Cover Osteuropa 5/2020

In Osteuropa 5/2020

Creating an Arctic battlefield
Critique of securitized reason

Andrej Zagorskij

Deutsche Fassung


For years, observers have been warning of wars over sovereignty rights and resources in the Arctic as a result of climate change. This fear is exaggerated. There are currently no territorial conflicts, nor is there a battle over resources. The geophysical and climatic conditions also make war in the Arctic an unlikely prospect. However, the competition between the USA, China and Russia on the global political stage could also spill over into the Arctic. The alienation between Russia and the West is making it impossible to establish a common security architecture for all Arctic states. The USA and Russia are increasingly including the interface between the western Arctic Ocean and the northern Atlantic in their deterrence plans. And if Russia were to prevent ships from sailing through its coastal waters in the northern sea passage region and the USA were to insist on its right to passage, a situation similar to that in the South China Sea could arise in the Arctic Ocean.

Andrej Zagorskij (1959), PhD., Department for Disarmament and Conflict Resolution Studies, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMĖMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation, Moscow

(Osteuropa 5/2020, pp. 81–98)