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From the UK to Singapore: how the world divides skin "Arctic" bear
Material posted: Medvedev DmitryPublication date: 12-10-2014

Made Arctic countries (Russia, Canada, USA, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland) the status quo partly dampen their initiative and does not take unilateral steps. However, the Institute "observer countries" in the Arctic Council today can be used geopolitical centers to intensify the struggle in the Arctic region. To such conclusion experts of the Center for strategic estimates and forecasts, analyzing the positions and motives of the observer countries of the Arctic Council. A REGNUM correspondent has read the report.

Today the countries-observers in the Arctic Council are great Britain, Germany, India, Spain, Italy, China, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, France, South Korea and Japan. These countries, having their own ambitions and aspirations in the region, not formally have voting rights on the Arctic issues, however, may well contribute to the leading players in the struggle to defend their interests; on this bet, the report says.

According to experts from the eight Arctic countries most attention to the potential observer countries pays Norway. This country is actively engaged in dialogue with such countries as Singapore, China, South Korea, trying to get them to the solution including the number of questions in their own interests.

Singapore expects to receive the result from the sales of their own achievements other participants of the Arctic race. That is why Singapore today is the best ally for many other Arctic States. First of all, interested in the experience and recognition of this country in international law of the sea. Also significant are the experience and achievements of Singapore in the creation, management and development of marine and coastal infrastructure, as well as in shipbuilding, concluded researchers at the Center for strategic estimates and projections.

South Korea among the countries-observers is one of the most active players in the Arctic issues, the authors of the study. From the point of view of Seoul, development of the Northern sea route will allow the country not only to increase production of Arctic class ships, but also to increase the turnover of Korean ports with ports in Western Europe. Experts say that Seoul in Arctic policy relies on cooperation with Arctic States. "The most intimate relations of Seoul with Russia", — stated in the report.

The motives of China in addressing Arctic issues proceed from the thesis that the problems of the Arctic are not regional but global in nature. "The implication is that if decisions taken in the discussion of Arctic issues have global implications, China as a growing world power needs to have a voice in them," explain the experts. Based on the analysis of the diplomatic moves of China in the past 30 years, the researchers also suggest that pragmatic considerations are the main factors in China's policy in the Arctic. Today, according to the report, to protect its interests in the Arctic China is concentrating efforts in achieving a number of goals.

Firstly, to gain insights about the negative consequences of climate change in the Arctic will affect the environment in China and its climatic conditions and agriculture.

Secondly, to ensure their participation in the Arctic Council to gradually increase the influence on decisions regarding governance in the Arctic.

Thirdly, one of the strategic goals of China, according to the study, is the security of supply routes in the country strategic raw materials from potential impacts on them by the U.S. Navy. Overall, China has steadily integrated into the system decision of problems of the Arctic: from ecology to Economics. "Expanding investment projects in the Arctic States, China lays the Foundation of its influence in the region. Today, through a number of major projects, China has formed a basis for constructing the means of economic pressure on countries in the region to ensure their interests in the Arctic," say the experts.

Have their interests in the Northern latitudes and the Country of the rising sun. For Japan and for Singapore, the Arctic is the platform on which you can find the place of the Japanese innovation and technology. The great economic attraction for the Japanese is the Northern sea route: its use will increase the flow of goods between the Japanese and Western European ports, as well as provide Japan superiority in shipbuilding. "Russia is considered by the Japanese government as one of the main partners in the development of Arctic resources and navigation along the Northern sea route," say the study authors. Despite this, the experts make the observation that the prospect of year-round navigation along the NSR increases the value of the Kurils (ports, storage infrastructure, security systems, etc.) that will give a new impetus to disputes around the Islands. Experts note that Russian-Japanese relations in the Arctic region are of a commercial nature. In matters where the security definitely Japan would cooperate with Washington.

As regards India, it is also interested in participating in the Affairs of the Arctic region. Being much more constrained in finances ($12 million on the study of the Arctic in the next five years), India nevertheless has a number of vectors in its Arctic policy. According to the report, first of all, the Indians are interested in the Arctic commercial (the development of hydrocarbon reserves and participation in the development of the Northern sea route) and environmental safety (possible dependence of the intensity of the monsoon in India, climate change in the Arctic).

Strategic partners India, according to the study, Russia (in the economic area) and Norway (scientific).

Their Arctic solitaire laid out and the Russian neighbors to the West. First of all, you should pay attention to the UK as gatekeeper of the Northern sea route. Analyzing great Britain taking steps in the Arctic issue, researchers at the Center for strategic estimates and projections suggested that the policy of London in the Arctic will consist of three areas. First, the UK will build a direct dialogue with the United States aimed to divide the two men control over Sevmorput (London side of the North Atlantic, Washington — from the North Pacific ocean). "The United Kingdom as a "strategic gatekeeper" in the North Atlantic and the Atlantic Foundation of domination in Europe is ideal as a "key state" in the coming of a new geopolitical game," say the authors of the report. Secondly, London, relying on their own Imperial experience, will initiate policy, not directly, but using the potential of the British Commonwealth of Nations (4 countries-observers from 12 — Canada, UK, India, Singapore are Commonwealth). And third, to coordinate policy in the Arctic, Britain will use a third of the country. First of all is Poland. Given the Polish activity in Arctic issues in recent years, as well as the historical relationship of Poland and the UK, it can be assumed, according to the experts, what's behind it — Poland is a plan, formed in Warsaw.

Another significant partner is not so much Britain, but of Poland in the Arctic — France. Concerning her experts suggest that realizing the insufficiency of his tools of direct influence, France relies on other regional organizations, for example, the Community of the Barents sea. In addition, the Paris draws heavily on the potential of "soft power", attracting non-profit organizations and social structure to create a favorable itself of the course of international politics in the Arctic region. The analysis of the French Arctic policy, the authors of the report concluded that France has one of the most aggressive Arctic strategies. Key interests of countries in the Northern latitudes centered around hydrocarbon production (working in the Arctic TOTAL and "Gaz de France") and of the fishery seafood. Key players in the region for France are Russia and Norway.
Another European player, whose economic interests are concentrated in the Arctic region — Italy.

Experts say that the Arctic is for Italy, as for Asian countries, and for Poland, for example, is an opportunity for the development of national industry of shipbuilding. In addition, Eni today plays a key role in the development of the Arctic, including in partnership with Russian companies. "Although relations between Rome and Moscow in the Arctic in the last 5-7 years has acquired a character of strategic cooperation, the Italian leadership leaves no hope for the internationalization of hydrocarbon deposits in the region, the report said. To put pressure on Russia, the Italian government does not hesitate to use informational influence and the next world public condemnation of the activities of Moscow". Significant in this regard, the reaction of the Italian government on Moscow's position with regard to the vessel Arctic Sunrise. In addition, according to the report, Italy is actively using the humanitarian agenda for political pressure, primarily on the Russian Federation. The policy of Italy in Arctic matters experts characterize as "proactive, but not aggressive".

Takes the initiative and Spain. Madrid is currently one of the most consistent conductors of an Arctic policy for the EU. Despite the mutually beneficial economic Spanish-Russian partnership, this policy runs counter to Russian interests in the region, the report said. Characteristic for the Spanish argument — environmental safety — has understandable motives, according to experts at the Center for strategic estimates and projections: economic development of the Arctic transport routes will reduce the economic attractiveness of the Atlantic and Mediterranean ports of Spain.

Interested in the development of the Arctic region observer country are the Netherlands. "The Netherlands is very interested in the development of the infrastructure of the NSR, which has significant experience of logistics operations, which can be useful in the development of the Arctic territories", — stated in the study. As the specifics of the Dutch Arctic strategy analysts say the focus on the environmental consequences of industrial development in the Arctic. "The main goal — to form the world community sharply negative attitude to any attempts of exploitation of Arctic resources without the use of special "green" technologies, — say the authors of the study. Through attempts to consolidate as an international standards high requirements for environmental safety Amsterdam is seeking to achieve for their companies favorable conditions of expansion in the Arctic". Moderately unfriendly to Russia, according to a study submitted to Arctic policy of Germany. "Despite the close cooperation in the research field, Germany still stands as a strategic geopolitical opponent of Russia in the struggle for the resources of the polar areas", — analysts say. However, despite this, experts at the Center for strategic estimates and projections are sure that Germany stop its ambitions for production of renewable resources (fish and seafood), as well as on the exploitation of the Northern sea route. Access to the region's energy resources will leave Berlin on the development of its partners — Norway and Russia. The role of a distributor of Russian raw materials on the world market, experts believe, are quite satisfied with Berlin.

Summing up the Arctic policy States, experts at the Center for strategic estimates and projections have identified a number of ambiguous and potentially dangerous trends in the rhetoric of countries.

First of all, this is a topic of global climate change and the polar regions. "Climate change and the role of the Arctic is almost a win-win topic, when it is necessary to solve the issue of access to governance structures in the region", — experts explain.

Secondly, deriving from the first theme, the issue of environmental security in the region. "Today environment allows you to take the most radical steps if necessary to protect or promote their interests," the study said. The main objective of this activity is to achieve the adoption of stringent standards, allowing for operation in the Arctic only vessels created using special "green" technologies available to a limited number of countries in the region. This allows us to solve the competition issues quite effectively, experts believe.

Thirdly, the issue of ensuring international access to the exploitation of the Northern sea route. This means gathering the necessity to separate the interests of the Arctic States (mainly Russia and Canada) and rest of the international community.

Fourthly, preservation of ecosystems, indigenous peoples of the North. This theme is conventional, though effective, analysts say, it affects the interests of people and allows you to engage the whole practice of diplomatic struggle and propaganda on the subject of human rights violations.

And fifthly, the question of international law in the Arctic region. According to the study, the modernization of international law in the Arctic region can effectively promote the interests of the States owning the main resource allowing to influence the formation of new structures and relations in the field of international law. It is, above all, profitable and make the USA and also Singapore and the UK. The issue of protection of its interests in this case will be resolved through international pressure on the country, one way or another violated the order.

To protect Russia's national interests in the Arctic experts of the Center for strategic estimates and projections are encouraged to use the full potential of the observer States in the Arctic Council and to build profitable new configuration of foreign policy associations and unions.

The study "Countries-observers in the Arctic Council: the position and motives of activity" was implemented by the Center for strategic assessments and forecasts with the assistance of the Fund for public diplomacy support them. Gorchakov.


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