Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Arctic

Olympic Torch Burns Brightly for Some On Top of the World

Olympic Torch Burns Brightly for Some On Top of the World

The Olympic torch for the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia has made quite the journey so far. It’s only a little over a month into its 123-day, 65,000 kilometer relay, but already, the torch has made it to the frigid north and even outer space. This past week, cosmonauts ...

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Time: The Overlooked Arctic Resource

Time: The Overlooked Arctic Resource

Oil and gas. Uranium and rare earth metals. Cod and shrimp. Reindeer and seal pelts. These things constitute the bulk of discussions about Arctic resources, yet there’s one resource that’s overlooked: time. At the Arctic Circle summit in Reykjavik earlier in October, economist and Sami reindeer herder Anders Johansen Eira gave ...

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Analysis: Implications of Greenland’s decision to allow uranium mining

Analysis: Implications of Greenland’s decision to allow uranium mining

In a 15-14 vote, Greenland’s parliament voted to overturn the long-standing ban on uranium mining. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed in a memo that it supported the decision given that Greenland has maintained control over its mineral resources since 2010. While the decision was close, the lifting ...

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With Swedish help, South Korea completes its first pilot service of Northern Sea Route

With Swedish help, South Korea completes its first pilot service of Northern Sea Route

On Tuesday, after 22 days at sea, the first-ever South Korean pilot service of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) reached its destination in Gwangyang, South Korea. Korean shipping line Hyundai Glovis chartered a Swedish oil tanker to carry 44,000 tons of naphtha, a light derivative of crude oil, from the ...

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Singapore steals the show at the Arctic Circle

Singapore steals the show at the Arctic Circle

For all the talk of China and the Arctic, there’s one dark horse that definitely made itself known at the Arctic Circle: Singapore. With a speech that hit all the right notes, Sam Tan Chin Siong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Member ...

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Kept in from the cold: The U.S. government shutdown & the Arctic

Kept in from the cold: The U.S. government shutdown & the Arctic

The U.S. federal government shutdown’s dire consequences for research in Antarctica made the front page of The New York Times website today. On October 8, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it was canceling the U.S. Antarctic Research Program for 2013. The program has been placed on ...

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Three conferences in one week propel Iceland to center of Arctic discussions

Three conferences in one week propel Iceland to center of Arctic discussions

Under the guidance of President Ólafur Grímsson, Iceland has strived to position itself as a new geopolitical center for the Arctic. While only a tiny portion of the country, the island of Grimsey, sits above the Arctic Circle, that hasn’t stopped it from claiming Arctic coastal statehood. With lots of ...

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Conference in New Delhi analyzes Asia-Arctic linkages

Conference in New Delhi analyzes Asia-Arctic linkages

“It’s so far, but so very near to us now.” This is what Dr. Uttam Kumar Sinha observed during the opening of the AsiArctic conference at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) in New Delhi, India last week. India received observer status in the Arctic Council ...

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South Korean icebreaker leads expedition to Canada’s Beaufort Sea for methane hydrates

South Korean icebreaker leads expedition to Canada’s Beaufort Sea for methane hydrates

Four months after its acceptance as an observer to the Arctic Council, South Korea is fulfilling expectations surrounding its new role by leading a research survey into the Beaufort Sea to look for subsea permafrost and methane hydrates. The East Asian country’s self-constructed icebreaker, the Araon, left Barrow, Alaska on September 8 bound ...

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Election in Norway: Implications for the Lofoten Islands

Election in Norway: Implications for the Lofoten Islands

In my previous post, I noted how there isn’t likely to be a dramatic shift in Norway’s Arctic policy even though the Conservatives will now be at the helm of government. Regardless of whether Labour or the Conservatives dominate, oil will still be one of Norway’s top priorities in the ...

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Conservative victory in Norway: What does it mean for the Arctic?

Conservative victory in Norway: What does it mean for the Arctic?

In Norway’s elections on Monday, the Conservative party (Høyre) won the most seats, sweeping Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg from power after eight years. The Conservatives, however, did not win enough seats to form a majority government. As such, headed by new Prime Minister Erna Solberg, they will likely ally ...

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Commodifying nature: The price of ice

Commodifying nature: The price of ice

A graduate student recently interviewed me for his dissertation on Russia, the Arctic, oil and gas. During the interview, he asked me what I believed was the single most important Arctic resource. The answer could have been oil, gas, minerals, fisheries, or any other number of commodities. I responded that ...

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Russia opens first of ten new search and rescue centers in the Arctic

Russia opens first of ten new search and rescue centers in the Arctic

On August 20, the first of ten new Russian search and rescue centers along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) opened in Naryan-Mar in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO). The governor of the NAO, Igor Fyodorov, and Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) Aleksander Chupriyan, opened the center. The EMERCOM sites ...

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All eyes on China as cargo vessel takes to the north

All eyes on China as cargo vessel takes to the north

On August 8, the Chinese cargo ship Yong Sheng set sail from Dalian, a port city in northeastern China. The Hong Kong-flagged vessel, owned by Chinese state-owned company Cosco Group, is bound for Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, with its cargo of steel and heavy equipment. But unlike most ships from ...

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As the Puffin Flies: The UK and the Arctic

As the Puffin Flies: The UK and the Arctic

The Farne Islands, England lie at 55 degrees N. Off the coast of Northumberland, they’re not too far from Newcastle, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. I took a boat trip out to the islands a few weeks ago and saw thousands of puffins. The black and white birds were diving, ...

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