The natural resources of the Arctic region are unlikely to lead to any military conflict in the region according to new research by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) of Norway. The study further found that a diplomatic solution to any dispute resolution is far likelier and more rational than armed action.
In a statement posted on their website, FNI downplays the threat of lawlessness in the Arctic. “Contrary to the general picture drawn by the media and some commentators over the last couple of years, the Arctic region does not suffer under a state of virtual anarchy. The era when states could claim rights to territory and resources by simply planting their flag is long gone,” the statement reads.
International law largely regulates any issues in the Arctic region that have been dubbed “security policy challenges” in the past, SikuNews reports, while adding that the report claims that regional states prefer an observation-based approach over any desire for military conflict. Those issues which arise that are not clearly governed by international law in respect to resolution procedures are generally only minor, say researchers.
The focus of the majority of the case studies contained in the findings was on relations in the Barents Sea, between Russia and Norway. These included the management of ocean resources, the status of the continental shelf and waters around Svalbard and the delimitation of unresolved boundaries.
These case studies collectively found little or no threat of armed dispute likely and concluded that the Arctic region has little rationale or legal space for military conflict resolution.