No. 118 – The Arctic: Thaw with Conflict Potential (July 2012)


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The thawing of the Arctic ice shield opens up new possibilities: access to raw materials is eased, and shipping distances may decrease. The meddling of an increasing number of nonregional players in Arctic affairs is resulting in closer cooperation among the Arctic coastal states. The potential for conflict exists mainly where sovereign and exploitation rights cannot be conclusively clarified under existing international law. The risk of a military escalation, however, remains low.

Author: Jonas Grätz

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