Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / Arctic and Antarctic in modern geopolitics / Articles
Arctic remains a strategic priority for the United States
Material posted: Medvedev DmitryPublication date: 14-04-2015
It is important that in the Arctic direction of US policy plays a paramount importance for national security in the Arctic. In this connection, attention is paid to the development of military infrastructure, as well as strengthening the capacity of the US Navy, which is described in the new document US Navy Arctic Roadmap (2014-2030).

Strategic allies of the USA in region see Canada, Denmark and Norway. Canada can be observed not simply as the ally of the USA, but also as "conductor" of considerable number of the American initiatives, and also the catalyst of the Antirussian moods in the arctic process.

Washington also declared plots of close cooperation with Finland which after the USA will accept presidency in the Arctic council concerning the general vision of the future Far North.

With Sweden Washington did not have the closest relations concerning development of Arctic regions, however they do not have also basic divergence of sights. The USA arranges that the Swedish position does not coincide with Russian on many key questions.

Besides, Washington actively co-operates with not arctic countries interested in joint development of the arctic resources, in particular, with Japan. So, the USA and Japan have signed the joint contract on gas production on Alaska.

Besides it, the USA carry out consultations and negotiations with other Asian countries which have been switched on in the arctic process (India, China, South Korea and Singapore). Washington supports their theses contradicting interests of Russia, such as the international access to Arctic regions, problems of the radical people, etc.


It is necessary to note that Washington has proclaimed itself «the Arctic nation», life of the people of the North responsible for an improvement of the quality, and, means, the proximal years it is possible to expect a reinforcement of political pressure on the subarctic countries in questions of conservation of ecosystems and a life of the radical people. Besides, initiatives on obligatory turning on of representatives of these people in activity of the international organisations are possible.

Unconditionally, basic competitor in struggle for Arctic regions Washington sees Russia, with its increasing arctic mobilisation reserve and growing military activity. At all fears, many experts in the USA recognise that any considerable solution across Arctic regions cannot be accepted without the consent of Russia. Here it is possible to assume that the USA are aimed to create dialogue system under the circuit design «all plus Russia» which is used, for example, in council Russia-NATO where Moscow deals with the consolidated position of the countries of the NATO. It allows to insulate or brake accomplishment of certain agreements in case of crisis, and during the postcrisis period again to upbuild dialogue without which maintenance of global safety is impossible.

Dialogue with Russia on the arctic problematics in an intermediate term prospect intends to carry out Washington exclusively within the limits of the Arctic council that is explainable presidency of the USA in this organisation the proximal two years.

Attraction of not arctic states to work of the Arctic council and intention considerably to increase their quantity speaks «expansion of responsibility for the region future», but in practice washes out the Russian position in the organisation.

Interacting with China is in a greater degree directed on weakening of positions of Russia. However the Chinese-American relations in Arctic regions are not observed as strategic partnership. Was possiblly, the USA will upbuild closer system of mutual relations with the states of Asia, afraid growth of geopolitical power of Beijing in this region. Washington cautiously ascertains building of the Chinese icebreaking courts for a shipping season on Arctic ocean, and as intentions of Russia on attraction of Beijing to navigation on Northern sea way.

There are bases to assume that during the presidency of the USA will try to reinforce the agency in formed structure of the Arctic Economic Council created in past year. For Washington it is important to operate economic processes of region to avoid a situation when, despite a policy of sanctions and the Antirussian discourse, the countries-observers will continue to splice cooperation with Russia.

The USA position themselves the main guarantor of safety, and the NATO - the major platform of military cooperation of the arctic countries. Thereupon increase in participants of teachings COLD RESPONSE, and to the countries which are not entering into the NATO, new platforms of military cooperation in Arctic regions are offered.

The USA underline an exclusive role of the Arctic council as platforms for negotiations, but do not support the initiative of the further institutionalization of the organisation and adoption of obliging solutions for its members.

However ideas of adoption of obliging international certificates in questions of responsibility for an ecological damage to region are insonified. The strong tool of pressure on the subarctic states which are engaged in active development of deposits can provide adoptions of such deeds to Washington.

Washington follows a policy of internationalisation of sea arctic space. Among three key initiatives, which USA have formulated in the capacity of the presidency purposes in the Arctic council, international "patronage" (stewardship) over Arctic ocean is noted also. In a compartment with the proclaimed purpose of attaching of leadership of the USA in this region, it is possible to conclude that control of the United States over sea lines of Arctic regions will be lobbied.

In the field of technological cooperation ideas to reinforce cooperation with the countries of Baltic for testing maintenance in Baltic sea of production engineering and workings out which subsequently is volplaned to introduce for work on the Far North are insonified. As it is noted, such cooperation can help to adjust in addition relations with Finland, Sweden and Russia.

Dmitry Medvedev

RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics
Возрастное ограничение