EU and Russian Arctic Policy: Divergence at the Northern Convergence?

Tina Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Media commentary on Russia's 2015 Maritime Doctrine, particularly those aspects pertaining to the Arctic, have highlighted increased Russian military activity in the region and pointed to Russia seeking conflict in the region. Such military activity has caused consternation in the EU, with some commentators arguing that Russia's Arctic policy is one of aggression and conflict. This paper sets out to determine whether EU and Russian Arctic policies are comparatively similar in nature, thereby effectively establishing a convergence of interests in the High North, or whether the interests of the EU and Russia are divergent and constitute a source of future conflict in the region.

An analysis of EU and Russian Arctic policies, and Russian conduct in the Arctic region demonstrates that the policies and conduct represent a convergence of Arctic interests. Both Russia and the EU seek to engage with the Arctic natural resources: Russia to secure, delineate and develop its resources, and the EU to secure access to these natural resources. Furthermore, both actors have cast an eye to the Northern Sea Route. Russia seeks to regulate the Northern Sea Route under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, whilst the EU seeks access to the Northern Sea Route for commercial and recreational shipping purposes. Thus, the Arctic policies of the EU and Russia represent a convergence of interests at the Northern Convergence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3618
JournalOil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016


  • Polar Energy Law
  • Arctic
  • Antarctic


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