Russia : The future of polar cooperation

Plunging Russia into a diplomatic freeze would have implications that go far beyond Europe, especially for cooperation on global common goods. Antarctica, for example, is a place of global climate regulation.

FACTS 

Arctic, an unprecedented fact

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia – which has held the chairmanship of the Arctic Council (see Box 1) for two years since May 2021 – was condemned on 3 March 2022 in a joint statement by all the other members of the Council. 

The flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity based on international law – which have underpinned their work since its inception – poses serious obstacles to international cooperation. Recalling their responsibility to the peoples of the Arctic and pending consideration of the conditions for resuming their work, they have decided to suspend their participation in meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies.

Observing that international cooperation has never been hostage to the geopolitical situation, Moscow has expressed its “dissatisfaction” and its intention to pursue its own national program in the Arctic unilaterally. 

Antarctica, fear of contagion

The 44e Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting is scheduled to take place from May 23 to June 2, 2022 in Berlin. What has just happened for the Arctic will certainly have an impact on the southern continent. […] 

 

Box 1 Antarctic Treaty, excerpts

Box 2 Territorial claims vs. space of peace, details

Box 3  Antarctic scientific research, elements

Excerpt from the confidential letter Asie21-Futuribles n° 160/2022-04

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