NATO's Geopolitical Dilemma in the Arctic

Analyis of our Intern Málna Szonja Vámos

The  stable environment of the Arctic region was challenged by the Russia-Ukraine war and the relations between the stakeholders returned to a level of mistrust that was not experienced since the Cold War. The general weakness of the Russian government in the 1990s resulted in the increasing presence of international stakeholders like NATO and, as the current global economic and geopolitical competition seems to overspill to the Arctic region, non-Arctic actors are aiming to step in as well. The increasing tension indicates NATO’s further engagement towards the High North and in the current state of affairs, there remains the danger that once a place for cooperation and peace can turn into the new battlefield between the West and East. Due to the unique legal framework of the Svalbard Treaty, it is an ideal playground for stakeholders like Russia or China to challenge NATO’s readiness and test the resilience of Western dominance.

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