In Search of Stability: Norway’s Approach to the Arctic and Russia

In Thomas S. Axeworthy, Sara French and Emily Tsui eds), Lessons from the Arctic: The Role of Regional Governments in International Affairs. Mosaic Press, 2020, pp. 134-158.

This chapter will explore the dimensions of Norway’s cooperative relationship with its eastern neighbour, Russia, by (1) outlining Norway’s Arctic policy developments and how they relate to Russia, and (2) making use of two specific issue-areas to showcase how an Arctic focus has led to increased focus on “low-level” cooperation between Norway and Russia, despite “high-level” concerns over an increasingly assertive neighbour. As a result, Norway not only maintains a cooperative relationship with Russia, but actively seeks new forms of cooperation with its eastern neighbour. In the face of a tense political environment, Norway and Russia continue to develop cooperative mechanisms to manage growing concerns in their shared Arctic space. The increased focus on the Arctic has thus led to new cross-border interaction between the two countries, as each state finds it mutually beneficial to expand this interaction.