ‘Arctic region’ and which actors are entitled to speak on ‘the Arctic’” (Keskitalo, 2004: 104). On the other hand, the strong emphasis on the global challenges around the Arctic might outweigh local perspectives and aspects that are relevant for societies in the Arctic. Nevertheless, a few smaller institutions dedicated to Indigenous Arctic perspectives can be found across the circumpolar North. Located in Kautokeino, the Sámi University of Applied Sciences was founded “as a result of the needs of the Sámi society for higher education and research in order to safeguard and further [develop] the Sámi language, culture, land, and traditional ways of living” (SUAS, n.d.). Similarly, although not situated in Europe, the recently reorganised Yukon University has developed strong links with local First Nations in both the organisation of courses and the management of the university (Yukon University, n.d.). Yet, Junka-Aikio (2019) points out that the recent upsurge in attention to Indigenous studies – which has also ensured additional research funding – is coupled to global processes, namely the Arctification of the Nordic political economy and the neoliberalisation of academia.

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Globalisation is also at play in the networked nature of HER institutions in the circumpolar North. Moisio (2018: 87) underscores that regional network formation among HER is characteristic in the knowledge-based economy, where these webs represent “nodes or sites of globalization” and a “decisive strategic-political infrastructure of competitiveness” in global value chains. In addition to the UArctic organisation, the northernmost universities of Finland (the Universities of Oulu and Lapland), Sweden (Umeå University and Luleå Technical University), and Norway (University of Tromsø) together form the ‘Arctic Five’ network. According to Husebekk et al. (2020), this structure is a capacity-building response to the common demographic challenges of northern peripheries. The fuzzy Arctic borders make it possible to cooperate across hard national borders while still offering a unifying image – the Arctic. Moreover, the Arctic bestows on these universities a space for upscaling the significance of their research outputs to the global level. For instance, Umeå University in Sweden has been conducting circumpolar research for three decades. Since 2012 the university has hosted the Arctic Research Centre Arcum, which unites scholars from various departments across the university and produces knowledge on a wide range of Arctic topics, such as climate change, culture and history, tourism, geopolitics, economy, health and wellbeing, law, and natural resources and energy (Umeå University, n.d.). Framing empirical work on Nordic issues as ‘Arctic’ is beneficial for researchers in terms of internationalisation and obtaining research funding (Müller & Sköld, 2021). In addition, hosting the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences in June 2017 “further [contributed] to creating relations between Umeå and a wider Arctic discourse” (Müller, 2021: 77) in academic spheres. Scientific Arctification has benefited some fields such as Sámi studies (Junka-Aikio, 2019), connected researchers intra- and extraregionally, and elevated local research concerns to issues of global significance (Husebekk et al., 2020). Broad-focused research centres like Arcum might also introduce additional perspectives on the region that amend the dominant discourse on the Arctic as a pristine natural environment and Indigenous cultural space. While the latter might be perceived to be for the good of the Arctic, it also locks the region into a rather restraining and homogenous representation. However, given the increasing dependence of HER on external funding, which is allotted by decision-making centres that are often located outside the Arctic and driven by agendas revolving around international relevance and competitiveness, disciplines and fields that generate no measurable economic yield might be existentially threatened. Thus, accelerating neoliberalisation – also tangible in governmental pressure on universities to define distinct research profiles – might redefine the territory of academic belonging towards market viability as its main criteria, while research that is locally important in the Arctic but fails to attract a global audience might vanish.

Discussion and conclusions Drawing upon a critical and economic reading of geopolitics, this review unearthed Arctification processes advanced by non- and sub-state actors in the Fennoscandian North. Prior to the countries becoming members of the Arctic Council, the northernmost regions of Finland and Sweden did not exhibit a strong economic and social identification with the Arctic (Keskitalo, 2004). Yet, given the global attention in the region fuelled by media reports, last-chance travel, and climate change awareness, the Arctic has become an opportunity for sparsely populated areas in the European High North to capitalise on the region’s future prospects (Väätänen, 2021) and turn a historically deprived peripheral location into a competitive advantage. Sub-state entities, HER, and the tourism sector actively reposition themselves as centrally located in the Arctic. This

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relational approach to space, coupled with the fuzzy Arctic borders, is instrumental in transcending administrative hard borders in order to extend territories of wealth, power, and belonging. In many places and regions located both south and north of the Arctic Circle, the tourism sector draws upon stereotypical Arctic imaginaries in the production of signature experiences such as dogsledding, aurora borealis tours, reindeer safaris, and overnight stays in glass igloos for international markets (Saarinen & Varnajot, 2019). These products were highly successful before the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted international travel. Nevertheless, touristic Arctification often promotes a static vision of the Arctic, overlooking the diversity and dynamic nature of the region, which in turn can negatively affect host communities with respect to tourists’ expectations of an uninhabited frontier that awaits discovery (Rantala, et al., 2019). The narrow product portfolio on winter- and cryospheric-based tourism also amplifies seasonality effects and increases the reliance upon a mobile and temporary workforce, while the serial reproduction of an identical tourism infrastructure across the Arctic region reinforces the vulnerability to boom and bust cycles (Carson & Carson, 2017). Taken together, these spatial development processes undermine the universally proclaimed goal of tourism to bring sustainable employment and growth to peripheries. Additionally, the international travel restrictions accompanying policies for curbing the spread of COVID-19 unearthed the volatility of human mobility-based sectors like tourism when wealth accumulation clashes with biosecurity and previously invisible borders suddenly become impermeable for leisure travellers. At the sub-national level, Lapland incorporated the Arctic into regional development efforts as a competitive geopolitical imaginary. The Finnish region presents itself in branding and smart specialisation strategies as being centrally located in the Arctic. These spatial socialisation attempts are directed both at an extra-regional audience by displaying to the world that Lapland provides access to the Arctic region and at its own society, which should develop an entrepreneurial mindset. With respect to the S3 programme, research has found that Lapland focuses on the utilisation of natural resources instead of promoting more diversified innovation (Ghinoi et al., 2021). Hence, the strategic aim is to appear as a legitimate Arctic player with the power to tie the natural and cultural resources of the northern hinterlands into the flow of capital accumulation. HER institutions not only constitute societally important stakeholders in the Arctic but are also actively engaged in shaping the region in geopolitical terms. At its foundation lies the local-global dichotomy to which the Arctic is tied. On the one hand, global interest in the region and academic Arctification have helped local issues of a formerly insignificant northern periphery to be presented as Arctic topics, which are of global concern. On the other hand, however, global neoliberalism entails downsides when regional universities are dependent on grants from extra-regional funding bodies that decide what is worthwhile to study and what is important for the Arctic. This in turn influences what is known about the region (e.g. Carey, 2007), how its peoples are portrayed (e.g. Saarinen, 1999), and what kinds of evidence-based policies are pursued. The fuzzy, soft borders of the Arctic render the region a relational space that can be adapted and reinterpreted according to the interests of different actors. As such, Arctification appears to be an everyday geopolitical geo-graphing process that alters representations of both the Arctic and the Nordic countries and is exercised with material, economic ends in mind. Furthermore, the Arctic “is caught up in an assembly of cultural, political, literary, economic and strategic registers and interests” (Dodds, 2021: 1141). Thus, building on Dodds’s argument, not only does the process of Arctification have implications for representations of the Arctic; it also has direct outcomes on Bohn & Varnajot


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regional geopolitical developments. Examining the everyday geopolitics of sub-national and nonstate bodies is especially crucial when sectors, such as tourism, are depicted in apolitical terms. As our review has shown, regional development authorities, tourism, and HER organisations engage in space-making, which is a deeply political process. Regarding future research on the production of territories of wealth, power, security, and belonging, a critical variable entails the bordering practices between the inclusion and exclusion of people and discourses, as well as the regimes of truth that they together constitute. In an Arctic context, this could be translated into the enquiry of the geopolitics of sustainability that goes along with soft borders, the age of neoliberal capitalism in which responsibilities are passed down to the individual level, and a shrinking cryosphere. What will the future of the Arctic – a white, wild, cold, and always snowy space – be like when glaciers further retreat, lakes barely freeze over the winter, and snow begins falling later in the winter and melts earlier in the spring? What are the ecological and social consequences of Arctification in a post-Arctic context (Varnajot & Saarinen, 2021), and what will the geopolitical ramifications be?

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Jayaram, D., et al. (2021). Geopolitical and geoeconomic implications of climate change in the Arctic region: the future of contestation and cooperation. In N. Khare (Ed.). Understanding present and past Arctic environments: an integrated approach from climate change perspectives (pp. 399–431). Elsevier. Junka-Aikio, L. (2019). Institutionalization, neo-politicization and the politics of defining Sámi research. Acta Borealia, 36(1), 1–22. Keskitalo, E.C.H. (2004). Negotiating the Arctic. The construction of an international region. Routledge. Klijn, E.H., & Koppenjan, J. (2020). Debate: Strategic planning after the governance revolution. Public Money & Management, 40(4), 260–261. Koivurova, T. (2010). Limits and possibilities of the Arctic Council in a rapidly changing scene of Arctic governance. Polar Record, 46(2), 146–156. Lundmark, L., et al. (2020). Arctification and the paradox of overtourism in sparsely populated areas. In L. Lundmark, et al. (Eds.), Dipping in to the North: Living, working and travelling in sparsely populated areas (pp. 349–372). Palgrave Macmillan. Mineev, A., et al. (2020). Circumpolar Business Development: The Paradox of Governance? In S. Coates & C. Holroyd (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Arctic Policy and Politics (pp.143–155). Palgrave Macmillan. Moisio, S. (2018). Geopolitics of the Knowledge-Based Economy. Routledge. Moisio, S. (2019). Re-thinking geoeconomics: Towards a political geography of economic geographies. Geography Compass, 13(10), e12466. Morales, D., & Sariego-Kluge, L. (2021). Regional state innovation in peripheral regions: enabling Lapland’s green policies. Regional Studies, Regional Science, 8(1), 54–64. Mostafanezhad, M., et al. (2020). Geopolitical anxieties of tourism: (Im)mobilities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dialogues in Human Geography, 10(2), 182–186. Mostafanezhad, M., & Norum, R. (2016). Towards a geopolitics of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 61, 226–228. Müller, D.K. (2015). Issues in Arctic tourism. In B. Evengård, et al. (Eds.), The New Arctic (pp. 147–158). Springer. Müller, D.K. (2021). Tourism in national Arctic strategies: A perspective on the tourism – geopolitics nexus. In M. Mostafanezhad, et al. (Eds.), Tourism Geopolitics. Assemblages of Infrastructure, Affect, and Imagination. The University of Arizona Press. Müller, D.K. & Viken, A. (2017). Toward a de-essentializing of indigenous tourism? In A. Viken, & D.K. Müller (Eds.), Tourism and indigeneity in the Arctic (pp.281–289). Channel View Publications. Müller, D.K. & Sköld, P. (2021). Interview on the institutionalization of Arctic research in Sweden. June 2, 2021. Nilsson, A.E. (2018). Creating a safe operating space for business: The changing role of Arctic governance. In N. Wormbs (Ed.) Competing Arctic futures. Historical and contemporary perspectives (pp. 117–138). Palgrave Macmillan. A Geopolitical Outlook on Arctification in Northern Europe


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A Picture is Worth [More Than] a Thousand Words: Visualizing Local and Tourist Perceptions of Greenland through Social Media Photo Mapping Tracy Michaud, Colleen Metcalf & Matthew Bampton

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is apt when examining social media photo posts. The Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) embedded within social media photos from online sites such as Flickr provides depths of information for tourism managers beyond the image itself. This research analyzes Flickr VGI from photos of Kalaallit Nunaat or Greenland, from 2004-2020 within a netnography framework and cultural geographic approach. This theoretical outlook argues that geo-visualizations create novel impressions of what tourists and local people value, give insights into how people perceive a destination, and influence sense of place. Greenlanders, although familiar with exploration and colonization, have only recently begun to deal with a growing number of tourists. While the tenants of responsible tourism management include a strong local voice in conversations on tourism development, results show Flickr images of Greenland are dominated by tourist photos, especially those in cruise ship ports, many likely taken from the ship. Furthermore there appears to be distinctly different photo patterns between locals and visitors. These dichotomies suggest the need for more conversation within broader tourism planning work around how the world “sees” Greenland, how it might affect the quality of life of locals, and sustainable tourism development for travelers. As visitation increases in Greenland, and in Polar regions in general, VGI provides an efficient, cost-effective way to visualize perceptions of various stakeholders, which can guide conversations in tourism management, and serve as a reminder to acknowledge and prioritize local voices.

Introduction Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) and “Big Data” The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is apt when examining patterns of social media photo posts within a location, but not in the way one might think. A single picture captured by a tourist’s camera and posted on a public social media platform, such as Flickr, provides depths of information beyond the image itself. The Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) embedded within social media photos can indicate exactly where a photo is taken and where the Tracy Michaud is an Assistant Professor of Tourism and Hospitality in the Tourism and Hospitality Program at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, USA and Lecturer at Reykjavik University, Business Administration Department, Reykjavik, Iceland. Colleen Metcalf is a Geography undergraduate student in the GeographyAnthropology Department at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, USA. Matthew Bampton is a Professor of Geography in the Geography-Anthropology Department at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, USA.


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photo taker is from. VGI is defined as voluntarily generated geo-spatial content produced by online users (Goodchild, 2007) and is increasingly used to assess consumer behavior and tourism’s impact in a destination. VGI can be aggregated into “big data” involving sets of sometimes millions of data points. This type of data is now regularly used by data analytic companies and researchers, allowing the analysis of large amounts of very detailed and specific information (McAfee & Brynjolfsson, 2012; Safegraph, 2021). Recent research has shown that VGI from social media sites such as Flickr produces accurate and significant patterns of tourist movement (Ding & Hongchao, 2019; Donaire et al., 2014; Elwood et al., 2013; Flanagin & Metzger, 2008; Girardin et al., 2008; Kadar, 2014; Wood et al. 2013; Zhen et al., 2017), even in rural places with smaller datasets (Michaud et al., 2021). When mapped, VGI from online photos can show where tourists move on the landscape through time (Cao et al., 2010; 2012; Runge et al., 2020) and can be compared to patterns of local populations. There has been little use of VGI data analysis in the Arctic to look at visitor movement and the patterns of various users on the landscape (Leung, et al., 2013; Runge et al., 2020). Runge et al. (2020) uses Flickr photos to show increases and changes in tourist distribution through time in the Arctic. The research in this paper builds on and contributes to this type of work by analyzing VGI from images of Greenland on Flickr from 2004-2020 guided by a netnography methodology within a cultural geographic framework. This theoretical approach suggests that visualizations create novel impressions of what tourists and locals value and gives insights into how people perceive a destination, which ultimately influences sense of place. The goal of the research in this paper is to uncover patterns through time of where and how visitors take and share photos of Greenland, in order to show who is influencing the way the outside world “sees” Greenland. This information can help guide conversations in tourism management. Tourist photographs and social media Photographic pictures verify a person’s presence at a distinct time and place (Hillman, 2007) and have been used to document aspects of life from the mundane to the extraordinary for almost two centuries. One aspect that photos have become intricately linked with is travel and tourism (Cedarholm, 2004; Chalfen, 1979; Gretzel, 2017; Jenkins 2003; Lo et al., 2011). Photographs are used to market destinations (Cedarholm, 2004; Jenkins, 2003), create souvenirs, and capture memories of travel (Berger et al., 2007). Tourists take photos to create records of their visit. It is proof they consumed an experience (Garrod, 2009; Jenkins, 2003; Kadar, 2014; Larsen, 2006; Urry, 1990). The act of taking photographs is recognized a part of the tourist experience and has been studied from numerous host/guest perspectives over the years (Chalfen, 1979; Garrod, 2008; Jenkins, 2003; MacCannell, 2001, Urry & Larsen, 2011). Jenkins (2003) shows that photos by tourists and those from iconic destinations inform and influence one another. “Tourist photos are a very relevant indicator of the perceived image of a destination” (Donaire et al., 2014: 32). They give insights into how different groups of people reflect a destination and ultimately influence and inform how the place itself is defined (Chalfen, 1979; Garrod, 2009; Urry, 1990). Widespread access to new technologies such as digital cameras, smart phones, free WIFI, and photo apps, coupled with the extensive popularity of social media, have made the taking and sharing pictures and videos easy, and photo sharing has increased dramatically in the last two decades (Dinhopl & Gretzel, 2015; Donaire et al. 2014). In the past, photos taken by a non-digital camera needed to complete a relatively lengthy and expensive process by experts before results

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were seen by anyone, today it is mere seconds before digital images can be taken, reviewed, edited and shared with everyone. This had led to an explosion of documentation of everyday life through social media images, as well as much more detailed travel imagery (Donaire et al., 2014; Lo et al., 2011). The trend toward the dominance of user-generated, visual content over professional textual content on the web has been noted through time (Buhalis & Law, 2008; Du et al., 2020; Hays et al., 2013; Munar et al., 2013; Munar & Jacobsen, 2014; Volo, 2010) and visual online content is considered a new channel for the creation and public consumption of meaning in tourism experiences (Munar & Jacobsen, 2014). Participatory culture, especially among millennials, has enabled and encouraged tourists to instantly share their travel experiences on social media platforms (Du et al., 2020) and this sharing activity influences the perceptions and experience of a place (Shanks and Svabo, 2013). Du et al.’s (2020) research in China has shown how TikTok, an online video sharing platform, has increasingly played a role in shaping tourist behavior and destination image. In theoretical discussions of the post-tourism world (Jansson, 2018), the expansion of these web-based social media platforms reinforces and accelerates the dynamic of explorers finding and sharing unique, untouched, and authentic experiences, which due to their visiting, ultimately leads to the erosion of the pristine places, extraordinary experiences, and unique identities they were seeking in the first place (Jansson, 2007; Tribe & Mkono, 2017). This conundrum is a real risk to emerging destinations in the Arctic. Starting when people are just dreaming of travel on platforms such as Pinterest (Gretzel, 2021), researchers agree that social media strongly influences knowledge creation, tourism culture, and how tourists interact with a destination (Amsdorffer et al., 2012; Chalkiti & Sigala, 2008; Dinhopl & Gretzel, 2015; Paris, 2012; Zeng & Gerritsen, 2014). The grow